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Tomorrow the Folk celebrate Sigrblót or Sumarsdag. The prechristian Icelanders considered tomorrow as the first day of Summer.
So celebrate Sumarsdag with joy, but also make sacrifice to Sigföðr … a name of Odin recalling His role as the Father of Victory or the War Father.
Reconstruction of what the burial site unearthed at Ardnamurchan might have looked like. (Credit: Geoff Robinson)
The first intact Viking boat burial site to be found on the British mainland was discovered recently in Scotland, archaeologists announced. The grave contains the body of a Norse warrior thought to have been a chieftain or other high-ranking figure, lying with his weapons by his side in the remains of a rotted ship. He was likely interred during a ritualized pagan ceremony roughly 1,000 years ago, according to the researchers.
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OCTOBER 19, 2011
Credit Greg Mumford
A thousand years after the Vikings braved the icy seas from Greenland to the New World in search of timber and plunder, satellite technology has found intriguing evidence of a long-elusive prize in archaeology — a second Norse settlement in North America, further south than ever known.
The new Canadian site, with telltale signs of iron-working, was discovered last summer after infrared images from 400 miles in space showed possible man-made shapes under discolored vegetation. The site is on the southwest coast of Newfoundland, about 300 miles south of L’Anse aux Meadows, the first and so far only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, discovered in 1960.
Since then, archaeologists, following up clues in the histories known as thesagas, have been hunting for the holy grail of other Viking, or Norse, landmarks in the Americas that would have existed 500 years before Columbus, to no avail.
But last year, Sarah H. Parcak, a leading space archaeologist working with Canadian experts and the science series NOVA for a two-hour television documentary, “Vikings Unearthed,” that will be aired on PBS next week, turned her eyes in the sky on coastlines from Baffin Island, west of Greenland, to Massachusetts. She found hundreds of potential “hot spots” that high-resolution aerial photography narrowed to a handful and then one particularly promising candidate — “a dark stain” with buried rectilinear features.
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Drawing of the place of worship at Ranheim discovered in 2010. (Photo: Preben Rønne, NTNU University Museum).
We still know little about how and where the Vikings worshiped their Norse gods, but a few findings show that religious rituals took place in holy places with processional roads, altars and houses of worship.
Only few remains of heathen hofs are found in Scandinavia, but in 2010 it was by chance discovered an almost complete place of worship at Ranheim, about ten kilometers north of Trondheim in Central Norway.
The discovery revealed a processional road, a round sacrificial altar of stone (Old Norse: hǫrgr) and a house of worship (Old Norse: hof). The wooden building contained traces of four poles that may have had carved faces of Thor, Odin, Freyr and Freyja.
The altar measured fifteen meters in diameter and was about one meter high.
A few meters away, a…
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