Scandanavian

Ancient gold figurine found in Danish field

A gold figurine of a bound, nude woman has been found in a farm field in Bornholm, Denmark. This is the fifth gold figurine found near each other in the same field. The woman dates to the 6th century CE.

Bored Viking Carved Outline of His Foot on Ship Deck

Two foot outlines, a right and a left, were recently noticed on removable deck planking on the Viking Gokstad Ship.

New Exhibitions Centre to host Viking ship at British Museum

The British Museum will introduce the world to its new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre with its premiere exhibit focusing on Vikings, and will include the largest known Viking ship. In addition to exhibit space, the UK£135 million project, scheduled to open in March 2014, will provide research, testing, conservation and storage space. (photo)

Mathematics solves mystery of Viking craftsmanship

Historians and craftsmen have long pondered the absolute regularity of Viking jewelry made from twisted rods of gold and silver, but a new theory by Kasper Olsen and Jakob Bohr at the Technical University of Denmark may have solved the puzzle: mathematics.

Drink like a Nord!

Those interested in Nordic culture, especially when it comes to brewing, may want to take a look at a scholarly article by Christie L. Ward entitled Norse Drinking Traditions, delivered to the Alexandrian Company Symposium on Food and Festival in the Middle Ages. The paper is available to read or download on Scribd, the digital book and document website.

The case for the "blood eagle"

While the image of the Vikings has been rehabilitated in the past few years, showing them as peaceful farmers and artisans, some evidence of cruel and bloodthirsty behavior does exist. In Smithsonian's blog Past Imperfect, Mike Dash looks at the more brutal side of the Norsemen, and the fact of torture such as the "blood eagle."

Did "Solarsteinn" lead Vikings west?

Experts have long speculated that a Norse Solarsteinn, or sunstone, was used to help Viking mariners find their way west through cloudy weather, and the discovery of such an artifact on a sunken, 16th century English warship may prove it.

Suds or suds?

Archaeologists have long known that Vikings loved their ale, but, according to Merryn and Graham Dineley, the experts have seldom considered just where the ale was brewed. Now, a new study speculates that stone structures in Britain, once believed to be bathhouses, might actually have been brewhouses.

17th-Century Swedish Warships Uncovered

Low water in Stockholm's harbor reveals the outline of two sunken warships believed to be from the 17th century.

No horns on their helmets

Everyone knows that the Vikings were dirty louts in helmets with horns -- at least that is what Danish Facebook readers thought in a recent survey by ScienceNordic’s Danish partner site, videnskab.dk. ScienceNordic debunks the myths about Viking appearance on a webpage entitled What Vikings really looked like.

Thawing Glacier Reveals Pre-Viking Tunic

A greenish-brown wool tunic was uncovered when a glacier in south Norway began retreating.

Viking valkyrie to be showcased in Denmark, Britain

In December 2012, metal detector enthusiast Morten Skovsby got lucky near the village of Hårby, Denmark.  His detector hit on a thumb-sized silver figurine depicting a Valkyrie, the only known 3D Viking representation of the battle maiden. (photos)

Call for papers on Viking Age Culture

The Annual IMR Postgraduate Conference at the University of Nottingham in England is calling for papers to be presented at its conference to be held July 5, 2013. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2013

"Vikings" comes to History Channel March 3, 2013

On March 3, 2013, Vikings will sail onto television screens in a "nine-part drama series from Michael Hirst, creator of The Tudors." The series will focus on the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok and his followers, complete with "dynamic displays of superherolike derring-do and physical stamina."

How To Forge A Helmet

How To Forge A Helmet is a step-by-step guide for making your own Viking-Age Spangenhelm.  It is a Kindle Book on Amazon, written by Armourer Joe Piela aka Gijchar of The Lonely Mountain Forge.  Approximately 24 pages long, this book is illustrated with 19 photos, including 1 of the pattern used to make the helmet.

The power of cheese

Travelers in northern Norway were inconvenienced recently when a truckload of burning cheese closed the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord. The fire continued for five days, releasing toxic gases, and making clearing the tunnel hazardous.

A new look at Viking women

“To assume that Viking men were ranked above women is to impose modern values on the past, which would be misleading,” cautions Marianne Moen one of the organizers of the Viking Worlds Conference, to be held in March 2013.

Medieval Icelandic textile paper presented online

Those interested in Icelandic and Scandanavian textiles will want to watch a video featuring archaeologist and textile expert Michele Hayeur Smith presenting at the Anthropology Distinguished Lecture at Bridgewater State University.

Viking troop transport to go on display at the British Museum

The Roskilde 6, the largest Viking long ship ever found, is traveling to England, not to loot and pillage, but to educate, 1,000 years after it carried troops for King Canute of Denmark. The warship wil be displayed by the British Museum in 2014.

Cold weather not reason for Viking abandonment of Greenland

A recent study by a team of Danish-Canadian scientists rules out cold weather as the reason that the Vikings abandoned their settlements in Greenland in the 15th century. When cold destroyed crops, say the experts, the settlers just changed their diets to seal meat.

The last Viking battle: "A war just waiting to happen"

In the 13th century, Scotland was divided between the Scots on the mainland and the Vikings of the western islands. The struggle that followed brought an end to Viking rule in the country. A  new BBC Two program looks at The Last Battle of the Vikings.

Inability to adapt not the cause of demise of the Vikings

One of the theories about the demise of Viking settlers on Greenland was that the Norse were unable to adapt to the island's harsh climate, but Danish and Canadian researchers believe that was not the cause.

Norse myth courtesy of Snorri Sturluson

Much of the Norse mythology we recognize today comes courtesy of the writing of 13th century Icelandic chieftain Snorri Sturluson. Nancy Marie Brown takes a look at Snorri on her blog God of Wednesday.

Should Viking loot be returned?

Scandinavian museums proudly display artifacts plundered throughout Europe by the Vikings, but now some museum curators ask if these stolen treasures should be returned to their original countries.

Norwegian copper smelter "surprisingly sophisticated"

On an island in a small river in Norway's Nord-Trøndelag County, archaeologists have discovered a 14th-century copper smeltery. “This is the first evidence that copper was produced from copper ore in Norway during the Middle Ages,” says Associate Professor Lars F. Stenvik, at the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim.

Viking "slash and hack"

Unlike Hollywood's version of sword fighting, based on fencing, the true Viking fighting style was close in and vigorous. In a short video posted on the Discovery website, a father and son team of professional fight choreographers shows how it was really done.

Viking outpost on Baffin Island?

At a conference in October 2012, archaeologist Patricia Sutherland announced that new evidence has been found of a Viking outpost on Canada's Baffin Island.

Viking roleplaying game to be released

Game creator Gregor Vuga reports that he is developing a roleplaying game focusing on the lives of Icelandic settlers in the 10th century CE. Sagas of the Icelanders is an independent endeavor funded by private contributions. A short video explains the project.

Psychological profiling by the Vikings

Dr Tarrin Wills, from the Centre for Scandinavian Studies, believes that Vikings used their understanding of human psychology to "profile" possible trouble-makers. He recently presented his research at the British Science Festival.

NOVA looks at history of Viking weapons

A recent program in the PBS NOVA series explores Secrets of the Viking Sword. The 53-minute program is available to download and view from the NOVA website.