Thursday, March 28, 2024

Why Berserkers Were Some Of History’s Most Feared Warriors

Viking berserkers existed as mercenaries for hundreds of years during the Scandinavian Middle Ages, traveling in bands to fight wherever they could get paid. But they also worshiped Odin and were associated with mythological shapeshifters.

And eventually, Norse berserkers became so fearsome that they were entirely outlawed by the 11th century.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

10 Discoveries from Sutton Hoo’s Anglo-Saxon Ship Burial

Edith Pretty, one of England’s first female magistrates, owned a huge estate in south-east Suffolk known as Sutton Hoo. Pretty had been aware for some time that there was something intriguing about her Suffolk estate. Round mounds of earth loomed across it and in 1937, she decided the time had come to learn something about them. She contacted the Ipswich Museum, hoping to find a professional to excavate the mounds. The museum sent amateur archaeologist Basil Brown to Mrs. Pretty’s estate. Shortly thereafter, Brown began excavating, eventually uncovering the Anglo-Saxon world of Sutton Hoo.

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Intriguing Skull Modifications Discovered in Viking Women

A recent study delves into the discovery of three women from Viking-Age Gotland who underwent skull elongation. This investigation sheds light on the fascinating tradition of body modification prevalent among the Norse and Vikings.

The study, authored by Matthias Toplak and Lukas Kerk and published in the journal Current Swedish Archaeology, investigates archaeological findings from Gotland, where half of all documented cases of male teeth filing have been discovered. Alongside the intriguing possibility of Viking tattoos, these practices represent the known forms of body modification taking place in early medieval Scandinavia.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Dark Age Kings of Britain Confirmed by Archaeology

Early Dark Age Britain is notorious for being poorly recorded. Most of our information about the era comes from much later records, written centuries after the events they allegedly describe. There is endless debate from scholars, based on the literary evidence, surrounding the historicity of the kings of Britain of this era. However, there are a few cases where we do not need to rely on the later medieval records to know whether a given king really existed or not. There are about 200 stone inscriptions from Dark Age Britain. These inscriptions provide us with contemporary or near-contemporary insights into the kings of Britain at that time.

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Monday, March 04, 2024

Magnet fisherman pulls a 1,200-year-old Viking sword out of a river

Trevor Penny found a Viking sword while magnet fishing in Oxfordshire
(Picture: Trevor Penny/Triangle News)

A magnet fisherman was shocked to learn a rusty sword he had pulled from a river was a 1,200-year-old Viking weapon.

Trevor Penny was using a powerful magnet to look for metal objects in the River Cherwell near Enslow in Oxfordshire when he made the fascinating find.

Excited, he notified his local finds liaison officer and gave the sword to experts to verify.

They have now dated the weapon to around 850 AD and say it would have once belonged to a Viking.

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