Category Archive 'Norway'
15 May 2020

Norway to Excavate First Viking Ship Burial Mound in 100 Years

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Very cool news from the History blog:

In October 2018, a geophysical survey of a field in Halden, southeastern Norway, revealed the presence of Viking ship burial. The landowner had applied for a soil drainage permit and because the field is adjacent to the monumental Jell Mound, archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) inspected the site first. Using a four-wheeler with a georadar mounted to the front of it. The high-resolution ground-penetrating radar picked up the clear outline of a ship 20 meters (65 feet) long.

The ship was found just 50 cm (1.6 feet) under the surface. It was once covered by a burial mound like its neighbor, but centuries of agricultural work ploughed it away. Subsequent investigation of the area found the outlines of at least 11 other burial mounds around the ship, all of them long-since ploughed out as well. The georadar also discovered the remains of five longhouses.

In order to get some idea of the ship’s age, condition and how much of it is left, in September of 2019, NIKU archaeologists dug a test pit was dug to obtain a sample of the wood of the keel. The keel was of a different type to ones from other Viking ship burials known in Norway. It is thinner and smaller than usual. The two-week investigation and analysis of the sample found that the ship does indeed date to the early Viking era. The wood was felled between the late 7th century and the start of the 9th century. Later dendrochronological analysis narrowed down the date to the period between 603 and 724 A.D.

In more distressing news, the analysis of the sample revealed that the wooden remains were under severe attack from fungus. The use of fertilizer on the farmland above the ship encourages the fungal growth and not only is the keel plagued by soft rot, the remains even at the deepest point where preservation conditions are the best possible are under acute distress.

Norway’s government has responded to the archaeological emergency by allocating 15.6m kroner (about $1.5 million) to excavate the Gjellestad Viking Ship and get it out of the ground before it rots to nothingness. While other Viking ship burials have been excavated in recent years, the last Viking ship burial mound to be excavated was the Oseberg ship in 1904-1905. If the Norwegian parliament approves the budget, excavation of the Gjellestad Ship is slated to begin in June.

RTWT

HT: Bird Dog.

28 Mar 2020

Salmon Fishing on the Aaroy

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Filmed last June.

You have to love the Internet. We actually get to see the legendary Norwegian river, complete with Ernest Schiebert’s “Platforms of Despair.”

It looks like they are releasing all the fish caught. Current PC fashion or Norwegian law, I wonder? I suspect those are the rules these days. God knows how many thousands of dollars per week and you don’t get to keep one fish! Meanwhile, the Micmac Indian fishery on the Restigouche is probably still taking out on one tide more fish than the sport fishery catches on the entire river in a year, and throwing away the surplus at the Campbelltown dump.

We see a lot of expensive reels. These days, 19th Century Edward Vom Hofes go for a lot of money. One angler is actually using a cane rod and a feather-wing Thunder-and-Lightning. Good for him.

Strangely, the anglers seem to make a point of staying far up on the bank and away from the river’s edge. What’s that all about?

03 Nov 2019

Face of Viking Shieldmaiden Reconstructed

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British scientists have reconstructed the face of a female Viking warrior who suffered a head wound and was buried with weapons.

Daily Mail:

Scientists have re-created the face of a female Viking warrior who lived more than 1,000 years ago.

The woman is based on a skeleton found in a Viking graveyard in Solør, Norway, and is now preserved in Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History.

While the remains had already been identified as female, the burial site had not been considered that of a warrior ‘simply because the occupant was a woman’, archaelogist Ella Al-Shamahi told The Guardian.

But now British scientists have brought the female warrior to life using cutting-edge facial recognition technology.

Scientists reconstructed the face of the female warrior who lived more than 1,000 years ago by anatomically working from the muscles and layering of the skin

And scientists found the woman was buried with a hoard of deadly weaponry including arrows, a sword, a spear and an axe.

Researchers also discovered a dent in her head, which rested on a shield in her grave, that was consistent with a sword wound.

It is unclear whether the brutal injury was the cause of her death however it is believed to be ‘the first evidence ever found of a Viking woman with a battle injury’, according to Ms Al-Shamahi.

She added: I’m so excited because this is a face that hasn’t been seen in 1,000 years… She’s suddenly become really real.’

RTWT

04 Dec 2017

George Clooney Norwegian Bank Ad

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26 May 2017

Bridge to Nowhere

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Nervous drivers (and their equally nervous passengers) beware! You should really prepare yourselves for the sight of Storseisundet Bridge in Norway. The road connection from the mainland Romsdal peninsula to the island of Averøya in Møre og Romsdal county doesn’t look as if it actually connects as you drive towards it.

25 Dec 2015

Norwegians Campaign to Give Mountain to Finland

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Halti

Independent:

As politicians meet in Europe to discuss border controls, campaigners in Norway has proposed moving its own border west – to give their neighbours in Finland a mountain.

A social media campaign launched by Bjorn Geirr Harsson, a retired employee of the Norwegian Mapping Authority, suggests Norway could shift its eastern border 20 metres (66 feet) so that the Halti mountain peak could become part of Finland.

The proposal was intended as a gift to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Finland’s independence in 2017.

“We would not have to give away any part of Norway. It would barely be noticeable,” said Mr Harsson, 75, speaking to the Norweigian website, The Local. “And I’m sure the Finns would greatly appreciate getting it.”

The Halti is only 1,365m (4,479ft) tall, placing it well out of the list of Norway’s top 200 highest peaks.

But Finland has no mountain peaks of its own, so even the Halti’s lowest slopes would become Finland’s highest peak.

Halti is actually more of a fell (a mountain plateau) than a peak, but it is still a nice gesture.

22 Oct 2015

Hiker Found Viking Sword Along Ancient Path in Norway

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VikingSword3

CNN:

[A] man in Norway… recently stumbled across a 1,200 year-old Viking sword while walking an ancient route.

The find, which dates from approximately 750 AD and is in exceptionally good condition, was announced by Hordaland County Council.

County Conservator Per Morten Ekerhovd described the discovery as “quite extraordinary.”

“It’s quite unusual to find remnants from the Viking age that are so well preserved … it might be used today if you sharpened the edge,” he told CNN.

Outdoorsman Goran Olsen made the unusual find when he stopped for a rest in Haukeli, an area known for fishing and hunting about 150 miles (250 kms) west of capital, Oslo.

The rusted weapon was lying under some rocks on a well-known path across a high mountain plateau, which runs between western and eastern Norway.

The mountains are covered with frost and snow for at least six months of the year and not exposed to humidity in summer, which contributed to the sword’s exceptional condition, Ekerhovd said, adding that archaeological remains are often found along the paths.

He speculated that the sword could be from a burial site or may have belonged to a traveler who had an accident or succumbed to frostbite on the high pass.

The sword, which was found without a handle, is just over 30 inches long (77 centimeters) and made of wrought iron. From its type, archaeologists estimate it to be from around 750 AD — making it approximately 1,265 years old — but warn that this is not an exact date.

Swords like this were status symbols in Viking times because of the high cost of extracting iron, Ekerhovd said, and it’s likely this blade would have belonged to a wealthy individual.

25 Sep 2015

Saga Column

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Sagasoyla1
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The Sagasøyla (Saga Column) at Elveseter Farm, Bøverdalen, Norway. The column, once meant to stand next to Parliament as Norway’s National Monument, depicts moments of Norwegian historical significance. Commissioned in 1926 by the Norwegian government and begun by Professor Wilhelm Rasmussen, it was abandoned after World War II. The Saga Column was raised at Elvester Farm in 1992 after Åmund Elveseter had it completed and restored.

Hat tip to Ratak Monodosico.

18 Jan 2014

Norwegian Soldiers’ War Chant

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You are the hunters!
You are the predators!
Taliban is the prey!

To Valhall!
To Valhall!
To Valhall!

12 Sep 2013

Nordic Cuisine

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Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

09 Jan 2013

Aerial Combat

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Common gull (Larus canis) attacks White-tailed Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Norway. Photo: Markus Varesvuo.

Daily Mail.

08 Jan 2013

Cyclist Meets Elk, Stjørdal, Norway

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What we call moose, Europeans call elk.

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

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