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 The Norsemen

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Norsemen   Sat 14 Oct 2017, 11:40

This is naturally big news here in Norway amongst historians and their fellow travellers - and there has been a frantic sifting through the archaeological evidence relating to Norway to see if they can confirm this new theory regarding how Scandinavians and the outside world interacted in the period. Well, at least a few researchers have been suddenly put on the case - in academic circles such can be labelled "frantic", don't you know.

So far, so much nothing, much to the consternation of the Norwegian historiographical status quo, who hate when the Swedes steal a march on them theoretically, just as they begrudge their neighbours' access to so many more such artefacts - 99% of theory regarding the "Vikings" emanates from Sweden and Denmark, which hits Norwegians in the craw as they feel they originated the whole "Scandinavians as Vikings" concept.

For me this latest - probably overstated - theory neither disproves my own stance of choice on Viking history nor denigrates any constituent social component's status during that period. What is interesting for me is that the discovery, if it proves to illustrate an actual phenomenon, is proof far more of aesthetic assimilation of foreign influences than religious, political or sociological assimilation. What the Vikings were great at was the adoption of visual imagery and artistic styles, often enhancing them fundamentally in the process, without much interest, or the feeling of a need to adopt such an interest in, the sociological, political and religious roots of what they were adopting. At the time Swedish denizens were seemingly absorbing Muslim iconography their more westerly contemporaries were doing much the same with the vibrant and strikingly individual "Celtic" iconography they discovered in the Atlantic islands they encountered. Much of this also had by then acquired a very religious context at its point of origin, little of which was preserved in the assimilation process.

If nothing else, the Viking period and influence was one of amazing invention in terms of aesthetics, the "good bits" of any encountered aesthetic style adopted by them with extreme and unquestioning enthusiasm. Other influences might eventually have ridden piggyback into their society as a result of this openness - Christianity for example being a notable example - but for a brief period the Vikings represented the only European example of an exciting aesthetic revolution with real power to influence others, at least probably until the Renaissance period later. This latest examination of the artefacts, whether it represents evidence of a more religio-political influence or not, at least sits comfortably within my own aesthetic take on what was going on at the time.
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PostSubject: Re: The Norsemen   Fri 24 Nov 2017, 13:39

Medieval harbour on Skye given protected status;

Loch na h-Airde

from 6 years ago:

Skye Boatyard
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PostSubject: Re: The Norsemen   Thu 08 Feb 2018, 13:50

Mass grave found at Repton in Derbyshire in the 1980s, could be graveyard of Great Heathen Army after re-assessment of Carbon Dating to allow for marine reservoir effect, places the deaths in the late 9th century:

Great Heathen Army

Painful:

"Nearby a second double grave from the site contained two men, the older of whom was buried with a Thor’s hammer pendant and a Viking sword. He had received numerous fatal injuries including a large cut to his left femur.

A boar’s tusk had been placed between his legs, and it has been suggested that the injury may have severed his penis or testicles, and the tusk positioned to replace what he had lost in preparation for the afterworld."

Repton Burial
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