Thursday, November 20, 2008

Exploring the Viking Age in Demark

Right now I am preparing for an upcoming lecture for the Peterborough SCA group. This is to be held at Trail College on Wednesday November 26 at 8 PM.

The topic is an overview of my recent research trip to Denmark. I will be showing some of the artifact images I collected, and talking about the museums I visited.

So, I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone. As it turns out, the birds were a sparrow ( the lecture) and an emu (a new AV publication). I am sorting all my 400 plus images, adding commentaries from my notes and formating the whole pile into a reference I hope to have ready to sell in time for Yule. The contents will work via a large set of interlocked 'web pages' that will access through an standard web browser. As most of the images are the large format from my camera (mostly 5 MGP) the total content will have to go on to a DVD disk. This will also allow just the images to be viewed on a standard table top player and TV combination.

As a teaser, this is a short piece of one of the displays I saw at the Roskide Museum. The images here are just the thumbnails - you will have to wait for the publication to see the larger versions!

(This version was re-formated to fit the Blogger frame)

The display was a grave from Gerdup, dated to around 800 AD. The first thing that catches your attention is that one of the bodies has quite deliberately covered with several quite huge and heavy stones.A full body view of the left of the two bodies in the burial. It is shorter than the other, about 160 cm tall in life. The burial had been dug to fit this figure.Next you notice something odd about the right hand body. Obviously the skull has been crushed by an heavy blow.
The legs are splayed to fit the too short hole, and are crossed. The arms are in a strange position als well. The evidence is that this person had feet tied together and arms bound to the waist. As well, it turns out there are cut marks on the neck bones.There is a small knife laid under the left arm of the bound body. It has a single edged blade about 10 cm long, but is in extremely poor condition, worn down to a thin sliver of iron.Now on the other body is a similar sized blade, but this one in excellent condition. It is laid about in the correct location for being long thin single edge typical of Norse woman's knives.
Now the final twist is this long spear head, a type suitable for throwing for hunting. It is laid on the right side of the body under the stones.Now the piece of data not imeadiately appearent: the left hand body, under the stones, was female, the right hand, bound and murdered, was male.One conclusion being made about such unique burials is that they mark powerful women involved in Sie∂er, ritual magic. They are often found 'killed and held' by having their bodies secured by heavy stones.

1 comment:

STAG said...

Is Sie a er well documented?


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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