Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Swedish Archaeologists Uncover Brutal 5-th Century Massacre

By Aliyah Kovner
26 Apr 2018, 12:26

Excavations from an Iron Age fort in modern-day Sweden revealed brutalized human remains and other macabre traces of a massacre that stopped a small Scandinavian community in its tracks some 1,500 years ago.

Six years after the archaeological investigations began, the team has published a report of their findings in the journal Antiquity. Although only 6 percent of the site has been unearthed and analyzed, the evidence gathered thus far paints an unprecedently vivid picture of life – and death – in late 5th-century Europe, a turbulent period following the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Located on the island of Öland off the coast of southeast Sweden, the Sandby Borg ringfort resembled a large oval-shaped mound of grass and dirt encircled by crumbling stone before the archaeologists arrived. Hoping to preserve the contents of the site from recently spotted treasure hunters, the team slowly but surely revealed that the unassuming ruins belonged to a 5,000-square-meter (54,000-square-foot) village, containing 53 dwellings, enclosed by stone walls that once stood 4-5 meters (13-16 feet) high.

Within the first few years of the dig, a wealth of luxury items – including gilded brooches, fine glass beads, and imported ornaments – were indeed found at Sandby Borg, as were remnants of abundant food stores; proving that the residents were prosperous and thriving.

Objects found in one of the Sandby Borg homes. Alfsdotter et al./Antiquity, 2018

That is, until an unknown group of attackers descended upon the once-idyllic village, killing some, if not all, of the residents in their homes and on the streets, leaving the bodies to decompose where they lay.

As of now, remains from 26 children and adults have been found inside four houses and near the town center. Many of the remains bear signs of trauma inflicted by blows to the back and sides of the body and head – implying that the victims were caught by surprise and/or unable to fight back.

The skeletal remains of two individuals inside house 40. The remains of the young teenager are stretched out, with the feet on top of the pelvis of an adult man, suggesting that the teenager fell backward over the dead or dying adult. The adolescent (12-15 years old) displays perimortem blunt force trauma on the skull. Alfsdotter et al./Antiquity, 2018

The indiscriminate nature of the siege is further demonstrated by scattered bones from a 2 to 5-year-old child, a 1.5 to 3-month-old infant, and the remains of sheep, dogs, and a horse. It is possible that these victims died not from violence, but rather starvation or neglect soon afterward. Either way, the archaeological record confirms that no one came back for them.

Without written accounts of the event, it’s impossible to know the motivation behind this swift act of brutality. Yet due to the staggering number of valuable goods left behind, the authors conclude that the massacre was not simply "an act of outright plunder”, and is more likely to have been the result of political tensions.

The fact that these commodities were not recovered by other locals after the armed force left, along with the fact that the well-built locale was not resettled, indicates to the team that this event made a lasting impact in the cultural memory of the area.

“I do find it most likely that the event was remembered and that it triggered strong taboos connected to the site, possibly brought on through oral history for centuries,” author Ludwig Papmehl-Dufay told The Guardian.

Viking Expert Is Certain Norse Seafarers Visited Miramichi, Chaleur Bay

CBC News, New Brunswick

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Haggis Originally Brought To Scotland By Vikings, An Award Winning Scottish Butcher Argues

Iceland Magazine

Good God! 

If Vikings were eating this stuff they were even tougher than we suspected after 30 years of reading every scrap of the original Sagas, Shorter Tales, and Fragments of Old Poems we could get our hands on!

Icelandic “Slátur” A Scottish butcher argues the Scottish national dish, Haggis, was originally brought to Scotland by Vikings, making it a descendant of the Viking delicacy still eaten in Iceland, slátur. Photo/Arnþór Birkisson.

A Scottish butcher who has spent the past few years researching Haggis recipes argues it dates back to the Viking invaders of the British Isles the UK newspaper The Telegraph reports. The paper argues the research of award-winning Scottish butcher Joe Callaghan, who has spent the last three years studying haggis shows “Scotland’s national dish is an ‘imposter’… invented by Vikings”. Callaghan also argues the original Scottish ingredient is deer, not sheep.

The "natonal dish of Scotand", invented by Vikings
Haggis is a dish very similar to the Icelandic delicacy slátur: A sausage made by stuffing a sheep's stomach with diced innards of sheep, liver as well as lungs and heart, mixed with a oatmeal, onion, pieces of sheep suet (solid white fat) as well as seasoning. Haggis is considered the “national dish” of Scotland, occupying an important place in Scottish culture and national identity.

Read more: Food of the Vikings: How to make authentic Icelandic delicacy Slátur (Slaughter)

The origins of Haggis are not definitely known, but many scots have assumed it must be of Scottish origin. The oldest known recipe of Haggis dates to around 1430, a cookbook published in Lancashire, Liber Cure Cocorum, which mentions “hagws of a schepe”. But the inhabitants of Lancashire, and of course Scotland, originally learned to cook Haggis from the Vikings who invaded, conquered and colonized large parts of the British isles in the 9th and 10th centuries.

Haggis simply means minced meat
The Telegraph points out several noted food writers and chefs have argued haggis is most likely Norse in origin. Among the proof is the argument that the word haggis actually comes from the Old Norse word haggw, which means to hack into pieces. The modern Icelandic noun hakk, which means something which has been minced (used for minced meat, for example), and the verb "höggva" are derived from the same root.

Read more: The Vikings left their mark on the European map: Here is our guide to help you find them

“Scotland’s national dish, as it is widely known, is an imposter. The real national dish is staggis, and always has been,” The Telegraph quotes Callaghan, who has developed a deer-based haggis recipe he calls “staggis”: “Deer is an indigenous species in Scotland,” he said. “The Vikings brought haggis to Scotland, we are sure of this. My recipe is based on the original Viking recipe, made with venison plucks, which I have tweaked a bit so it’s unique to me."

Scotland's National Dish Is An Imposter And Was Invented By Vikings, Claims Master Butcher

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Thinking About Buying A Sword?

You get what you pay for.

Here's Albion, the people who make these swords.

If you spend the money, handle them with care, these swords are not a "sword like object". 

They're for real.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Viking Fort Reveals Secrets of Danish King's Elaborate Military Network

Live Science
By |

The discovery of a Viking-age fortress in Denmark has shed new light on a network of military sites built by the 10th-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth, according to archaeologists.

Bluetooth — for whom the eponymous digital network technology is named — is credited with building several large, circular fortresses, or "ring forts," around Denmark in the 970s and 980s, as he unified the unruly Viking clans of the region into a centralized kingdom.

Until a few years ago, the sites of four such ring forts were known, and in the decades since they were found, debate has raged among Danish historians about these structures' purpose. [See More Photos of the Viking-Age Fortress in Denmark]

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