The little stick found underneath the streets of Odense, Denmark’s third largest city, is only 8.5 centimetres in length -- but it isn’t just any old stick. The so-called rune stick was made in the early 13th century, said Odense City Museums in a press release.
Archaeologists have been digging for a long time at the excavation beneath I. Vilhelm Werners Square in Odense and they were actually just about to stop when they found three pieces of wood which fitted together to make up the rune stick.
It isn’t easy to decipher what the runes say and the stick itself is extremely fragile, explained rune expert and senior researcher Lisbeth Imer from the National Museum of Denmark in the press release.
”The stick itself had the consistency of cold butter before it was conserved, and some little devil of a root has gouged its way along the inscription on one side, which is a bit upsetting,” said Imer.
All the same, the researchers have been able to make out the words “good health” and “Tomme…
The man considered to have been the first king of Norway, Harald Fairhair, would likely not have succeeded in his rise to power if not for a powerful warlord from northern Norway in the district of Lade. The only source we have for this man is the Heimskringla, but enough information is contained therein to inform us that the men from Lade played an important part in Harald’s rise to Norwegian hegemony. Håkon Grjotgarson, also known as Håkon the rich, helped Harald in many engagements by providing men and money.
The ties between the two men had not been so certain in years prior. Lade was a populous region and had Håkon decided to rally the other leaders in neighboring lands, Harald might not have had the resources or the manpower to overcome them. But as fate would have it, the Earl of Lade chose to offer his allegiance to Harald. As part of the alliance, Håkon was named earl of his district and Harald m…
Here's a metal staff (völr) from Kaupang, Norway, in the 10th century, which also has a central enclosure formed by twisted metal bands near the top of the völr. A pattern is emerging of these Nordic women's staffs, which also turn up in Danish archaeology (and are in Photos section from last year).
The photo is from an article by Polish researcher Leszek Gardeła, "A biography of the seiðr-staffs: Towards an archaeology of emotions." (It's open source, i'll post the title and url in comments.) He says that the Kaupang ship burial in Norway buried a noble couple with a völva seated in the stern, as if to guide the ship. She wore a leather garment with oval brooches, and her iron staff was by her left side, placed under a large stone. It had a basket-shaped handle on one end. It was 74.5 cm. long, with three twisted rods with a ring on each of them in the handle section.
Gardeła refers to Eddic poems showing Aesir getting magical staffs from the giants -- often…
A 2,000-year-old cooking pot filled with cremated human bones has been found by the banks of the Walbrook river in London, in what was known in ancient times as Londinium, a thriving capital of a Roman province nearly two millennia ago. The finding was made near an earlier discovery of dozens of human skulls, adding to the evidence that they are the remnants of a rebellion led by famous Celtic Queen Boudicca, who united a number of British tribes in revolt against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in 60-61 AD.
The cooking pot was unearthed during excavations to create a new 13 mile underground railway line through London, known as the Crossrail Project, which has already yielded thousands of artifacts and human remains, including a 9,000-year-old tool making factory, prehistoric mammoth bones, a Roman road, medieval ice skates, an 800-year-old piece of a sh…
Woden and his Roles in Anglo-Saxon Royal Genealogyhttp://www.medievalists.net/2012/11/05/woden-and-his-roles-in-anglo-saxon-royal-genealogy/
By Thomas Rowsell
Published Online (2012)
Woden is a complex and elusive figure in Anglo-Saxon history. Like his Norse counterpart Oðinn, he has been thought to be the chief god of his pantheon, dominating most aspects of heathen worship within that culture. Scholars have debated the significance of these gods and their relationship to one another. Anthony Faulkes has addressed the genealogical role of Oðinn in twelfth and thirteenth century texts; Richard North has argued that the genealogical role of Oðinn in pre-Christian Scandinavia was the result of influence from Woden’s role in Anglo-Saxon England. North has also argued that early Anglo-Saxon bishops played a significant role in establishing Woden as an ancestor while Charlotte Behr argues that the popularity of the cult of Woden means that his role as a progenitor could have been employed…
Sociedad Argentina de Estudios Medievales - Saemed La Sociedad Argentina de Estudios Medievales (SAEMED) es una asociación civil sin fines de lucro que reúne a especialistas de diferentes disciplinas de las ciencias humanas y sociales. https://www.facebook.com/saemedargentina
N. Ireland officially recognizes pagan religion, Order of the Golden River
Northern Ireland has for the first time recognized a pagan priest and his church by granting full religious status to the Order of the Golden River.
Responding to the move by the Northern Ireland General Registry Office, pagan priest Patrick Carberry said he was “absolutely over the moon.”
Recognition means, among other things, members of the faith group can now have their own weddings.
“We can now do hand passings, which is our official belief, rather than having to have a ceremony outside as we’d prefer and then another in the local registry office,” Carberry told the Independent.
Carberry – whose spiritual or true name is ‘Nighthunter’ – only submitted the application at the end of March.
“I’m still in shock, we were not expecting to be recognized.”
BORNHOLM, DENMARK—An enameled bronze brooch has been unearthed near the east coast of the island of Bornholm, located in the Baltic Sea. Shaped like an owl, the brooch, which has large orange eyes and colorful wings, dates to the Iron Age, and would have been used to fasten a man’s cloak. “There are very few of these types of fasteners,” archaeologist Christina Seehusen of Bornholm Museum told The Copenhagen Post. It was probably made along the Roman frontier, in Cologne or another nearby town. “There have been a number of discoveries in graves and settlements on the island that show there was contact with many parts of the world including frequent contact with parts of the Roman Empire,” Seehusen said. To read about another remarkable artifact discovered in Denmark, see "Bronze Age Dagger."
Dating from 1250, the Black Book of Carmarthen is the earliest surviving medieval manuscript written solely in Welsh, and contains some of the earliest references to Arthur and Merlin. The book is a collection of 9th-12th century poetry along both religious and secular lines, and draws on the traditions of the Welsh folk-heroes and legends of the Dark Ages.
However, despite its importance (the manuscript is designated ‘MS Peniarth 1’ in the National Library of Wales) and decades of scholarly research, the work of a PhD student from the University of Cambridge has illuminated tantalising new glimpses of verse from the 750-year-old book.
Centuries of verse, doodles and marginalia erased
Myriah Williams and Professor Paul Russell from Cambridge’s Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic (ASNC), believe that a 16th century owner of the book, probably a man named Jaspar Gryffyth, summarily erased centuries’ worth of additional verse, doodles and marginalia which had been added to the ma…
The Language of Birds in Old Norse Tradition
Master’s Thesis, University of Iceland (2012)
Abstract: Select characters in medieval Icelandic literature are able to comprehend the language of birds. Ranging from Sigurðr’s tasting the blood of the dragon Fáfnir to Óðinn’s daily dialogue with the ravens Huginn and Muninn, numerous sources will be examined from a comparative perspective. Birds consistently offer important information to individuals associated with kingship and wisdom. The wide chronological and geographical range of this motif will be explored as well as the fascinating theoretical questions regarding why birds are nature’s purveyors of wisdom. With their capacity to fly and sing, birds universally hold a special place in human experience as symbols of transcendence and numinous…
Hamingja Medu “Hamingja” translates as mutable magic energy/force and “medu” means three things: inspiration, transformation and mead – hard to separate. The meaning refers to the three hares symbol which forms the three-legged trefot or triskele symbol which symbolizes the ever-full well of magical inspiration as well as the meeting of the three realms of earth, sea, and sky. Blackthorn and Hawthorn are well known fairy trees in Europe.
Found Viking Age Artifact with Faces and Swastika / Trovato artefatto vikingo con volti e swatika Håkon Huse found this object when he was searching with metal detector on Kjell Tore Holmedal’s farm in Kvinnherad (Western Norway): an artifact, 6.8-centimeter-long, with two faces and a swastika. Håkon Huse ha scoperto questo oggetto nella sua ricerca con il metal detector nella fattoria di Kjell Tore a Kvinnherad nell’Holmedal (Western Norway): un artefatto, lungo circa 6.8 cm, con due volti ed uno swastika.
1,300-year-old fortress-like structure on Siberian lake continues to mystify experts
It is one of the most mysterious archaeological sites in Russia – an ancient complex engulfing a small island in the center of a remote lake in the mountains of southern Siberia. At first glance, it appears to be an ancient fortress, its perimeter of high walls constructed to keep out enemies. However, others have proposed the 1,300-year-old structure may have been a summer palace, monastery, memorial complex, ritual center, or astronomical observatory. According to the Siberian Times, more than a century after its rediscovery, experts are no closer to understanding the secrets of these enigmatic ruin