Lena Elfvinge Nixon says to Swedish Radio Malmö that during the later middle ages public baths were set up, and both men and women used them. But she says there was "not just bathing going on" in these public facilities, and so when the more prudish renaissance times began, about 500 years after the viking years, these bath houses were closed for "moral reasons", and this means people in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were much dirtier than the viking period.
But what about the smell?
Lena Elfvinge Nixon says that the wood fires that everyone used to keep warm would have definitely given people a rather smoky smell, and the close contact with livestock would have added to the odor, plust few people owned many changes of clothes, since cloth was so expensive.
But she says the viking era Swedes were very careful about their appearance, leaving behind many ancient combs and tweezers as proof. And they could have just taken off their shirts and washed them on a regular basis.
Also at the festival is Mia Westlund, who is making a medieval harp out of birch wood, using only viking era tools. She says that posessions during this era were often decorated, since they were so expensive and had taken so long to make.
The viking festival is organised by the Vikinga Tider, Viking Times, group, taking place between the southern towns of Löddeköpinge and Kävlinge, and it will close on Saturday with a market