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Pretty cool.
It amazes me how ingenious mankind can be.
 

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Oh hell!

Now the sextant and paper chart boys have something else that we Must Have to go to sea!


Mark
 
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Oh hell!

Now the sextant and paper chart boys have something else that we Must Have to go to sea!


Mark
Don't forget your sun compass, too. :laugher

<img src="http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/pix/sun_compass.jpg">
 
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Why aren't more of these things found? (Why is finding one on an Elizabethan wreck - 800 years after the Vikings - such big news?) Why aren't they found on much older wrecks? Are there more references to them in earlier periods, other than the sparse mention (as the article states) in nordic texts?
 

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Why aren't more of these things found? (Why is finding one on an Elizabethan wreck - 800 years after the Vikings - such big news?) Why aren't they found on much older wrecks? Are there more references to them in earlier periods, other than the sparse mention (as the article states) in nordic texts?
Interesting questions. The Alderney stone was found close to navigation tools, suggesting it was being used as a backup or check on the magnetic compass. I wonder if anyone has searched early English literature for references to anything like the sunstone. There's a good project for a college dissertation. :)

We'll have to wait for the archaeologists to do the dirty work, but they are looking:

"No such crystals have been found yet at Viking sites. The team notes that archaeologists are unlikely to find complete crystals as part of a group of grave goods, since the Vikings often cremated their dead.

But recent excavations turned up the first calcite fragment at a Viking settlement, "proving some people in the Viking Age were employing Iceland spar crystals," the researchers wrote."

Shipwreck Article
 

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Great article. As I continue to learn more about the Vikings, I am even more impressed by how awesome they were. I don't think most folks really know that much about them.
When people ask me about my background (I'm American), I tell them I'm 1/4-Swede (since my grandfather came over from Sweden when he was a teenager, expecting to find the streets actually paved with gold, according to family lore). Maybe I should tell them I'm 1/4-Viking instead, since it's better to be associated with the sunstone than the Vasa (which I had a chance to tour when I visited Stockholm).
I bet you Chuck Norris is part Viking! From now on I'm one-quarter Viking (though I'm still and always will be a die hard Green Bay Packers fan)!
 

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I searched the site and could not find a post for this story; sorry if it's a rerun.

Viking 'Sunstone' Discovered - Business Insider
as i said: a wealth of information. this is cool. now they have proof the the idea that the sunstone was a real thing and that it was icelandic spar. one thing that irks me:

"Sunstones, according to a theory first aired 45 years ago, helped the great Norse mariners to navigate their way to Iceland and even perhaps as far as North America during the Viking heyday of 900-1200 AD, way before the magnetic compass was introduced in Europe in the 13th century."

really? perhaps as far as North America? someone is behind the times. historians used to deny the validity of the saga account of finding North America but they found the actual settlement a good while ago, proving the sagas weren't full of BS.
 

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Great article. As I continue to learn more about the Vikings, I am even more impressed by how awesome they were. I don't think most folks really know that much about them.
When people ask me about my background (I'm American), I tell them I'm 1/4-Swede (since my grandfather came over from Sweden when he was a teenager, expecting to find the streets actually paved with gold, according to family lore). Maybe I should tell them I'm 1/4-Viking instead, since it's better to be associated with the sunstone than the Vasa (which I had a chance to tour when I visited Stockholm).
I bet you Chuck Norris is part Viking!
lol. one of the other things people don't know about the vikings. vikings were not a race or culture or a people. viking was a profession. a vikingr was someone wo went a viking. viking being the verb referring to raiding/piracy. while the vikings were primarily scandinavian ( norse ), being the last official wave of germanic migrations ( although i would certainly count the norman invasions as being part of the germanic migrations, myself ), they also included dutch and germans. they even gathered some irish, as well.

not even all norse sailors were vikings. only those involved in raiding.

instead of saying you are viking, perhaps you should say you were norse.:D
 

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....
not even all norse sailors were vikings. only those involved in raiding.

instead of saying you are viking, perhaps you should say you were norse.
FWIW, the history books I've read usually refer to them as "norse raiders"..
 

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lol. one of the other things people don't know about the vikings. vikings were not a race or culture or a people. viking was a profession. a vikingr was someone wo went a viking. viking being the verb referring to raiding/piracy. while the vikings were primarily scandinavian ( norse ), being the last official wave of germanic migrations ( although i would certainly count the norman invasions as being part of the germanic migrations, myself ), they also included dutch and germans. they even gathered some irish, as well.

not even all norse sailors were vikings. only those involved in raiding.

instead of saying you are viking, perhaps you should say you were norse.
Weren't the Normans who invaded England in 1006 actually Vikings? I think I read that the Vikings settled Normandy a generation or two earlier.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Weren't the Normans who invaded England in 1006 actually Vikings? I think I read that the Vikings settled Normandy a generation or two earlier.

Regards,
Brad
yes, indeed they were descendents of vikings. actually, northern europe was divided between celts and germans. the germanic tribes consisted of the north germanic, which includes the norse. the west germanic, which are the germans, dutch, english, franks ( french ), swiss, and austrians. the south germanics are the bavarians. the east germanics were the goths but they did not continue, as a distinct people, into our time.

all of those people shared a religion, language group, and similar cultural traits. the anglo-saxons sailed to england in longships.
 

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FWIW, the history books I've read usually refer to them as "norse raiders"..
that would be more proper than viking, really. viking is a norse word, however, viking is the verb. the person who goes a viking is called vikingr. since most people aren't familiar with old norse, calling them vikingr, in a text book, would make people wonder.
 

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lol. one of the other things people don't know about the vikings. vikings were not a race or culture or a people. viking was a profession. a vikingr was someone wo went a viking. viking being the verb referring to raiding/piracy. while the vikings were primarily scandinavian ( norse ), being the last official wave of germanic migrations ( although i would certainly count the norman invasions as being part of the germanic migrations, myself ), they also included dutch and germans. they even gathered some irish, as well.

not even all norse sailors were vikings. only those involved in raiding.

instead of saying you are viking, perhaps you should say you were norse.:D
Thanks for the bit of history! I never thought of being a viking as more of a profession than a race. Interesting!
As for being norse, I always thought (without much thought) that norse meant norwegian, but I bet it is just "from the north" and included norway and sweden, plus others?
Anyway, the vikings, aka norse, aka norse raiders, sure were/are interesting!
 

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Thanks for the bit of history! I never thought of being a viking as more of a profession than a race. Interesting!
As for being norse, I always thought (without much thought) that norse meant norwegian, but I bet it is just "from the north" and included norway and sweden, plus others?
Anyway, the vikings, aka norse, aka norse raiders, sure were/are interesting!
quite so. the norweigians ans swedes spoke the west norse dialect and the danes spoke west norse. the icelanders were also norse. they spoke a dialect called old icelandic.

just because you might find it interesting, the germanic languages were/are very similar, being of the same family. for instance:

english: raven Wodan (anglosaxon ) Thunor ( anglosaxon )
norse: hrafn Othinn ( usually anglicized to Odin ) Thorr
german: raben Wotan Donar
 

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The vikings were members of a productive and highly creative culture. The superb artistry of their woodworking, metalsmithing, songmaking, shipbuilding and exploring talents deserve more notice.

I particularly enjoy their play with words. The riddle-poems and riddle-game are great fun, and the lore-poems a fine way for a non-literate people to keep ancient wisdom alive. Tolkien used them to great effect in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".

(rant)
That's one of my pet peeves with the "Lord of the Rings" movies. Besides leaving out the Old Forest and Barrow-Downs episodes (I really wanted to see Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil), Peter Jackson left out the poems and songs.
(/rant)
 
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Thirty of forty years ago, the "Sunstone" was still considered "just another Viking fairy tale" as much of the Norse writings have been considered for a thousand years. So unless someone was very up to date, they could easily see one--assuming a chunk of Icelandic Spar survives underwater better than beach glass does--and tossed it out as a piece of worn glass, or a quartz crystal, or some other bit of trash.

The Icelandic Sagas were long denigrated as works of fairy tales and rubbish because they were quite serious about things like sailing so far to the south that the pitch melted off the planking and the lands were full of BLUE men.

And then around 1970 someone figured out that the Vikings had different words for some colors, and "blue" men meant "blue-black, the color of raven feathers" and the blue men were, ahuh, simply very black Africans. And that perhaps the Vikings really had gone that far.

Apparently they founded Russia (named for the Rus tribe of Vikings) sacked and burned Constantinople, made it to just about everyplace where a warrior poet could have a good time sacking and burning and pillaging...and, yeah, were dead serious about being able to navigate with tools the Europeans didn't have.

Bear in mind that European navigators were a very secretive bunch, if they HAD obtained potentially ungodly tools from horrid pagans, they'd probably have been very quiet about having them or using them. Viking magic? The Inquisition would have put a fast end to that, too.

I think it was only ten? years ago that someone figured out the longboats would regularly exceed "hull speed" because the style of lapstrake construction they used actually works to perform a considerable amount of air injection. Bubbles are passed under the hull, reducing drag, increasing speed, the same way that we've banned them form modern racing boats for the same reason. But the Vikings apparently were using the same technology, accidentally of not, and then it got lost for a thousand years.
 

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The vikings were members of a productive and highly creative culture. The superb artistry of their woodworking, metalsmithing, songmaking, shipbuilding and exploring talents deserve more notice.

I particularly enjoy their play with words. The riddle-poems and riddle-game are great fun, and the lore-poems a fine way for a non-literate people to keep ancient wisdom alive. Tolkien used them to great effect in "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings".

(rant)
That's one of my pet peeves with the "Lord of the Rings" movies. Besides leaving out the Old Forest and Barrow-Downs episodes (I really wanted to see Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil), Peter Jackson left out the poems and songs.
(/rant)
that irked me, as well. ian anderson, of jethro tull, would have been the perfect bombadil.

plus, he had the characters crying all the time. i don't recall that happening in the books. pansy elves, hobbits, and heros.

one other thing is how he changed the personalities of the characters. aragorn was never the reluctant king, as jackson made him.

and don't get me started on the new hobbit movies.....

one point i would make. the vikings were not illiterate. they have runestaves, that they have found, where a wife was sending her husband a message to come home from the mead hall and things like that. and there is runic graffiti in all the places the vikings went.
 

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Thirty of forty years ago, the "Sunstone" was still considered "just another Viking fairy tale" as much of the Norse writings have been considered for a thousand years. So unless someone was very up to date, they could easily see one--assuming a chunk of Icelandic Spar survives underwater better than beach glass does--and tossed it out as a piece of worn glass, or a quartz crystal, or some other bit of trash.

The Icelandic Sagas were long denigrated as works of fairy tales and rubbish because they were quite serious about things like sailing so far to the south that the pitch melted off the planking and the lands were full of BLUE men.

And then around 1970 someone figured out that the Vikings had different words for some colors, and "blue" men meant "blue-black, the color of raven feathers" and the blue men were, ahuh, simply very black Africans. And that perhaps the Vikings really had gone that far.

Apparently they founded Russia (named for the Rus tribe of Vikings) sacked and burned Constantinople, made it to just about everyplace where a warrior poet could have a good time sacking and burning and pillaging...and, yeah, were dead serious about being able to navigate with tools the Europeans didn't have.

Bear in mind that European navigators were a very secretive bunch, if they HAD obtained potentially ungodly tools from horrid pagans, they'd probably have been very quiet about having them or using them. Viking magic? The Inquisition would have put a fast end to that, too.

I think it was only ten? years ago that someone figured out the longboats would regularly exceed "hull speed" because the style of lapstrake construction they used actually works to perform a considerable amount of air injection. Bubbles are passed under the hull, reducing drag, increasing speed, the same way that we've banned them form modern racing boats for the same reason. But the Vikings apparently were using the same technology, accidentally of not, and then it got lost for a thousand years.
wow. that's great. when i write about this kind of viking age technological advancement people just laugh at me and say i am full of it....especially on sailing sites. thank you thank you thank you :)


'experimental archaeology' has done a lot to further our understanding of the capabilities of the norse vessels....although there are still people who will argue that they could only reach, never sail up wind, because europe just couldn't have had those capabilities until much later. i suppose it's hard for some people to admit that technology hasn't been a straight steady line of advancement but, rather, an advance, retreat, advance some more process.
 
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