Scandanavian

Climate changed "big man" society in Viking Iceland

The change of climate to colder temperatures in 11th century Iceland may have put an end to traditional Viking feasting of beef and beer, say authors Davide Zori and Jesse Byock in a new book Viking Archaeology in Iceland: Mosfell Archaelogical Project. (photo of glass beads)

Shetland's Up Helly Aa never fails to please

Winter in Scotland's Shetland Islands can be cold and bleak, but you would never know when the annual Up Helly Aa fire festival lights up the night. (photos)

Danish Chef hopes to revive Viking cuisine

Jesper Lynge, a chef in Aalborg, Denmark, has a passion for Viking cooking, including sauerkraut, and "a sweet and sour supper, combining savoury game meat such as venison with sauces made from foraged berries."

Rude runes in Norway

Medieval people were not as different as their modern versions when it comes to rude language and  graffiti, a fact discovered by a team of archaeologists in Oslo, Norway who came across three double entendre characters carved in runes on a piece of wood denoting either the first letters in the ruinic alphbet or Fuþ, the Old Norse word for the female genitalia. (photo)

Doctoral thesis changes history of Swedish glass

Archaeologist Anna Ihr's doctoral dissertation, Becoming Vitrified, shows that the glass industry in Sweden is much older than previously believed, as early as the 13th century. The thesis describes how different vitrified, or glassy, materials can be interpreted and analysed.

Archaeologists complete geological survey near grave of medieval warrior

In 2013, archaeologists in Janakkala, Finland were thrilled by the discovery of the grave of a medieval warrior in what might be an ancient burial ground or even a settlement. The discovery has sparked enough interest to support more excavations, depending on the results of a recent survey.

Viking ring fortress might have launched English invasion

Danish Archaeologists, thrilled by the discovery of a Viking ring fortress on the island of Zealand, are considering the possibility that the site might have been used as a training camp to launch an invasion of England. (photo)

Viking history as told by the victims

Just how bad were the Vikings? Historians have debated the issue for decades. In a feature article for National Geographic by Christopher Shea, Yale history professor Anders Winroth, author of The Age of the Vikings, argues that contemporary accounts were exaggerated, and the writers often contradicted themselves.

Tools help identify Viking blacksmith grave

Leif Arne Norberg, of Sogndalsdalen, Norway, certainly didn't expect to find treasure when he moved some stone slabs in his garden revealing what is believed to be the grave of a Viking blacksmith. (photo)

Novelist finds human remains in IKEA bags

Perhaps Swedish erotic novelist Kicki Karlén briefly considered changing her genre to mystery when she discovered the remains of 80 people, dating to the 16th century, stashed in large IKEA bags in a chapel in Kläckeberga in southern Sweden.

Vikings! At a theater near you October 7, 2014!

On Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 7:00 pm, the British Museum and More2Screen will present an exclusive private view of the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend at select cinemas around the world. Tickets and locations are available online.

Mars reveals its secrets

In 1564, the Swedish warship Mars went up in flames, taking "800 to 900 Swedish and German sailors and a fortune in gold and silver coins to the bottom of the Baltic Sea." Jane J. Lee offers a feature on the "cursed" ship for National Geographic online. (photos)

Runed Thor's Hammer found in Denmark

Archaeologists from the National Museum of Denmark have declared a small torshammere (Thor’s Hammer Amulet) found recently on the Danish Island of Lolland, the only such amulet with a runic inscription. (photos)

Dragon Harald Fairhair completes British voyage

It is the largest reconstruction of a Viking ship ever built and it is touring the UK - peacefully. Named after a 9th Century Norwegian king, the Dragon Harald Fairhair wound up its two-week voyage in Wallasey, at the mouth of the River Mersey, where Vikings once sailed. (photos)

Viking amulet features detailed dress

Experts in Denmark are intrigued by the recent discovery of a Viking Age amulet/figurine by a metal detectorist in a field near Revninge. The small silver figurine, possibly representing Freya the goddess of fertility, wears a marvelously-detailed Viking dress. (photo)

Vikings return to Australia

A horde of medieval Vikings descended on Lismore, New South Wales recently  when members of the Rognvald's Lith joined with the Lismore Medieval Re-enactment Society to celebrate the Winter Solstice. Leah White of the Northern Star has the story.(photo)

Remains of King Erik the Holy to be studied

A team of scientists from Uppsala University in Sweden will be studying the remains of King Erik the Holy, a medieval Swedish king later canonized as Saint Erik. Researchers hope to discover more about the 12th century monarch including how he lived and his origins. (photo)

Norse Power: Smells like... carnage!

Re-enactors who want that authentic Viking smell should get themselves a can of Norse Power Deodorant For Men. Developed by scientists for Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre, the deodorant claims to "help recreate what a Viking probably smelled like."

And it even worked after dark!

In another argument against the barbarism of the Vikings, researchers have discovered that a small compass could have worked with other tools, such as a pair of crystals and a flat, wooden slab, to navigate when the sun was low in the sky or even below the horizon.

Slave trade in Eastern Europe chronicled

In a 2014 journal article for Russian History, The Baltic Finnic People in the Medieval and Pre-Modern Eastern European Slave Trade, author Jukka Korpela looks at the routes of the slave trade in Eastern Europe. Jukka is affiliated with the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland.

Master Ark's Jewellery

Master Ark has been creating authentic Medieval jewelry for over 25 years. His cloak clasps, pennanular brooches, fibulas, Thor's hammers, brooches, and pendants are worn throughout the Known World.

You can now keep current with what Master Ark is doing by following his Facebook page.

Vikings invade British Museum

Not since the 11th century have Vikings made such a big splash in England as with the opening of the new BP-sponsored exhibition at the British Museum in London, Vikings: life and legend. The exhibit opened march 6, 2014 and will close June 22. (photos)

Viking mass grave findings generate book and museum exhibition

In 2009, a Dorset County, England road project uncovered the remains of 50 decapitated skeletons, later identified as Viking. Now the mass grave is the subject of a book, Given to the Ground: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill by members of the team that subsequently studied the remains. (photos)

Vikings gather for Ragnarok

How did you spend Ragnarok? If you are British, you might have celebrated at the JORVIK Viking Festival where warriors fought the Norse gods in an epic battle. Festival director Danielle Daglan spoke with NPR's All Thing's Considered about the event. (podcast)

Christians in Denmark by 9th century

New studies of the Domskirke in Ribe, Denmark show that Christians may have lived in the area 100 years before Denmark officially became a Christian country. Excavations at the site have unearthed over 70 Christian burials dating to the mid-to-late 9th century.

Barony of Whiterun event showcases Nordic theme

Just in time for spring, an upcoming event in the Barony of Whiterun will feature Nordic-themed combat, arts and sciences, merchants, and especially archery.

Yorkshire Museum covets Bedale Hoard

In 2012, a "nationally significant" Viking hoard, including a gold sword pommel and silver neck ring, was discovered in Bedale, North Yorkshire. Now the Yorkshire Museum hopes to buy the collection which is valued at UK£51,636.

A violent end for the Finnish swordsman

In November 2013, archaeologists working near Hyvikkälä, Finland discovered the grave of an unknown swordsman dating to the Middle Ages. Recent tests showed that the well-fed, fit individual died a violent death from skull injuries.

Grog recipe shows "innovative flair for using available natural products"

It might seem that archaeologists and brewers make strange bedfellows, but such a combination was ideal recently when experts unearthed a Roman wine strainer containing remnants of grog buried in a grave in Denmark.

Govan stone: Viking treasures in Scotland

The Scottish town of Govan, near Glascow, has long been known for its shipbuilding, but lying in a churchyard are some of its lesser-known masterpieces: a collection of 31 recumbant stones carved with classic Viking patterns. The stones, including five massive "hogbacks," dating from the 9th century. (photos)