The Heathen Mythbuster

The Heathen Mythbuster

About the blog

As long as I have been on online heathen forums, I have encountered many modern myths. The internet are full of strange and wonderful theories and that is great, but many of them are not based on real facts or are ignoring facts to get their homegrown theory to fit. I will try to find the facts about these theories and share them here. Some of the posts will properly have to be rewritten/changed to accommodate new data or data I wasn’t aware of then posting the information on the first time. That’s only an natural development for such a blog.
Since I am Danish and English isn’t my first language, I will properly make many grammatical and spelling mistakes. Please bear over with me.

Meme about the language of the Skrælings

MigrationPosted by Kim Pierri Sun, November 13, 2016 09:51:28
I've seen this meme on a Asatru Facebookpage. I have looked at the relevant sagas:

In the Saga of the Greenlanders, the people of Karlsefni have dealing with the Native Americans. It says that they don’t understand each other, but nothing about the languages sounding like anything they know. P. 341

In the Saga of Erik the Red Karlsefni can negotiate prices with the natives, but it doesn’t say anything about the language they talk. P. 366

Later they capture some boys and teach then Norse (which might indicate that the negotiating earlier was done without understanding each other’s language). They say that there is a country nearby where people wear white clothes and that the country are called whitemansland, which clearly refer to the white clothes. P. 369

So it’s clear that there’s no reference to the language of the natives and that there is no reference to them meeting people with white skin before (actually there’s no reference to someone described as having white skin at all)

I have used the new danish translation of the sagas and the pages in this article refer to that translation:
Islændingesagaerne samtlige sagaer og niogfyrre totter. Book one.
Saga Forlag, Reykjavik Iceland, 2014

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Viking Berserker grave found in Denmark?

WarriorsPosted by Kim Pierri Thu, September 22, 2016 09:28:42

In a debate about berserkers, someone mentioned that berserker graves had been found and googling I found two articles who both are talking about a grave found I Hårup in Jutland Denmark:

The first one I read doesn’t really tell us much about why they think that man in the grave was a berserker. http://www.newhistorian.com/grave-axe-wielding-viking-berserker-found-denmark/6983/

His only reference are an article on News Corp Australia. I also found that article: Viking burial site in Denmark contained a warrior — and his enormous axe

http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/archaeology/viking-burial-site-in-denmark-contained-a-warrior--and-his-enormous-axe/news-story/c2c58410644f148a4fdaad5786182c59

The first I looked at said: “IT seems there’s some truth in the myths after all. Archaeologists in Denmark have found the burial site of a Viking ‘berserker’ warrior — complete with an oversized battle axe”

The article reference archeologist Kirsten Nelleman Nielsen (who they clearly think are a man) and say that the find are reported in “Dead and buried in the Viking Age” from Saxo Institute at The University of Copenhagen. They don’t know it, but it’s a compendium of articles from a Symposium at the institute from 2016 (I went there myself and listened to the presentations). The journalist doesn’t seem to have read the article in the book, because he wrote: “His findings, Dead and buried in the Viking Age, have been published by the Saxo Institute at the University of Copenhangen” [SIC!]

When I read through the article, none of its contents appear to be talking about berserkers. It only talks about the grave and say that an enormous axe was found in the grave.

The article in News Corp Australia also says: “It [the axe] was the sole possession found among the bones of a particularly strong man”. That is also an invention of the journalist, because the article in “Dead and buried in the Viking Age” says that there was very little human remains found and that they determined the sex of the buried peoples by the grave goods. That also follow, that they couldn’t determinate the size or musculature of the buried man. I would surmise that the journalist thought, that a man buried with such a large axe, must have been big and muscular.

The journalist also reference two articles more:

http://sciencenordic.com/unique-viking-tomb-contains-remains-noble-couple

http://www.livescience.com/55490-mighty-ax-discovered-in-viking-tomb.html

None of those articles mentions a berserker.

It seems like the part of it being a berserkergrave are an invention of the journalist at Australian News Corp and that others have referenced him on other pages. None of them read the original article. The journalist at “The new historian” even uses material not found in the Australian News Corp, but in the 2 articleslinked from there, but not noticing, that those articles doesn’t talk about berserkers.

What you can read from the original article in “Dead and buried in the Viking Age” are that this grave original was with two wooden build rooms, the female had a lot of high status grave goods in her grave and in the male grave, there was only found a very large axe. Later another graveroom was added to the grave with a male also containing an axe. The article also says that axes are the weapon mostly found in norse graves from the Viking Age.

The 2 articles that claims that the buried man was a berserker also base their interpretation on that his only gravegoods was the large axe. The problem with that interpretation are that in the burialground no organics material have been preserved. Segments of Wood, fur or cloths are only preserved when it was in contact with metal objects. So there could have been more in his grave, that hasn’t survived to this day.

The archeologist estimates that the reason the man has a large axe in his grave are to mark his status as a warrior and a chieftain, but not a word of berserkers.

I have read the Danish version of the book from the Saxo Instirute (the English version are a translation of that book):

Død og begravet – I vikingetiden, ed. Jens Ulriksen and Henriette Lyngstrøm

Copenhagen 2016.



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Cannabis in the Viking Age

TechnologyPosted by Kim Pierri Wed, September 21, 2016 09:32:48

I have read this article: Cannabis found in Viking grave

(http://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/09/20/cannabis-discovered-viking-grave/)

The article are about the Oseberg boat Grave in Tørnsberg, Norway. The article seems to be quite accurate, except for the wording. It is true that Cannabis was found in a leather purse found with the elder lady (the word sack seems to imply something larger). What the article doesn’t tell are that the cannabis are in the form of seeds and that seem to be forgotten in the article.

There seem to be no doubt that cannabis was farmed in Norway during the Vikinge Age. Beside the purse with the seeds found in The Oseberg Mound and other places, we also have found hemp pollen in a bog in Vest-Agder in Norway. Hemp pollen doesn’t move very long, but a bog would be a bad place to grow hemp. This seem to indicate that the hemp was placed there to loosen the fibers so that it would be possible to make rope or clothes from the fibers. (From Norwegian Vikings grew hemp)

I’m not aware of which kind of hemp was found in Viking-age Norway, not all strains have high percentage of THC which gives it the psychoactive effects and as said its likely that the hemp pollen found in Vest-Agder was grown to make fibers, but that doesn’t mean, that they didn’t also use hemp for its psychoactive effects. We just don’t know.







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The Mississippi Viking Ship

MigrationPosted by Kim Pierri Tue, September 13, 2016 15:05:52
A comment on the article found here: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/usa-viking-ship-discovered-near-mississipi-river/

This story was published by World News Daily Report, which are a homepage with intentional fake news. They write in their disclaimer: “WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”.

Even though it’s clearly fictitious, I once in a while run into the article posted by people that believe it’s true, so I will look into the article.

The article start with a picture of what are supposed to be the Mississippi Viking ship. It is not, it’s a picture of the longest Viking long ship ever found “The Roskilde 6 ship”. You can see the same picture in this article from a Danish newspaper. http://jyllands-posten.dk/kultur/historie/article5650467.ece

In the intro the WNDR claim that it’s a Knarr type vikingship, which also would be likely to find in the Americas. Knarrs are the big burly trading ships. Unfortunately the ship on the picture are clearly a long ship, and not a Knarr. Long ships are long sleek ships, made for speed and transporting a lot of warriors.

The size for the fictitious ship are also reliable for a Knarr-type ship and are very close to those of the Skuldelev 1 Knarr found in Roskilde Fiord. (source http://www.vikingeskibsmuseet.dk/no_cache/besoeg/udstillinger/de-fem-vikingeskibe/skuldelev-1-havskibet/)

There are also a picture of a Viking sword in the article, but that was not found in Mississippi, bur in Scotland in 2011. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-15366336

The professor mentioned in the article are also not a real person and the picture are of an Italian professor from Trinity College in Dublin. http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/meeting-held-for-ancient-city-of-karkamis.aspx?pageID=449&nID=67144&NewsCatID=375

As always, if you read an article that falls out of what normally assumed in archeology, then it’s important to look at it critically and check the information in it.

Kim Pierri, Denmark



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