An intriguing archaeological clue is that much of the bounty plundered from Britain — particularly from monasteries — wound up later in the graves of Viking wives. The items included precious metals, fine cloth, jewelry and other handicrafts.
Barrett's analysis of Nordic historical records found that Scandinavian men often served as warriors, frequently forming "military brotherhoods," until they were able to marry and establish their own households, which were key to prestige and power.
The Vikings themselves may have caused the shortage, by practicing female infanticide. Link -via Metafilter
(image credit: henribergius)