“Academics at Dundee University have helped recreate the face of a Viking woman whose skeleton was unearthed in York more than 30 years ago.
The facial reconstruction was achieved by laser-scanning her skull to create a 3D digital model.
Eyes were then digitally created, along with hair and a bonnet, to complete the look.
The project was part of a £150,000 investment at York’s Jorvik Viking Centre.
The Dundee academics were brought in by the centre’s owners, the York Archaeological Trust, as part of a project to bring York’s Vikings to life.
The female skeleton used was one of four excavated at Coppergate in York.
The reconstruction process was carried out using specialist computer equipment which allowed the user to “feel” what they were modelling on screen. The anatomy of the face was modelled in “virtual clay” from the deep muscles to the surface.
Dundee University researcher Janice Aitken took the digital reconstruction and added the finishing touches.
She explained: “I use the same sort of software as is used to create 3D animations in the film industry. I digitally created realistic eyes, hair and bonnet and added lighting to create a natural look.
“It is very satisfying knowing that the work we create at Dundee University will be seen by thousands of visitors to Jorvik and being part of a process which can so vividly help people to identify with their ancestors.”
The reconstruction now features in York Archaeological Trust’s new Investigate Coppergate exhibition, which examines the Vikings’ diet and investigates the diseases from which the Vikings suffered.
The exhibition also looks at the final battles of the Viking age in York that heralded the end of the Viking era and the coming of the Normans.
It features skeletal remains showing battle wounds and a full skeleton with evidence of severe trauma, alongside discussion about how they died.
Sarah Maltby, York Archaeological Trust director of attractions, said: “Archaeological research capabilities have moved on considerably since the original Coppergate excavations which took place over 30 years ago.
“The new exhibition areas mark a shift in how archaeological finds are analysed and the techniques available to researchers.”
Recreating the sound of Tutankhamun’s trumpets
By Christine FinnArchaeologist and presenter, Ghost Music
Tutankhamun’s trumpet was one of the rare artefacts stolen from the Cairo Museum during the recent uprising. The 3,000-year-old instrument is rarely played, but a 1939 BBC radio recording captured its haunting sound.
Among the “wonderful things” Howard Carter described as he peered by candlelight into the newly discovered tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922 were two trumpets, one silver and one bronze.
For more than 3,000 years they had lain, muted, in the Valley of the Kings, close to the mummy of the boy king. Found in different parts of Tutankhamun’s tomb, both were decorated with depictions of Egyptian gods identified with military campaigns.
Both became exhibits at the Cairo museum, but when it was broken into during the recent uprising, the bronze instrument vanished. Luckily, the silver one was away on exhibition tour.
The loss – and return – of such a celebrated artefact is convincing some of Tutankhamun’s celebrated curse ”
Egyptologists were already reeling from the loss of many of the country’s antiquities, and many found the theft of one of the oldest surviving musical instruments in the world particularly poignant.
Many such objects would have been looted and melted down in ancient times, says Oxford Egyptologist Margaret Maitland. “There was a real lack of precious metal so there was systemic retrieval,” said Ms Maitland.
The trumpet was recently found – reportedly with other Tutankhamun artefacts in a bag on the Cairo Metro.
Due to the fragile nature of the trumpets, their sound has only been recreated on a few occasions.
Early radio broadcasters saw the potential for an extraordinary recording, and in 1939 the Egyptian Antiquities Service was persuaded to take part in a BBC broadcast to the world from the Cairo Museum.
Rex Keating, a radio pioneer who helped convince the museum, was chosen to present it to an estimated 150 million listeners worldwide one Sunday afternoon.
To set the scene, he first interviewed Alfred Lucas, one of the last survivors of Carter’s team, and the man responsible for restoring Tutankhamun’s treasures.
With five minutes to go before the trumpet sounded, the watchmen’s lanterns failed, and the museum was plunged into darkness. A candlelit Cairo was put through to London.
Mr Keating then counted down to the broadcast: “One minute to go. From the corner of my eye I can see Lucas, striving to look unconcerned – but the quivering of the script in his hand betrays his agitation…”.
Mr Lucas’s concern was understandable given the story Mr Keating once told about an earlier attempt to play the silver trumpet in front of King Farouk of Egypt.
His story goes that the precious instrument shattered, possibly because of a modern mouthpiece being inserted to play it. According to Mr Keating’s colourful account, Mr Lucas was left as shattered as the trumpet and needed hospital treatment. The instrument, at least, was repaired.
And then the moment came. Listeners were enthralled.
The musician chosen for this legendary broadcast was bandsman James Tappern. His son, Peter, also a trumpeter, recalled how this was the story of his childhood, and one his father loved telling:
It is very tempting to want to hear what these instruments would have sounded like, but it’s just too dangerous”
“He was actually quite proud of it,” he says.
But the only recording his parents had of the original broadcast, a fragile 78 record, was broken in a house move. It was to be decades before he finally heard the original BBC recording.
“I was astonished with the quality of it,” he said. “How the original trumpeters played them is totally beyond me… [my father] used modern mouthpieces but the actual expertise he used is quite astonishing.”
The good news of the trumpet’s return is unlikely to herald a rush of archaeologists trying out ancient instruments in museums, says Ms Maitland:
“It is very tempting to want to hear what these instruments would have sounded like, but it’s just too dangerous, especially when these are some of the only examples.”
King Tut’s curse
A whole science has sprung up around the study of ancient music, where the original instruments are too fragile to play or no longer exist.
Archaeologists and archaeomusicologists are still able to get a sense of how they might have sounded.
Richard Dumbrill, considered the world’s leading authority on the Music of the Ancient Near East, is one. He reconstructed the Silver Lyre of Ur, discovered by Leonard Woolley in modern-day Iraq around the same time that Tutankhamun’s tomb was excavated.
Mr Woolley, a brilliant archaeologist, recognised a pile of twisted metal in a tomb as the remains of a 5,000-year-old lyre. He poured wax into the space where the instrument had lain to recover the shape.
Mr Dumbrill used the cast and Mr Woolley’s notes to recreate the lyre, including the animal gut strings. The sounds it makes conjures up a world even more ancient than Tutankhamun’s.
The Lost Sound Orchestra, as its name suggests, aims to bring other ancient worlds to life. Using laptops, experts try to make digital sound from virtual instruments – such as those shown on ancient Greek vases. They started with the epigonion (an ancient stringed instrument) from the 2nd Century BC.
But this is not just an academic exercise – the project creates the possibility of an orchestra of lost sounds gathered from all over the world via digital technology.
As Tutankhamun’s trumpet echoes once more, the loss – and return – of such a celebrated artefact is convincing some of Tutankhamun’s celebrated curse. Not least the trumpet’s apparent ability to summon up war.
Bandsman Tappern had, after all, played the trumpet shortly before World War II broke out. Cairo Museum’s Tutankhamun curator claims the trumpet retains “magical powers” and was blown before the first Gulf War, and by a member of staff the week before the Egyptian uprising.
TO ACTUALLY HEAR THE TRUMPETS; GO TO THE BBC PAGE:
Long live the God King Tut Ankh Amun, king of the south and the north.
When i search for polytheism on Tumblr i get a whole lot of not so educated Abrahamic “monotheistic” bullshit, rewriting history and explaining what is wrong with it.
1. To refer to polythistic religions as primitive is not only bigotry but outright stupid.
These are customs and cultures that in many cases where around in one form or another for thousands of years before two guys invented Christianity in Rome (and no, neither was named Jesus and only one of them even met him).
2.Abrahamic “monotheists” (i only consider certain forms of Islam as truly monotheistic. Christianity is a text book case of soft polytheism….just like most forms of Hinduism) like to spell God with a capital “G” when its a monotheistic God, and with a “g” when its a polytheistic God. That says a lot.
3.Romantic shrines to pagan Gods, supposedly Germanic, built in Victorian times or during the nazi romanticism are NOT part of any culture, Germanic or otherwise.
Well. Now there is a post by a polytheist, about polytheism tagged “Polytheism”
Skinhead is of purely British origin, it was not until well into it’s existence that it was recognized as such by the Jamaican music industry, and then became part of a feed-back loop connecting the British Isle’s to Jamaica. What is Skinhead in a Jamaican music context? In truth it could be said that almost all music, known collectively as Reggae, from the late 1960s until about c1972 could be claimed as Skinhead, because Reggae was the Skinheads music of choice, they identified with its content and form and adopted it with pride.
As with all styles and movements the story reaches back into its pre-existence. Three defining characteristics of a Skinhead, the mode of dress, the type, or class, of person, and the music, had all existed before the Skinhead had been codified. The most defining characteristic of the Skinhead is, of course, their appearance, and the hair in particular. As is well known many of the very first Skins were at one time Mods who were, for numerous reasons, many to do with fashion, disinclined to dress and behave in the evolving style and attitudes of the Hippie, a predominantly American (West Coast) middle class situation. The haircut and all of the clothes that became standard dress for the (male) Skinhead were worn previously, at one time or another, by Mods. This is not to take anything away from the style of the Skinhead, it just reinforces their commitment to some of the class values inherent in the Mod movement.
Only when Skinhead’s had asserted their existence were they able to claim the preceding (Jamaican) music as their own. This was partly because it had shared these same characteristics, and had inadvertently helped to define the Skinhead. The early Jamaican music that the Skin’s identified mostly with, were cuts like: Derrick Morgan’s Fat Man, and Eric Morris’s Humpty Dumpty, both on the Blue Beat label, and: Forward March Derrick Morgan, Miss Jamaica by Jimmy Cliff and Housewife’s Choice Derrick & Patsy, all on the Island label, it was these, and others in a similar strident or assertive vein, from the pre Ska period that would have later become part of the lexicon of Skinhead Reggae. Yet it was with Ska and the first mention of ‘Rude Boys’ that the embryonic Skinhead had matured into a recognizable entity.
Ska special…from Jamaica to the U.K.
a tribute to the ska scene in images; soundtrack featuring Derrick Morgan-Forward March, Count Ossie’s Grounation-Cool Breeze, Derrick Morgan-The Hop, Don Drummond-Man In The Street, Prince Buster-Don’t Throw Stones and The Skatalites-Guns Of Navarone.
New Heathens almost always encounter other Heathens on-line first, prior to meeting actual Heathens face-to-face in real life. Based on the behavior of many of the Heathens you encounter on-line, it would be easy to falsely conclude that all heathens are angry, mean people who like to argue and belittle other people. One might mistakenly conclude that the biggest problem facing Heathenry are the “hoards and hoards of racist” people calling themselves Heathen. One might start to incorrectly believe that Heathernry can take place on the internet. One might falsely conclude that the Prose and Poetic Edda are basically the Heathen Bible. One might sadly conclude that there is only one-true-way within Heathenry, and we’re debating and working hard to develop and define that one-true-way.
As easy as it would be to come to these conclusions, all of these conclusions would be essentially false.
REAL HEATHENS ARE A GENEROUS AND HOSPITABLE PEOPLE
Our Heathen ancestors put great important on their own families and their own local communities. But they held generosity and hospitality as important strengths of a man’s character. A man who knew how to be a generous host, and how to treat his guests well, would earn himself great respect among his peers.
Modern Heathens focus on their families and their kindred, living in Frith and cooperation within their trusted Innangarth, or trusted inner circle. While focus closely on family, kindred, and friends, they also understand the importance of extending hospitality to heathens traveling through or visiting their local area or kindred.
A man’s reputation, or Gefrain, is based on his deeds, how much he accomplishes, his generosity, his hospitality, and his honor. There is nothing about Asatru or Heathenry that encourages meaningless anger or pointless confrontations. But,on-line Heathenry is rife with keyboard cowboys that seem to delight in tearing other people down, name-calling, and being as confrontational as possible. This says much more about the nature of the internet and the nature of these people, than it has to do with Heathenry itself.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF HEATHENS ARE PROUD OF THEIR ANCESTORS
Heathens are proud of their history, their culture, and their ancestors. We feel that we share a connection with our ancestors by blood, by culture, and by Orlog, a part of the Heathen soul that is passed from parent to child. This pride is a positive pride, and does not involve hatred for other cultures or a need to tear other cultures down in favor of our own.
Some mistake this positive pride as somehow being “racist.” You’ll find that most “Folkish” Heathens don’t even use the word “Race,” in reference to their beliefs…because pride in one’s ancestors is not about “Race.” This on-going “racist” debate and name-calling is decades old within Heathenry, and has gotten us no where. It is an enormous distraction from anything constructive and positive. It should be noted, that this “racist” debate, is almost exclusively something that takes place on-line. It is an internet phenomenon, and utterly pointless.
Racism is not specifically a Heathen problem. Racism is not the problem of any one particular group. There are Racists within every religion. Christian Racists. Muslim Racists. Jewish Racists. Hindu Racists. Even Wiccan Racists.
Jotun’s Bane Kindred has been to scores of face-to-face heathen gatherings. The topic of “Race” or “Racism” never comes up at these gatherings, and is a complete non-issue within real Heathenry. It is only on-line that self-appointed “crusaders,” harp on this topic constantly. In so doing, they give the issue more time and attention that it deserves. Listening to these proverbial “Chicken Littles” on-line, one would think that Racism was a major problem within Heathenry…and that the sky is falling. I doubt they realize it, but their constant feeding and attention of this non-issue, gives this non-existent internet bogey-man a life of its own.
Rather than running about telling people what we aren’t, we should be focusing our time on telling people who we are, and why. We should explain why we honor our ancestors, and how important they are to us. What few “racist” Heathens there are, cease to have any real impact when we ignore and shun them as a topic, and focus our time and energy on moving forward.
REAL HEATHENRY TAKES PLACE FACE-TO-FACE
Real Heathenry is about community, gathering as a people, shaking a man or woman’s hand, looking them in the eye, hearing their voice, telling stories, getting to know each other. Its letting your kids play together. Letting your spouses get to know each other. Its about laughing at dumb jokes, and telling stories from your life. Its about mingling Wyrd…and taking the measure of another person, and finding them of worth.
Real Heathenry is about actually DOING something. Reading, scholarship, communication, discussing various beliefs, and even debating approaches to our Folkway are important. But, we are our deeds. What have you done? What are you doing? What will you do?
Starting, growing, and maintaining kindreds is a way of bringing Heathenry home. You build close-knit bonds of Frith with other Heathens that then become part of your Innangarth, or trusted inner circle. Gathering with other Heathens and living in Frith with them, allows for collective Luck to be built, and for great things to be accomplished. Our children get to know and play with other Heathen children. And we establish Heathen communities that draw other members of our Folk home to their ancestral Folkway.
These things can only happen face-to-face. We should never mistake internet interactions and acquaintances as “real.” They are just pixels on a screen, and these pixels flicker out when the machine is unplugged.
THE POETIC EDDA AND PROSE EDDA ARE HISTORICAL TEXTS
The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda are both historical texts, written by men. Both texts were actually written down by Christian men. The Poetic Edda was an attempt by Christians to record in writing the old poetry of their oral storytelling culture. The Poetic Edda was written by Snori Sturleson in order to preserve enough knowledge about Norse mythology and the meanings of poetic kennings, to preserve the poetry forms of the North. Heathens understand that these books are not “the word” of our Gods.
We include the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda among our Lore, a collection of primary sources we look to for information about the religion, ways, and world-view of our ancestors. We also include among this Lore, the Icelandic Sagas, Beowulf, and other contemporary writings of the time. But none of these books are “scripture.”
But you will encounter Heathens that read the poetry recorded in the Poetic Edda as scripture. They will quote it, and interpret it as literal truth, without any critical thought as to how and when they were recorded, and by whom. They quote information in the Prose Edda, as if what Snori Sturleson wrote is exactly what all Heathens thorughout history believed of our Gods and Goddesses, and the Nine Worlds. Yes, information from both the Poetic and Prose Eddas is important and well worth considering. But both sources are the works of men, and not the works of our Gods.
Other religions have their Holy Books, which they proclaim are the direct “Word” of their god. But our Heathen ancestors did not have a written tradition, nor a holy book. And modern Heathens also do not have a holy book.
TRIBAL VARIANCES ARE ACKNOWLEDGED AND EXPECTED
The ways of our Ancestors varied greatly from tribe to tribe, location to location, century to century, and even among various levels of society. The same situation exists today within modern Heathenry. There was no “one-true-way” among our ancestors and there is no “one-true-way among modern Heathens. We live in different regions, we have different backgrounds and upbringings, we have different life experiences, different personalities, different interests, and different ways of interpreting things we read and learn.
One of the great strengths of grassroots, local kindred-based, tribal heathenry is the understanding among various tribes that they can have unity of purpose and work together, without having unified beliefs or practices.
But, you will encounter Asatruars and Heathens who feel they are right, and everyone else is dreadfully wrong. Heathens who believe that the goal of the Reconstruction of our ancestral Folkway, is to rediscover the “one-true-way” of our ancestors. These Asatruars and Heathens debate angrily over details, denigrating and insulting all those that do things differently than they do, and they seem completely oblivious to the fact that the never was “one-true-way” of Heathenry.
When you look at the behavior of these elitists who insist there was one-true-way, and that they specifically are the ones that have found it, and that everyone else is wrong…does it not feel eerily familiar of the desert faiths, with their one-true-way?
Our ancestors did not act in this way, and I’m always amazed when people who claim to be the most well-read and learned among us, act in a way that is so contrary to how our ancestors would have approached their own ancestral Folkway.
BEST WAY TO CLEAR UP MISCONCEPTIONS
The best way to clear up these internet-oriented misconceptions is to meet or gather with other heathens face-to-face. If there is a kindred or tribe within traveling distance of where you live, arranged to visit them or attend one of their meetings. If there is no kindred or tribe within traveling distance, do some research on Heathen Gatherings…and attend one. There is nothing like meeting with or gathering with other heathens, to give you better insight into the reality of Heathenry…rather than what lurks in the internet shadows.
Mark Ludwig Stinson
Jotun’s Bane Kindred
Temple of Our Heathen Gods