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Oct 18 13 3:38 PM
ohvaI have tons of friends. They're just all online.
Oct 21 13 10:15 AM
Nov 13 13 12:27 AM
Nov 16 13 12:28 AM
Swedish archaeologists have revealed a secret hoard of ancient
trinkets including gold figures and Viking coins, with experts hoping
the find will reveal more information about the Iron Age in Sweden.
"The initial find was a real surprise," archaeologist Mikael Henriksson told The Local. "But it sunk in after a while."
The initial find Henriksson refers to is his own discovery of a bronze
Celtic mask back in 2004, on a hill in a valley in Västra Vång in Blekinge.
After eight years, a whole team was dispatched to the area to conduct a
thorough excavation with geo-radars where the team found what
Henriksson called a site "of great importance" dating back to the Iron
Age, between the birth of Christ and the early Middle Ages.
team uncovered a number of trinkets there over a period of two years,
including gold foil heads of men and women that were likely used to
decorate large cauldrons.
Since then, the team kept the finds secret from the public to avoid
plundering, and retrieved a total of 29 of the anthropomorphic gold
foils (known as guldgubbar in Swedish) - the third biggest find of its
kind in Swedish history. The team also found five bronze-cast heads,
fragments of a vessel, as well as other bronze objects, Roman glass,
gold spirals and Viking-age coins.
As to whether the artefacts
were left on purpose or abandoned, Henriksson cannot say, but added
that it was turbulent times when the objects were used.
were masses of people moving around Europe, it was right after the fall
of the west Roman empire and it was every tribe for itself. It affected
all of Europe. But what we can say is that the vessels we found were
used for ritual drinking and feasting, and were even sacrificial. The
area may have been buried or it may have been deserted and left for
good. Or it could have been a ritual burial site - we're still not
But the finds are of great importance, he added,
stating that comparing the trove with other similar finds in southern
Scandinavia may shed more light on the Iron Age in Sweden.
"This is a unique opportunity to establish a cooperation of a kind that
hasn't been possible before," Henriksson told The Local.
artefacts will be on display in the Blekinge Museum in summer, with
images of the finds to be uploaded to the website soon.
Nov 20 13 12:30 AM
Picture Kippa Matthews
The sound of an ancient horn heard reverberating
across the rooftops of York this evening is a portent of doom and the
beginning of a countdown to the Norse apocalypse, according to experts
in Norse mythology from the JORVIK Viking Centre.
Picture Kippa Matthews
The horn belonged to the Norse god, Heimdallr, who was said to blow the mythical Gjallerhorn to warn that Ragnarok
– the Viking apocalypse – will take place in 100 days. Experts are
predicting the end of the world will take place on 22 February 2014,
coinciding with the grand finale of the 30th JORVIK Viking Festival in the city of York.
“Ragnarok is the ultimate landmark in Viking mythology, when the gods
fall and die, so this really is an event that should not be
underestimated,” comments Danielle Daglan director of the JORVIK Viking
Festival. “In the last couple of years, we’ve had predictions of the
Mayan apocalypse, which passed without incident, and numerous other
dates where the end of the world has been pencilled in by seers, fortune
tellers and visionaries, but the sound of the horn is possibly the best
indicator yet that the Viking version of the end of the world really
will happen on 22 February next year.”
According to the legends of Ragnarok, the god Odin will be killed by
the wolf Fenrir and the other ‘creator’ gods will fall, before the earth
is born anew for its human population.
“During the week of the JORVIK Viking Festival, we will be doing
everything we can to equip the people of York, and visitors from afar,
with the tools to survive the apocalypse, from hunting for the mightiest
and strongest warriors to training children in combat skills,” adds
Danielle. “Following a study published in 2010* that bearded men are
more trustworthy than those without, we’re also looking for fantastic
displays of facial hair, so that we can identify those with the
potential to take us into the brave new world that is foretold to follow
The 30th JORVIK Viking Festival runs from 15 to 23
February 2014 at a number of locations around the city, including
Parliament Street, Coppergate and St Helen’s Church. Visitors will even
be able to dine like Viking Jarl’s in a very special night of music
entertainment and feasting to mark the impending apocalypse to be held
in the stunning setting of York Minster and the adjoining historical St
William’s College on Friday 21 February.
More information about all the events in the 2014 JORVIK Viking
Festival, including details of where to buy tickets, is now available
online at www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk.
There will also be dedicated social media feeds from @jorvikviking with the hashtag #ragnarok2014 and #JorvikVikingFest, including a daily countdown to the apocalypse, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JorvikVikingFestival
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We were discussing the above graphic last night in chat as we watched 'Viking Women.' Thanks, that's a great graphic, Wandering Star!
We really liked the Part 1 of the German documentary 'Viking Women', and it is very informative about Viking life, with lots of historic information from museums and digs. It also gives us a much less romanticized view of the treatment and status of women in Viking culture than we get out of the TV series.
They intersperse dramatic reenactments throughout, and Valter plays one of the key roles. It was done in German and dubbed in English, so be prepared for the reenactment scenes to look a bit off when it comes to speaking.
Still, it's a great series to watch if you want to deepen your knowledge of Viking life.
You need to purchase each episode for a minimal fee, $2.95 to rent each episode, $5.95 to buy each episode.
If you want more information about the series, you can check out our posts under Valter's forum:
They are also on Facebook and post regularly, it is in German.
We will watch episode 2 next week in live chat, on 10/16, 9 P.M. EDT
Oct 16 14 7:23 PM
As glaciers in Norway melted this summer, 390 artefacts dating back to over 6,000 years ago have emerged from the ice. This includes a 1,300 year old ski, a rune stick and ancient arrows.
The medieval ski was discovered in Reinheimen National Park – almost complete, it measures 172 cm long and 14.5 cm wide and has a raised section in the middle of the ski with a hole where the binding has been attached. There are even remains of the leather straps that were used to attachment the ski to the heel of a shoe. Archaeologist and project manager Espen Finstad noted that this was a rare find, as only about 20 pre-modern skis have been discovered in Norway, and that only one other example of a medieval ski that includes bindings exists, which was found in Finland.
Meanwhile, a rune stick was discovered in Breheimen National Park. It is also very unusual to find such an object at an altitude so high of (1900 meters above sea level), as they are usually found in towns along the coast. The stick has been carbon-dated to be about 1,000 years old, and while runologists have tried to interpret what it says, they still have not come to an answer.
The oldest items discovered from the retreating glaciers are eight wooden arrow shafts. One dates back to 6000 years ago, while the others are between 3,000 and 4,200 years old. Other artefacts collected in 2014 inlcude two great knives with iron blades and wooden handles, shoes, textiles, the skull of a horse and other bones.
These discoveries were made in the central Norwegian county of Oppland, which is home to some of the most mountainous terrain in the country. In previous year the melting ice has revealed a mitten from the Viking era, remnants of pack horses from Iron Age and the Middle Ages, and a 3,300 year old bow.
Oct 24 14 3:36 PM
Maine author James L. Nelson returns to the Maine Irish Heritage Center this Sunday, Oct. 26, with "Dubh-linn," the second book in his trilogy "The Norsemen Saga."
Nelson's talk will focus on how the Vikings became integrated into Irish society and the significant influence the Norsemen had on Irish art, culture, and trade. It begins at 2 p.m.
Dubh-linn is the Gaelic place name that means "Black Pool" and is the origins of modern-day Dublin. "Dubh gall" was the word the Irish used for the Danes, and they called the Norwegians "Fin gall," which means "White Strangers" in Irish Gaelic, and is the name of Nelson's first book in this series. Nelson is looking forward to continuing a discussion be began a year ago, about the Norse invasion of Ireland and how they spread out, started plundering, and then began settling there.
"On Sunday, I'll talk more about how Viking and Irish societies melded," said Nelson, a Harpswell resident of Norse ancestry who used to sail professionally on traditional ships.He will discuss "loan words, where one language adopts the words of another," and offered the example of Wicklow, the county town of County Wicklow in Ireland. The word comes from the Old Norse word "Vikinglo" or "Vik-lo," which means "Viking meadow," and the Irish phrase "Cill Mhantáin," which means "church of the toothless one." (Nelson is working on the third book in "The Norsemen Saga" and plans to call it "Vik-Lo." For this next book, he has been reading a lot about Irish leather boats called "curraghs.")
On Sunday, he will also address other Scandinavian influences on the Emerald Isle, including the exchanges that took place in artwork.
"The Celtic knot design and the elaborate interwoven characters were originally a Norse style adopted by the Irish, and it became a style shared by both cultures," he said. "Irish maritime history was also influenced by the Vikings. The Irish now have a reputation for being great seafarers, but they didn't go to sea that much before the Viking arrival, so most words used in boatbuilding are Scandinavian loan words."
Until recently, Nelson had been the education coordinator at the Maine Maritime Museum, but is now back to writing full-time. He has written 18 books, 13 of them fiction. Whether he's creating an imagined realm of Vikings in Ireland or pirates in Colonial America, or chronicling the history of battling ironclad ships, Nelson said "the overarching theme has always been maritime history. I love the American Revolutionary period the most, and most of my writing is focused on that."
His earlier work making up stories and developing characters helped to inform his later historical writing.
"It was an advantage for me to begin my writing career by writing fiction," he said. "You develop certain story-telling techniques that can be applied to non-fiction."
Nelson is most pleased when a reader of his non-fiction tells him it reads like a novel. Although his published work tends toward longer narratives, both real and imagined, the author does dip into the shorter form at least once a year.
"I usually write a sonnet for my wife, Lisa, on Valentine's Day," he said. "I give it to her with the understanding that she not show it to anyone."
They have been married for 21 years, and he has written almost as many sonnets for her, but in busy years, he said he's resorted to limericks.
Event Details:The Vikings in Ireland: A Meeting and Meldingwith author James L. NelsonSunday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.Maine Irish Heritage CenterCorner of State and Gray streets, PortlandAdmission $5/Free for MIHC membersFor more information, visit www.maineirish.com or call 780-0118
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