28 November 2020

Viking Shield Technology Revealed in New Breakthrough Study


An excerpt from an article in Ancient Origins that promises to increase our knowledge of Viking shield technology.

In the past when archaeologists opened a warrior’s grave, little remained of the shield but the iron boss. Now they have a bit more to postulate.

 For example, how do you feel about shield walls? Did the Vikings use them in combat? I don’t know either, but the author of the link furnishing the reader with a contemporary opinion on a 1000+-year old battle tactic doesn’t think so. Who knows? (Ed.)

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 14 OCTOBER, 2020 - 13:59 ASHLEY COWIE

Viking Shield Technology Revealed in New Breakthrough Study

 

How exactly the Vikings and their Iron Age ancestors made their war shields has always been a mystery, but a new study explains this in detail and shines light onto a traditionally shadowy aspect of ancient Nordic warcraft and weaponry.

Dissolving Myths: Vikings Did NOT Hide Behind Shield Walls

A Deadly Formula - Why Viking Weapons and Armor Were So Effective

Viking Re-enactor Nearly Kills Partner During Swordplay

Iron Age and Viking Age cultures in Northern Europe crafted shields from thin wooden boards that were reinforced with animal skins before battles. Until now these covers were only ever considered in aesthetic terms, but a new research project demonstrates how these shield covers “increased strength and enhanced structural integrity.”

 

A well-preserved fragment from the edge of a Viking Age shield was excavated from a grave in Birka (Sweden). The fragment consists of a wooden core which is reinforced with tanned sheep skin (leather) on both sides and an additional layer of tanned cattle skin (leather) around the edge. (Rolf Warming / Society for Combat Archaeology )

 




21 November 2020

Viking longhouse discovered on Iceland

 The following excerpt from an article posted by Ancient Origins tells us about the exciting discovery of a Viking longhouse on Iceland from clues passed down in the Norse sagas of the period. (Ed.)


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2 SEPTEMBER, 2020 - 13:59 ASHLEY COWIE

Viking longhouse discovered on Iceland

In 2013 archaeologists in Iceland came across an ash pile which led to excavations that began in 2017 at Arnarfjörður, near the church town Auðkúla in Iceland. The ash pile led to the discovery of a 10th century farming settlement and over the last three years the archaeologists have been unearthing the layers of evidence. Now, at the end of the 2020 excavation season, an entire earthen house and hut have been uncovered.

 The archaeological site at Arnarfjörður was identified in 2017 with the discovery of an ash pile. In the summer of 2020, archaeologists excavated the 10th century farming settlement. (Margrét Hallmundsdóttir / RUV)

Following the Clues in Ancient Sagas

Written in the first half of the 12th century, Landnámabók is the oldest ever written source to have been discovered detailing the early settlement of Iceland. This epic work of history presents a list of the first Icelandic inhabitants and their families, including 3,000 proper names and 1,400 place names. According to  Landnámabók, the earliest settler in Svínadalur was Eyvindur Audkúla, and around 1300 AD Kolbeinn Bjarnason Auðkýlingur became a Jarl (Earl). From these ancient entries archaeologists have slowly uncovered what they believe is the early 10th century settlement mentioned in the saga.

According to RUV, archaeologists in Iceland discovered an earth house in which they found a large furnace with cracked rocks. In an adjacent hut measuring 23 meters long, a traditional log fire was discovered. Back in 2019, the hut was found after a drill core study and further survey ditches were created this summer. According to Dr. Margrét Hallmundsdóttir, the archaeologist leading the study, the hut is "very large, and the floor is at least seventeen meters long.” Not only is another hut believed to be located nearby, but an iron workshop, a cowshed and three further houses are expected to be located within dig site that they were all connected with iron mining over 1000 years ago.

Read more...


11 November 2020

Largest ever study of Viking genetics

 An excerpt from Medievalists features their report on a paper submitted by a group of archaeologists in Denmark, on the Viking genome. 

I think you will find the article thought provoking and interesting. (Ed.)

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Largest ever study of Viking genetics

The largest genetic study of the Vikings ever done has just been published, and offers surprising discoveries about the medieval warriors, including that they may not be quite as Nordic as hitherto believed.

The researchers, led by scholars from the Univerisity of Copenhagen, have sequenced the genome of 442 bone fragments from the Viking Age, from throughout Europe and Greenland. They were found from archaeological sites dating between the Bronze Age to the about year 1600, and their data was compared to modern-day individuals. The results were reported in the journal Nature.


“The Vikings had a lot more genes from Southern and Eastern Europe than we anticipated.” explains Eske Willerslev, Professor at Lundbeck Foundation Center for Geogenetics at the GLOBE Institute at the University of Copenhage. “They frequently had children with people from other parts of the world. In fact, they also tend to be dark-haired rather than blond, which is otherwise consider an established Viking-trait,” n, Eske Willerslev, explains.

The new study also reveals that generally Vikings were a lot more genetically diverse than the peasant societies on the Scandinavian mainland. “The Vikings lived in coastal areas, and genetically speaking, they were an entirely different people to the peasant societies living further inland,” adds co-author Ashot Margaryan. “The mainland inhabitants had a lot less in common with the Vikings than the peasants who lived in Europe thousands of years ago. You could almost say that genetically speaking, the peasants missed out on the entire Iron and Bronze Age.”

13 October 2020

Viking Temple to Thor and Odin Unearthed In Norway

News from Ancient Origins on the discovery of a Norse temple to the gods at a farm in western Norway where several other exciting discoveries have been made by archaeologists.. (Ed.)

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8 OCTOBER, 2020 - 20:55 ED WHELAN

Viking Temple to Thor and Odin Unearthed In Norway

The Viking Age has fascinated people for generations and now we have a newly discovered ancient Viking temple that has finally shed some new light on Norse religion . Believe it or not, there is a lot we don’t know about these fearsome warriors and daring explorers. For example, scholars know relatively little about specific Viking religious practices. For this reason, the discovery of this ancient Viking temple in Norway, dedicated to the Norse Gods, is an exceptionally important discovery.

An Early Viking Settlement And A Rare Ancient Viking Temple

Recently, a group of archaeologists, from the University Museum of Bergen, have been excavating a massive site on the Ose farm near Ørsta, in western Norway. Their work is part of a recovery project before the construction of a massive new housing project in the area. The experts believe that the site was an early Viking era settlement that dates to 1200 years ago, based on the remains of longhouses found there. Traces of an even earlier agricultural settlement were also found.




The site of the newly discovered rare ancient Viking temple found in Norway with an imagined reconstruction of the actual building. ( University Museum of Bergen )

However, the most exciting discovery made at the site was that of a pagan temple . Evidence of Viking religion and especially places of worship are scarce in Scandinavia. Typically, evidence of religious worship before the coming of Christianity consists of artifacts. Life in Norway reports that “Now for the first time, firm traces of a house of worship have been found in Norway.”

Read more...



28 September 2020

The Little Ice Age and Its Giant Impact on Human History

This Ancient Origins excerpt is from an article about what science refers to as the Maunder Minimum, a normal cycle of extreme weather that has happened before and will happen again.

The Medieval Warm Period preceded the Maunder Minimum, or Little Ice Age and the considerably warmer conditions during that warming period gave the Viking Age its impetus, allowing them to sally forth from their previously ice locked fjords much sooner each year on raiding and trading voyages. 

It is thought by some that the Little Ice Age would have ended the 400+-years of the Viking Age in what is now northern Europe as the area became gripped by the extreme cold. 

Currently we are not even halfway in the 500-year weather cycle that followed the featured event. Nobody reading this will live to see what happens to the Earth towards the end of this cycle, a period of gradual planetary warming.

The sun is in control, not we humans, and those alive toward the end of the current cycle will see much warmer planetary conditions, naturally caused by the sun and/or massive volcanic eruptions. (Ed.)

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The Little Ice Age and Its Giant Impact on Human History
25 SEPTEMBER, 2020 - 18:05 B. B. WAGNER

The Little Ice Age is a period tentatively defined as running from the 13 th/14th to the 19 th century in which the northern hemisphere of Earth endured a limited but substantial cooling period. Now please be forewarned, the Little Ice Age (LIA) should not be confused with the Medieval Warm Period, or the Last Glacial Period , since it carries its own unique events that may have changed the course of history for many human cultures around the globe.

Unlike the previous ice ages and warm periods, which caused havoc to the environment and forced humanity to change its survival methods, the Little Ice Age had varying effects. Some regions of the world were severely affected, leading to war, famine, disease, and even abandonment. While other areas became plentiful and prosperous, both benefiting and lending favorable conditions to strengthen various human civilizations. Though there is no conclusive evidence to explain why this phenomenon happened, there is a working hypothesis to what may have caused it.

The primary culprit may have been the 1257 Mount Salamas eruption, which took place in Lombok, Indonesia. After this one single event, countries around the world were affected in different ways. It appears that the eruption shaped culture and technology for the societies that experienced it. And perhaps, these changes had a significant impact on these cultures and countries themselves.

22 September 2020

 The medieval Vikings may not be exactly what we have always thought they were. (Ed.)

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DNA Study Investigates Viking Identities

Friday, September 18, 2020

Västergötlands Museum)


COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—Science Magazine reports that a team of researchers led by Eske Willerslev of the University of Cambridge and the University of Copenhagen sequenced the genomes of people who lived in Scandinavia during the Viking Age, and the genomes of people who had been buried elsewhere in Europe, including Italy, Ukraine, and Greenland, in the Viking style or with Viking grave goods, from about A.D. 750 to 1050. The study suggests that Scandinavians were more likely to have black hair than those who live in the region today, and they rarely mixed with each other. “We can separate a Norwegian person from a Swedish person from a Danish person,” explained Søren Sindbæk of Aarhus University. The researchers also found that Vikings from Norway tended to travel to Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland; Vikings from Sweden traveled to the Baltics, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine; and Vikings from Denmark headed to England. Several remains in Norway buried in the Viking style were found to have been indigenous Saami people, and no Scandinavian DNA was detected in the genomes of people buried in Viking-style graves on the Orkney Islands. But, some Vikings buried in Scandinavia had Irish and Scottish parents. “These identities aren’t genetic or ethnic, they’re social,” commented archaeologist Cat Jarman of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. To read about investigations into the origins of the residents of a major Viking town in Sweden, go to "Land of the Ice and Snow."

IN THE CURRENT ISSUE

30 August 2020

Archaeology Student Finds Viking Trading Post in Norway

It has been a dry spell insofar as posts to this blog are concerned, but here's an excerpt from an article in Smithsonian Magazine to give you something to obsess about other than the worldwide CCP-19 (Chinese Communist Party)virus scam. (Ed.)

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Archaeology Student Finds Viking Trading Post in Norway

Artifacts unearthed at the site include jewelry, coins and pieces of silver

 

Artifacts found at the site include jewelry from Asia (left) and an inscribed weight possibly imported from Ireland. (Julie Holme Damman / Arctic University Museum of Norway / Tor-Ketil Krokmyrdal)

By Alex Fox

SMITHSONIANMAG.COM
JULY 24, 2020

 A graduate archaeology student has discovered a previously unknown Viking trading post in northern Norway, report Torgeir Skeie and Laila Lanes for Norwegian broadcast network NRK.

 As detailed in his newly published master’s thesis, Tor-Ketil Krokmyrdal of the University of Tromsø—the Arctic University of Norway used a metal detector to locate objects dated back to the Viking Age at the Sandtorg farm in Tjelsund, located between Harstad and Narvik.

Sandtorg farm in Tjelsund

Per David Nikel of Forbes, the artifacts include jewelry, coins and pieces of silver used as currency, as well as objects likely imported from the British Isles, Finland and mainland Europe.

Read more…