July 23rd, 2011

spread your wings

Female Vikings

I thought I had posted this here the other day, but apparently I facebooked it and forgot. Yet one more thing I hate about facebook... it makes me lazy and forgetful.

While the stereotypes of vikings usually bring about images of very large blond men who pillage and fight and all that jazz, researchers are now saying that many of the settlers in Viking villages were female, and that the society they lived in was pretty egalitarian.

Originally, the researchers who have been studying Viking society mis-identified the remains of the settlers as male because they were often buried with swords and shields. Finally sorting them by their bones, (!) instead, it was recently discovered that approximately half of the remains were female.

And not only does this discovery prove that there were a lot more female Vikings than previously thought, but researchers are also theorizing that the whole “rape/pillage/war” thing that Vikings are stereotyped for has also been exaggerated.

Women may have accompanied male Vikings in those early invasions of England, in much greater numbers than scholars earlier supposed, (Researcher) McLeod concludes. Rather than the ravaging rovers of legend, the Vikings arrived as marriage-minded colonists.

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out in terms of revelations about how their society operated.

USA Today more info here

conversation that amused me

I had a brief exchange of email with my friend John (who I don't see often enough now that we don't produce concerts together)

He sent me a note with no text in the body, but in the subject line it said: I saw Black Death today but only because of you

I wrote back to ask what he thought and he replied:
It confused me. The budget seemed both large and tiny. I only knew Sean and he seemed to have so little to do. I think he got involved because he could receive star billing and make some good money.

I said to the video kid, "hey, this says the year 1358. Is this in English?"

Then, after he stared at me like I had "lobsters on my face", I told him it was a joke.