Monday 28 February 2011

Spectacular finale to York Viking festival on Knavesmire

THE sights and sounds of Vikings in battle rang out through York as the city’s week-long festival reached a spectacular climax.

Thousands of visitors gathered on Knavesmire on Saturday evening to see the burning of the Viking long-boat followed by a fireworks display.

Earlier in the day the Vikings marched through the centre of York after thrilling crowds with a huge battle in Museum Gardens.

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Sunday 27 February 2011

Jellingsten malet over med graffiti

Den store Jellingsten er natten til lørdag blevet skændet af grøn spraymaling, da ukendte gerningsmænd skrev ordet "Gelwane" tværs hen over det danske oldtidsminde.

Stenen, som Harald Blåtand rejste omkring år 965, er ikke beskadiget ud over malingen på overfladen, men det kan ifølge formanden for Jelling Menighedsråd, Gunni Højvang, også være alvorligt nok.

Over for Vejle Amts Folkeblads kalder han hærværket "en katastrofe" og frygter at malingen kan være trængt ind i den historiske sten.

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Sunday 20 February 2011

Plans on show for Medieval Museum

Plans go on display this week for a Medieval Museum which will be at the heart of the city’s new Viking Triangle/Historic District project.

Part of an ambitious undertaking to invigorate the city’s tourist trail, the new two-storey museum will offer visitors access to the city’s undercroft and incorporate the Medieval Choristers Hall in Cathedral Square.

Outlining the proposal at Monday’s meeting of the City Council Rupert Maddock, City Architect, said the museum was one of a number of projects currently underway that cumulatively build upon the potential of City Hall and the Viking Quarter. The latter area pivots around Reginald’s Tower and includes Cathedral Square, Christ Church, the Theatre Royal, the Bishop’s Palace and 33, The Mall.

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Norse code as Vikings return to York

WE’RE used to seeing the occasional blood-spattered Viking wandering the streets of York. But for nine days you won’t be able to move for axe-wielding Norsemen, even when you are doing the weekly shop in Monks Cross.

Next weekend they will even be rampaging across the racecourse.

The annual Jorvik Viking Festival starts today and this year hundreds of warriors will descend on the city to commemorate King Ethelred’s battle to capture York.

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Sunday 13 February 2011

‘Sunstone’ crystals may have helped Vikings navigate on cloudy days

Between AD 750 and AD 1200 the Vikings, were the dominant sailors of the North Atlantic. When the Sun was shining, geographical north could be determined with a special sundial or ‘sundisc’. However, how the Vikings could have navigated in cloudy or foggy situations, when the Sun’s disc was unusable, is still not fully understood.

A hypothesis was formulated in 1967, suggested that under foggy or cloudy conditions, Vikings might have been able to determine the azimuth direction of the Sun with the help of skylight polarization, just like some insects. According to this theory, the Vikings could have determined the direction of the skylight polarization with the help of an enigmatic birefringent crystal (double-refracting crystal), like cordierite, tourmaline, or calcite, which are common in the Scandinavian region and even mentioned in a Viking saga, functioning as a linearly polarizing filter.

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Sunday 6 February 2011

Vikings come to Northwich

VIKINGS have come to Northwich in a new exhibition exploring their history.

Weaver Hall Museum and Workhouse is holiding the ‘Reap and Tillage’ exhibition until May 2.

Devastating raids by the Vikings on the east coast of England in the 8th century led to their conquest of almost half the country. Cheshire’s experience was very different with most Viking activity being peaceable and beneficial.

A coin mint flourished in Chester and trade links with other Viking settlements around the Irish Sea made the city wealthy and prosperous.

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Thursday 3 February 2011

Vikings revered Stone Age objects

New archaeological findings suggest that the Vikings considered Stone Age objects to have magical qualities, and that such “antiques” were more important in Viking culture than previously understood.

The Vikings buried this ship, the "Oseberg," in a grave south of Oslo. New discoveries indicate they also buried other items, with a purpose. PHOTO: Viking Ships Museum
Examinations of around 10 Viking graves found in Rogaland, southwest Norway, revealed Stone Age items, such as weapons, amulets and tools. Olle Hemdorff of the Archaelogical Museum in Stavanger told newspaper Aftenposten that he believes the items were buried so that “they would protect and bring luck to the dead in the after-life.”

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Wednesday 2 February 2011

Manx names probe to find Viking genes

LOCAL men with certain Manx surnames are being urged to take part in a genetic investigation into Viking ancestry next month.

On Saturday, February 19, representatives from University of Leicester will visit the Manx Museum, Douglas, to conduct the investigation.

This university-funded study is being carried out by Hayley Dunn under the joint supervision of Professor Mark Jobling, from the Department of Genetics, and Dr Simon James, from the School of Archaeology, as part of research leading to a PhD degree.

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