The Viking Age lasted from the ninth through the eleventh centuries. During this time the hardy seafaring Viking peoples of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark both pillaged and colonized the lands to the south, east and west of their homeland. The Vikings were vigorous tradesmen and craftsmen, excelling in sculpture, woodworking, metal working and jewelry design. The richness and energy of Viking design is indisputably equal to that of Celtic designs and has many of the same knotwork characteristics. Hallmarks of Viking design include dense decorations, symbols and depictions of combat, animal forms so stylized and contorted as to become barely recognizable, and complex interwoven patterns.