Viking closet part 3

Its all about the bling

The most common items found in viking graves and other viking excavations were jewelry and gold. As most of us know vikings as the dirty, smelly brutes that went looting and pillaging every village in sight, that doesn’t come as a surprise. However besides pillaging vikings were skilled craftsmen and traders travelling most of the known world selling both goods (like jewels and clothing) but also slaves they had acquired in their pillaging and plundering.

Jewels and gold were the only way to show your wealth and status in the viking age, the only way you could tell the Jarl (this is thought to be the early word for earl, you can hear its somewhat similar) apart from the farmers were his jewelry and gold. They wore brooches, armbands, rings and brooches to show off how rich they were, even their combs would be adorned with bronze of silver. The vikings main export item was amber and amber jewels are often found in excavations, mostly as beads.

DSCN7644

all amber jewels

440723aasr90zpk9

How would you show your wealth

As I mentioned in Viking closet part 1 women would wear beads between their brooches, the more strands of beads and amulets you had the wealthier you were. These brooches were worn to keep up the hangerok, they came in all sorts of shapes depending on the timeline.

DSCN7697

From those brooches women would hang all sorts of things, like needle cases, knives, scissors, tweezers, ear spoons ( yes they do what you think they do), amulets for both protection and beauty, keys and combs.

 

There were of course other kinds of brooches, like the tri lobed brooch which was mostly used to fasten a kaftan or to close an open collar.

DSCN7699

Mine has a small ring to attach an amulet

The simplest brooch was a fibula, this had been around since roman times and was still worn a lot by vikings. They came in all shapes, materials and sizes like most things.DSCN7696

Arm rings were worn to show wealth or to be used as payment. Some silver bracelets and rings were found with the sole purpose of being a payment method to which archaeologists refer as ring money.

Belts and belt pouches would not escape the “bedazzling” hand of the vikings and even these items were adorned with small bronzen,silver or golden artworks.

DSCN7695

my husband went all out on his belt and pouch

Last but not least, amulets. These items were worn as protection but of course not a single opportunity was lost to show off ones wealth so the more elaborate and the more expensive the material, the better.DSCN7703

Thor hammers were the most common amulets worn by vikings, it is believed that this was worn to counter the christian cross ,but I don’t know the truth of it some say yes, others say no.

440723aasr90zpk9

Science my friend

So I have just come across this article about mead and I just had to share it with you all, It is now officially healthy to drink a glass of mead! Scientist even believe that mead is the reason vikings were healthier and lived longer then the average medieval citizen, it may be the answer to their antibiotic resistance.

Mead is made from honey and water and we all know (in some extend) that honey has antibiotic abilities, water isn’t bad either right :p

so I’ll just copy the article below, if you want to read it on the original site you can read it here.

This ancient liquor popular among Vikings may be the answer to antibiotic resistance

Vikings

Scientists in Sweden are launching their own mead – an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented mix of honey and water – based on old recipes which they say could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance.

Together with a brewery, the scientists who have long studied bees and their honey, have launched their own mead drink – Honey Hunter’s Elixir.

Lund University researcher Tobias Olofsson said mead had a long track record in bringing positive effects on health.

“Mead is an alcoholic drink made with just honey and water and it was regarded as the drink of the gods and you could become immortal or sustain a better health if you drank it. It was drunk by the Vikings for example and other cultures such as the Mayas, the Egyptians and it was a drink that was regarded as a very beneficial drink,” said Olofsson.

Honey production is key to the research. In previous research published in 2014, Olofsson and Alejandra Vasquez discovered that lactic acid bacteria found in the honey stomach of bees, mixed with honey itself, could cure chronic wounds in horses that had proved resistant to treatment.

Mead

They said their research had proven that these bacteria have the power to collaborate and kill off all the human pathogens they have been tested against, including resistant ones. They are doing so by producing hundreds of antibacterial antibiotic-like substances.

What makes Honey Hunter’s Elixir different from other types of modern mead drinks is that is uses all 13 beneficial honeybee lactic acid bacteria and the wild yeasts from honey that normally ferment mead spontaneously.

According to the team, commercial honey does not contain these bacteria. Since the honey and water mixture is sterilized before later adding industrial wine yeast, all other life in the honey, including wild yeast, is killed off.

The researchers say the drink contains 100 billion of these 13 different living and collaborating lactic acid bacteria

Olofsson said they believed mead could have been the most efficient historical equivalent to today’s antibiotics and they see Honey Hunter’s Elixir as a possible way of preventing infections.

“Well, we’ve seen in our research that the honey bees actually add great flora of lactic acid bacteria in honey so the mead, when produced, is actually fermented by these lactic acid bacteria together with wild yeasts and the lactic acid bacteria can really kill off all the dangerous pathogens that are even resistant against antibiotics. So our thinking is that the mead, when you consume the mead, these (antibacterial substances in) lactic acid bacteria in the drink can actually be transferred to your blood and help you when you are infected with dangerous bacteria or promote health, preventing infections,” Olofsson said.

In 2005 Olofsson and Vasquez discovered that many beneficial bacteria reside within honey-bees in a structure called honey crop, which is the organ where honeybees collect nectar for honey production.

As a result, their research has since focused on how this can be applied to functional foods, as alternative medical tools against infections and bee health.

The mead is part of this research which is summarized on the website http://livingantibiotics.com/

“We will have volunteers drinking this drink and measure different parameters to see if the compounds the bacteria produce could end up in the blood system and for that to cause a prevention or a cure for infections,” Vasquez said, adding that more research was needed.

“We don’t really know at the moment exactly which kind of infectious disease we could counteract in the future because we need to understand this thoroughly. At the moment we know that the bacteria produce very interesting compounds, a lot of different weapons like antibiotics but a lot of them that collaborate and those weapons or the key in use in this viable bacteria in the future,” she said.

If human trials are successful it could help doctors overturn the growing threat of antibiotic resistant bacteria, in both First World countries and also in the developing world where fresh honey is more readily accessible than antibiotics.

In recent years antibiotic resistance has become a critical issue for global health, with an ever increasing number of strains of bacteria developing immunity.


 

OH yes before i forget, the weather gods were kind to us this weekend and we were finally able to set up our tent

hurrah! After cutting about 20cm from the top pole that was too large for the tent, it was surprisingly easy and fast to set up and it is huge. Meaning jormungandr vikings have a place to sleep now ^-^ just need a bed and sheets and well basicly the whole inside oh and a tarpauling but we are getting to that.