Recent analysis of Viking excavations has brought to light the role of women in what has been historical viewed a male focused culture. The image of the stay-at-home Viking wife and mother has been struck down by recent analysis of Viking archaeological sites across Europe.
“An increase in the number of finds of Norse-style jewellery in the last two decades has led some scholars to suggest a larger number of female settlers. Indeed, it has been noted that there are more Norse female dress items than those worn by men,” says the study.
It is an interesting change-up of demographic concepts. It appears that Viking women accompanied their men-folk (at the least in post-conquest moves) to new regions, building homes, and furthering the Viking way of life.
To learn more about these recent discoveries, read this article in USA Today.
My friend and former colleague from California State University Long Beach, Douglas Forasté sent me this article today and my fascination with body modification was stirred. Recent excavations of a Viking Burial in Dorset England have revealed that at least one occupant of the mass grave had filed teeth.
The burial pit in Dorset, dates to around the first millennium AD, contains 51 skulls and 54 human bodies. It appears to be a site of mass burial after a formal execution.
Tooth filing is a common form of body modification in which the teeth can be filed down (often in to points) or other wise carved with symbols and designs. The practice is not only painful, but can be dangerous as a poorly skilled ‘filer’ can easily expose a root and thus kill the tooth (potentially leading to infection and even death).
Oxford Archaeology project manager David Score said: “It’s difficult to say how painful the process of filing teeth may have been, but it wouldn’t have been a pleasant experience.
To read more about these findings, check out the article in the BBC.