Tag Archives: Norway

2013- Electric Puppet’s first 5 months in review

2014

Well- it’s New Year’s Eve, and time to reflect on what has gone on over the past year. For my family, this has been a big year, as we left the comfort and splendour of Oxford to return to our home city of Stoke-on-Trent; I graduated from university; I got my first job; we decided where we want to go with our life in the near and more distant future, thanks to an American man and his family on YouTube; I completed my first book of poetry, which had been languishing prior to this summer; I took the plunge and begun this blog, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while; and have got back in contact with several family members that I haven’t seen for the best part of a decade thanks to Facebook. It has been eventful, and had also been emotional and tiring for all of us. Also, with any luck, next year should be just as eventful- beginning work; trying to get my book published; endeavouring to write the novel and short story collection that I’ve been planning for a month or so; and getting married. Yes: my partner and I are getting married next year!

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In terms of this blog, I will be getting up several ‘Thoughts on…’ posts for the books I have read recently- the first two Adrian Mole books, Penelope Lively’s ‘Heat Wave’, Jack Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’, and Tove Jansson’s ‘Finn Family Moomintroll’- in the new year, and hopefully will get the first few up on New Year’s Day. For now, though, I thought that I would highlight a selection of posts from this blog that have proved popular, may have been overlooked, or are of relative interest for me.

I think that’s enough links to my other posts to be getting on with for now. Anyway- check some of these out if you haven’t already, or have a browse of the blog and see what you come across. Also, you can follow Electric Puppet on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/electricpuppetblog

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Lastly, here are a few fellow bloggers that I’ve come across in the past few months that you may find of interest:

Don’t Bend, Ascend

These Bones of Mine

Bones Don’t Lie

A Corner Of Tenth-Century Europe (written by one of my Anglo-Saxon lecturers from Oxford; he has since moved on to work at Birmingham University)

Museum Postcard

Prehistories

Interesting Literature

I hope you have a very happy New Year, and that 2014 will be good for you.

Image: The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph

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God moves in mysterious ways: The Northern Lights

My partner found this earlier, and I just thought that I’d share it on here for the simple reason that they look absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The Northern Lights are certainly something that I hope to experience for real at least once in my life. I just need to get over that fear of flying- unless I’m lucky enough to see them in the UK. It is possible: my maternal Grandad saw them during WWII when he was stationed in Wick, Scotland, and they have even been seen on the south coast of England! I cannot help but see God in this spectacle, and this entire video is just so calming and relaxing. Enjoy!

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More Iron Age treasures from Norway.

It seems at the moment as though glaciers are becoming as prevalent for archaeology as car parks. A few weeks ago, I posted a piece about an Iron Age tunic and arrows that have been found due to thawing ice, and now the Lendbreen glacier near Lillehammer, Norway, has thrown up another Iron Age item of interest: a horse. This perhaps doesn’t sound too exciting in itself, but it is actually rather interesting as it is one of the only examples of a horse discovered from this period that is at such a high altitude. It is thought that this glacier was used from the Late Iron Age to the Early Medieval period as a short cut across the mountains, but the view proposed by Lars Pilø, the Head of Snow Archaeology* at Oppland council, is that this animal would once have been used to transport reindeer carcasses down the mountains. In the summer months, horseflies affect the deer and force them to higher altitudes where the insects cannot survive, which also makes the ice the perfect hunting ground due to its lack of cover and good visibility (i.e. dark animal on white snow). Personally, I am unsure how we can really say which theory is correct, as any load would have been removed from the horse once it had died and therefore there would be little to inform us of its original purpose in that location. However, it does show us again that this glacier (and presumably many more glaciers besides this one) have a vast number of secrets still to tell us.

iron age horse

Main image: Preserved Iron Age horse manure. Inset (L): A piece of the horse’s skull. Inset (R): An Iron Age horse-shoe. Image: Oppland County Council

* I’m intrigued! Snow archaeology? Is the study of features highlighted by the snow a distinct area of archaeology or does it come under landscape and reconnaissance? Or is it something different? I think I may need to do a bit of research!

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Treasure from the Norwegian ice

tunic

The woolen tunic discovered, believed to date between 230 AD and 390 AD

The gradual melting of the world’s glaciers has proved interesting recently for archaeologists, with the Lendbreen glacier in Norway revealing a fantasticlly well preserved Iron Age tunic, and a number of Neolithic bows and arrows. The arrows were shorter than earlier Mesolithic shafts found elsewhere in Europe, and this is possibly due to the heavy weight of the points, made out of slate- an odd choice for such weapons. The tunic is one of only a number of such items that have been found from this period, and shows signs of wear, use and even repairs that have been made.

However, this melting of the ice may have proved fortuitous in this case (as it also did in the case of Otzi the Iceman discovered on the Austrian-Italian border), but it also highlights a growing concern that many more delicate items could thaw out of the ice and degrade or be destroyed before anyone has the opportunity to recover them, meaning that many artifacts could be lost forever. Oh, and there is also the small matter of the issues this raises concerning Global Warming…

Anyhoo- here is a link to two articles on the discovery from the wonderful ‘Antiquity’ journal, if anyone is interested:

http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870728.htm

http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/087/ant0870788.htm 

(The articles are also linked to the images, so alternatively, click on the pictures).

arrows

A selection of the arrowheads uncovered

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