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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 8:40 am    Post subject: Viking Ship Burials         Reply with quote

They have just announced a second ship burial found at this site. Neither seems to have been disturbed prior to now. Lets hope the conditions where good for preservation of materials.

Ship burials Eyjafjörður fjord in North Iceland
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Sat 17 Jun, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Viking Ship Burials         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
They have just announced a second ship burial found at this site. Neither seems to have been disturbed prior to now. Lets hope the conditions where good for preservation of materials.

Wow, they are already reporting a third ship burial nearby! The archeologists must be thrilled... Apparently the first site is badly eroded, and half of the site is already lost, but the other two are less damaged. A sword has been recovered, but it's looking like it may be in terrible shape unfortunately.

http://icelandmag.visir.is/article/archaeolog...-n-iceland

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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jun, 2017 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: Viking Ship Burials         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Wow, they are already reporting a third ship burial nearby! The archeologists must be thrilled... Apparently the first site is badly eroded, and half of the site is already lost, but the other two are less damaged. A sword has been recovered, but it's looking like it may be in terrible shape unfortunately.


Such a shame so much seems to have been destroyed by erosion. Hopefully they can find some graves, that haven't been severely degraded!
If the bones and teeth are not to degraded it would be interesting to see possible relations with DNA (or at least strontium information) as this could be a family grave site of some standing considering the sword find.

So while they find weapons and shipburials in Iceland, in Denmark they have found the oldest toilet Laughing Out Loud (a bit less glamorous) from ~1000 AD.
A 2 meter deep hole filled with human excrement from the Strøby Toftegaard settlement in eastern Sjælland. It has a high level of flower pollen possibly from honey (most likely in the form of mead); but not other types of pollen showing that the hole had been covered after use(s) and/or as 2 postholes make possibly it was a small closed building. 
http://sciencenordic.com/1000-year-old-viking...ed-denmark
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an article about a warrior's grave found at the Hyksos capital in Egypt - 2nd Intermediate Period. It includes copper weapons, a dagger and a khopesh -

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/elisabeth.trinkl...12tell.htm
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Jul, 2017 1:15 pm    Post subject: Very nice sword         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
Here is an article about a warrior's grave found at the Hyksos capital in Egypt - 2nd Intermediate Period. It includes copper weapons, a dagger and a khopesh -

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/elisabeth.trinkl...12tell.htm


Do you know i this is a recent find or not? i tried to sort out the date but there seemed to be indications it was from the 90's but I was not sure.

Tried to follow the link and see if they had analyzed the sword but could not find anything.

Good find
Craig
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Glen A Cleeton




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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jul, 2017 7:54 pm    Post subject: Sword of Robert Gould Shaw Colonel Mass 54th Regiment         Reply with quote

154th anniversary of Shaw falling at the July 18, 1863 battle for Fort Wagner

His sword and some other artifacts were donated to the Massachusetts History Society and a display premiered today.

http://www.masshist.org/blog/1517

There has been some buzz this past week and the information finally released today.

Some more discussion and photos at this thread
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/mass-historical-society-acquires-sword-of-robert-gould-shaw.136757

The provenance pretty well detailed and the blog page answered all my questions, and removed any doubt.

Cheers

GC this is also the Battle of Shrewsbury week
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Carl W.




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PostPosted: Thu 17 Aug, 2017 9:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A bronze sword with ivory pommel found in Switzerland, & photo shows many rings (mail?).

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2017/08/bronze-age-tombs-unearthed-during-car.html#20XL668Th1RA4Txg.97
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 1:19 pm    Post subject: Not sure what rings are for         Reply with quote

Hi Carl

Thats a great find and the artifacts look in good condition. I don't think its mail. The rings are quite large and do not seem to be interlocked in anyway. One would need some more detail to really start accessing what their purpose was.

Craig
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 1:21 pm    Post subject: New info on older find         Reply with quote

This is some interesting info about a nordic warrior grave. The find is older but the DNA test is recent.

Gender of Viking Warrior

Best
Craig
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M. Livermore





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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The author of the Forbes article is a colleague of my wife. I don't know the researchers personally, but their strontium and DNA analysis is legit. Very interesting. Hopefully some of the markers from the strontium analysis will help narrow down her birth region. If nothing else, this should help break gender notions we appear to have erroneously attributed to the era.
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Sep, 2017 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Livermore wrote:
The author of the Forbes article is a colleague of my wife. I don't know the researchers personally, but their strontium and DNA analysis is legit. Very interesting. Hopefully some of the markers from the strontium analysis will help narrow down her birth region. If nothing else, this should help break gender notions we appear to have erroneously attributed to the era.


Totally agree. I would be very interesting to see where she is from and how that works into our perceptions of the period. It is enlightening to see how we adjust our images of past cultures that probably more often reflect our current views as opposed to those of the people of the period.
Craig
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2017 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Note that this is only one grave with a proven female with weapons. There have always been exceptional women throughout history who have taken up arms and fought. We need more plentiful evidence before we can say that women warriors were common in Scandinavia.
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Carl W.




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2017 9:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roman cavalry barracks found, article mentions 2 spatha (1 pictured)...

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/sep/09/hadrians-wall-lost-secrets-roman-vindolanda-unearthed
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 10 Sep, 2017 10:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Pretty neat! I'll be watching out for more news on that one, for sure. Not many complete Roman swords to be had. I bet the archaeologists were about to go NUTS. I would! Big Grin ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Craig Johnson
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Sep, 2017 6:25 pm    Post subject: Roman Find BBC         Reply with quote

Here are some more pics including toy sword. Ready set head to the garage Dads lets see the results :-)

BBC Hadrian's Wall Find
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: New info on older find         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
This is some interesting info about a nordic warrior grave. The find is older but the DNA test is recent.

Gender of Viking Warrior

It is interesting and I definitely think the analysis is worth doing, but after a bit more reading I am left feeling that the researchers and the media have glossed over a lot of ambiguity for the sake of an eye-catching headline. Potential problems in identifying a female warrior (or anyone else at Birka for that matter) include:

- excavations were done in the 19th century by locals, "supervised" by an archeologist who wasn't always present

- major inconsistencies between surviving material and "corresponding" documentation (eg. bones from a "cremation" aren't burned)

- multiple skeletons now associated with graves documented as having one individual

- multiple graves in some burial mounds were sometimes documented as a single grave

- the skull from grave 581 (the female warrior) has been lost, two different swords have been associated to it even though only one was originally documented

- a past researcher had already concluded that the grave included remains of a man and a woman
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: New info on older find         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:

It is interesting and I definitely think the analysis is worth doing, but after a bit more reading I am left feeling that the researchers and the media have glossed over a lot of ambiguity for the sake of an eye-catching headline. Potential problems in identifying a female warrior (or anyone else at Birka for that matter) include:

- excavations were done in the 19th century by locals, "supervised" by an archeologist who wasn't always present

- major inconsistencies between surviving material and "corresponding" documentation (eg. bones from a "cremation" aren't burned)

- multiple skeletons now associated with graves documented as having one individual

- multiple graves in some burial mounds were sometimes documented as a single grave

- the skull from grave 581 (the female warrior) has been lost, two different swords have been associated to it even though only one was originally documented

- a past researcher had already concluded that the grave included remains of a man and a woman


Hi Mark - being sceptic on the media reports it always in order!

Yet according to a lecture of Neil Price (link below 29.25 - 34.15 min) we are as certain as we can be that we have the right bones from grave bj581. This lecture is from 2015 and give info on the osteological data done at that time.
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGJxr8rvb7M

So only after making very sure, they submitted it for a DNA test, which we have the result from now two years later.
Archaeological departments doesn't swim in money in Scandinavia, so when a sample is approved for the full "scientific battery" they have to convince the state scientific boards, that they are wholly sure beforehand they have the correct material.

This finding is not "sudden news" to archaeologist/osteologists -> just waiting for DNA data to back the osteological data from two years ago and it was an expected, yet very important, confirmation.

Apparently the bones from the grave (minus the missing head) are labelled (!) - and those bones which are missing today were also missing at the time of the excavation (again minus the head).

Hjalmar Stolpes original drawings:

&

Source: https://share.mediaflowpro.com/?PZAMDNU8TG

There is only one skeleton in that chamber grave itself, according to the excavation drawings (and Stolpe himself concluded that the skeleton originally was seated) and only 1 sword (so uncertainty about the exact sword perhaps).
There is another Birka grave with a woman seated on top of a man, which also have rich warrior grave goods. That is not bj581, though.

It is important to emphasize that this is "THE VIKING WARRIOR GRAVE" of Scandinavia. The archetypical one; so the one with the fullest and most complete weapon set and burial in a chamber grave and with sacrificed horses. It is not just some random warrior grave at Birka and it also clearly beats in "completeness" the chamber graves in Denmark from the Jelling dynasty (from the time of Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth).

Though the dig might be regarded as amateurish by modern standards, Hjalmar Stolpe was apparently able to make 2 drawings of this grave, so he most certainly was present to make them.
Stolpe is in fact among the very first (if not THE first archaeologist) to use graph paper to precisely pen down archaeological finds, so in 1878 this grave couldn't have been dug out more professionally anywhere in the world.

It is important to remember that graves in Scandinavia have traditionally been "sexed" based on grave goods ("sexing metal"), but more and more research seems to conclude that viking age gender were much more fluid than previously thought.
So some "women" with "female" grave goods might actually be men, and some "men" with "male" grave goods might actually be female.

I seem to remember a lecture where an archaeologist said about Scandinavian material (can't remember who sadly), that osteologically it's actually quite hard to differentiate between men and women in the viking age (again sex assumed based on the grave goods).
It seemed that women were more masculine and men more feminine than modern Scandinavian skeletons -> could it be the case that some of these "men" with "male" grave goods are women and those "women" with "female" grave goods are men, thus totally clouding it up osteologically OR was there in fact a less pronounced sex-difference in former times (which makes DNA testing even more important).

So it does seem that this particular viking warrior was a woman. The labeling of the bones makes it (almost) certain the bones are from this particular grave bj581.
Only with further DNA testing can we figure out how prevalent female warriors were. If there is osteological ambiguity, then you also need to prove that we have male warrior grave with further DNA testing Razz
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Sat 16 Sep, 2017 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another viewpoint on this subject - Viking grave DNA -

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/have-we-finally-found-hard-evidence-for-viking-warrior-women/
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Mark Lewis





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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: Re: New info on older find         Reply with quote

Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Hi Mark - being sceptic on the media reports it always in order!

Hey Niels,
Thanks for filling in more background! Haven't had a chance to watch the video yet, hopefully have time later today (and I will try to email you as well)...

It does sound like the bones are probably correctly identified, but I still feel there is a lingering reason for doubt, unfortunately. The researchers (and not just the media!) also make some statements that seem like over-reaching to me, like this:

Hedenstierna-Jonson et al wrote:
a full set of gaming pieces indicates knowledge of tactics and strategy, stressing the buried individual's role as a high-ranking officer.

They helpfully include a reference to support this statement, but it essentially contradict their own argument!

Whittaker (2006) wrote:
gaming-pieces and game-boards were not exclusively associated with male status and values everywhere is, however, indicated by a female burial at Birka
[referring to grave 523 which includes typical "female" artifacts]

Alternatively, it could be proposed that items normally associated with male values could be used to designate extraordinary female status. The prestige of powerful women may in some cases have been assimilated to male prestige which was primarily derived from warfare


https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjLs4Sg6a7WAhVfImMKHeebBAYQFggmMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseptentrio.uit.no%2Findex.php%2Fnordlit%2Farticle%2FviewFile%2F1802%2F1678&usg=AFQjCNFCDzjsHQQHkcgvXV5VjoPHeDU1bQ
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Niels Just Rasmussen




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Sep, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Re: New info on older find         Reply with quote

Mark Lewis wrote:
Niels Just Rasmussen wrote:
Hi Mark - being sceptic on the media reports it always in order!

Hey Niels,
Thanks for filling in more background! Haven't had a chance to watch the video yet, hopefully have time later today (and I will try to email you as well)...

It does sound like the bones are probably correctly identified, but I still feel there is a lingering reason for doubt, unfortunately. The researchers (and not just the media!) also make some statements that seem like over-reaching to me, like this:

Hedenstierna-Jonson et al wrote:
a full set of gaming pieces indicates knowledge of tactics and strategy, stressing the buried individual's role as a high-ranking officer.

They helpfully include a reference to support this statement, but it essentially contradict their own argument!

Whittaker (2006) wrote:
gaming-pieces and game-boards were not exclusively associated with male status and values everywhere is, however, indicated by a female burial at Birka
[referring to grave 523 which includes typical "female" artifacts]

Alternatively, it could be proposed that items normally associated with male values could be used to designate extraordinary female status. The prestige of powerful women may in some cases have been assimilated to male prestige which was primarily derived from warfare



Sadly the statements given from archeologist to the journalists are often unfounded by the material finds (or the journalists simply just make it more sensationalistic). So generally when the scientific papers come forth, one can judge it more soundly.

What modern research have shown that the old automatic procedure of sexing graves based on the grave goods might actually be significantly flawed (at least in some instances).
It could very well be that in Scandinavian society it was your gender that mattered, not your sex. If you lived up to a manly ideal you were a "good drengr". Your gender depended on what clothes your wore and how you behaved, rather than your biological sex. The icelandic sagas from the ~1200 are still positive towards women, who shows a martial "drengr mind".
The gaming pieces as grave goods points to high status (and maybe gender?), rather than biological sex.
In Norse society a man was not a "man" based on biology. He was either drengr (manly) or a nidding/ragr/argr (an unmanly man).
It was very negative for a man to be unmanly, whereas it was positive for a woman to be manly (apparently as long as she was unmarried). A married woman could still be manly in demeanor but had to leave the fighting to the men or she would shame them. It was a woman's job to make sure that the male members kept the drengr ideal, since men are often lazy for vengeance (in the Sagas), so the women have to goad them on. "do I have to take up weapon" would be a good way for a wife to make her husband uphold his honour.
About Norse honour and drengr ideal see this video by Jackson Crawford:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8o1Z_pwi0I

About female warriors we do have actual written stories from Scandinavia:
Famously Saxo actually describe the danish army, at the legendary (?) Bråvalla battle, having women in very prominent commanding positions.
At the beginning of Book 8 in the Gesta Danorum (work finished between around 1201-1216 and started after 1185) Saxo gives his source, as Danish verses composed by Starkad which Saxo then translates into Latin! So this is not "history", but a latin translation of danish verses about the battle (unknown if purely legendary or historical basis).
Starkad fought on the Swedish side by the way.

It is a long list of all the heroes fighting for the Danish side of King Harald Hildetand and the Swedish forces under King Sigurd Ring.
Forces from Slesvig of the Danish army were under Hed and Visna - both in a woman's body but with a mans courage (the "Drengr ideal" we also see on runestones) as Saxo probably add as info to the reader.
The heroes Hake Huggenkind and Tymme Sejlmager were under these women's (joint?) command.
Vebjørg had the same manly courage and was followed by Bo Bramessøn and Brat "Jyde" (Jutlander), Orm den Bretske, Ubbe Friser (Frisian), Are den Enøjde, Alf and Got. So these heroes are possibly Vebjørg's subordinates.

Saxo tells later about Visna, that she was hard-minded woman and a veteran in the art of war. She was surrounded by Slavic warriors! Barre and Gnizle as the most prominent.
Saxo describes that these maidens (if a married woman were to wear pants it would shame her male relatives, but it is not shameful for her individually) are renowned for their martial skill and lead their followers in battle!

Danish King Harald Hildetand in his chariot (being old and blind) ordered Brun to set up the danish army:
Brun chooses a "Svinefylkning" (usual attack strategy mythically taught by Odin to his warriors) with Hed on the right flank, Hake on the left flank and Visna carrying the banner (the sacred Danish Raven banner).

During the battle Starkad - the ultimate Scandinavian warrior - manages to first kill 4 of Harald's hirdmen and to cut off the right hand of Visna. He knocks down Hake, but is wounded so badly by him, that he has to leave the battlefield.

Vebjørg kills kills the famous warrior Sote, but is killed by an arrow from the Norwegian Thorkel from Telemarken.

Brun is actually Odin in disguise, who collects Harald Hildetand to Valhal, when Harald decides to charge in his chariot. He throws Harald from his chariot and kills him with his own weapon.
When Harald is dead Sigurd Ring stops the battle as there was no longer any point in fighting.
Sigurd takes Skåne from Denmark which is to be ruled by Ole and let Hed rule the rest of the country! So Sigurd puts her in charge of Denmark.

So with the amount of "female warrior jewelry" that has turned up lately (especially in Denmark) as Neil Price shows in his lecture I linked to in the last post; I think it is in order to takes these stories much more seriously.
Saxo version is not anything close to a "romantic amazon legend".
Certain women (possible of high birth) apparently did go to war dressed as men. It was probably uncommon, but not something to raise an eyebrow over. Saxo just states it as a matter of fact, but has to explain in the latin version that it was because they had a mans courage (being "drengr").

Runestone examples - the importance of being "drengr":
Hällestad stone from Skåne - some Danish attack on Uppsala in Sweden!

"Áskell placed this stone in memory of Tóki Gormr's son, to him a faithful lord. He did not flee at Uppsala. "Drengar" placed in memory of their brother the stone on the hill, steadied by runes. They went closest to Gormr's Tóki."
Source: http://runer.ku.dk/VisGenstand.aspx?Titel=H%C3%A4llestad-sten_1

Toke Gormsøn was son of King Gorm the Old and brother of King Harald Bluetooth.
But his "brothers" on the stone was the "drengar" (plural) - membership of a martial brotherhood (a classic germanic "comitatus").

Haddeby stone from Slesvig:
"Þórulfr raised this stone, Sveinn's retainer, in memory of Eiríkr, his partner, who died when "drengjar" besieged Hedeby; and he was a captain, a very good "drengr"."

So Thorulf and Erik were retainers (hird) of Svend Forkbeard, who in the late 900's besieged Hedeby likely still under control of people loyal to Harald Bluetooth.

So some women fought at least in the early viking age late 800 to 950 AD, as it is the time where the "female warrior jewelry" are from. We don't have any Danish runestone mentioning women as drengr, but then again we don't have that many runestones from pre-950 AD.
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