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Scandinavia

Ragnar Lothbrok

Ragnar Lothbrok: A Real Viking Hero Whose Life Became Lost to Legend

Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless Viking hero who ransacked England and France and fathered the Great Heathen Army. However the historicity of the man with “hairy breeches” is subject to debate. Where...
A Sámi family  in front of goahti and lavvu housing, early 1900s, Norway

The Sami People: Reindeer Herding and Cultural Survival in the Far North

The Sámi are the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. For thousands of years they have lived in an area called Sápmi - the northern sectors of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula...
A box bed from the 18th century

The Medieval Box Bed Returns: Closing Yourself in for a Good Night’s Sleep

The box bed, sometimes known by its French name of lit clos, is a bed built into a piece of furniture. It looks curious to us today and it’s somewhat of a novelty to climb into bed and shut the doors...
Fenrir wolf

Fenrir: The Monstrous Wolf of Norse Legend

One of the three children of Loki by a giantess (jötunn ) named Angrboða, Fenrir plays an imperative, though short, role in Norse mythology. A wolf of remarkable size and strength, Fenrir has one...
Woman in the countryside

Kulning: The Ancient Swedish Herding Call That Has Echoed Through the Ages

Kulning is a vocal art with its origins in the forests and mountains of Scandinavia. It was first used as a method to call back cattle who were left free to graze in the wild landscape, but it is...
The 5,500-year-old fingerprint (left) and the funnel beaker (right)

Finger print found on ceramic bowl is over 5,000 years old

When Danish archaeologists started to survey the site of the proposed Femern Belt link tunnel in 2015, they discovered a 5,500 year old ceramic vessel imprinted with the fingerprint of the craftsman...
Detail of the runic inscription found on one of the copies of the golden horns of Gallehus housed at the Moesgaard Museum.

Futhark: Mysterious Ancient Runic Alphabet of Northern Europe

Runes are the characters of the earliest written alphabet used by the Germanic peoples of Europe called Futhark. The runic alphabet was used within Germanic languages but primarily in Nordic...
Two actors from the History Channel series “Vikings.”

Survey Shows About Half of Brits Wish They Were Descended from Vikings…and Many Probably Are!

If you’re from the British Isles, do you ever wonder if you’re a descendant of the marauding Vikings known sometimes to rape and pillage far from home and other times to set up settlements and...
Painting by John Bauer of two trolls with a human child they have raised

The Weird, Wonderful and Wicked Beings in Scandinavian Folklore

In Scandinavian folklore, there are numerous races of beings, the best-known of which (apart from human beings) are the gods and the jötnar, their nemesis. In rather simplistic terms, these may be...
A Viking offers a slave girl to a Persian merchant.

Torment of the Sea Nomads. Viking Sea States of Merchants - Part I

In the late 8th century, a group of Scandinavian sea nomads took to the sea and tormented Europe and Asia through their terrible acts of piracy. Thankfully, by the early 9th century, their piracy...
The comb was discovered in Ribe, West Denmark.

Objects with Viking Rune Inscriptions Unearthed in Denmark’s Oldest Town

Ancient objects with rare Viking rune inscriptions have been discovered in Denmark. Experts suggest that the runic inscriptions could possibly shed new light on a very important period of the early...
Recreated Viking helmet and weapon

Burning, Pillaging, and Carving up the Lands: Viking Raids into England - Part II

Vikings in history and popular culture are known as strong and dangerous, bloodthirsty killers, raiders, pillagers – pirates of land and sea. But who were the Vikings, and what were the causes of...
The Burning Galley

“Never Before Has Such a Terror Appeared”: Viking Raids into Ireland – Part I

Vikings struck terror into the hearts of many in Europeans—and their reputation still lingers today when you ask a person to describe them. The answers given are that they were violent, hairy brutes...
An octopus and fish. Scandinavian mythology claimed the Kraken was a sea monster that looked like an octopus or a squid – but was much bigger.

Are Fossils Linked to the Legendary Kraken Enough to Prove its Terrifying Existence?

Scandinavian mythology claims the Kraken swallowed up whales and devoured ships. It has been described as a huge version of an octopus or squid. Legends have even claimed the terrifying sea creature...
This iron helmet is the only one that is found in Scandinavia dating back to the Viking Age. Why are not more found? (Photo: Museum of Cultural History, Oslo)

Why Is This the Only Existing Viking Age Helmet?

By THORNEWS In 1943, extraordinarily rich finds from the Viking Age were made in Haugsbygd in Ringerike, Eastern Norway. The finds included – among many other objects – the only helmet dating back to...
Example of Roman coins from a hoard at Llanvaches, Monmouthshire, Wales in 2006. Roman coins have been found in a few locations across Scandinavia as well.

Making Money Divine: Roman Imperial Coins had a Unique Value in Scandinavian Cultures

"My fleet sailed from the mouth of the Rhine eastward as far as the lands of the Cimbri to which, up to that time, no Roman had ever penetrated either by land or by sea, and the Cimbri and Charydes...

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