We, the Thegns, are a Midlands-based group dedicated to celebrating and encouraging public appreciation of English history from the Migration period and "Viking Age", and exploration of these periods through primary research, public events, and re-constructive archaeology.
Our interests include aspects of the culture of the Anglo-Saxons, Vendel Culture, Vikings and Normans, and their influence on English history. To learn more, visit our articles page, or read about re-constructive archaeology at our projects page.
For updates on our activities and articles, visit our facebook page.
Monday, 8 April 2013
A perennial statement we hear from members of the public, is the belief that folk long ago we smaller than we are today. Most are very surprised to learn that our Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian ancestors were no smaller than us and that some of the warrior class were tall and strong, even by today's standard. In the light of this it is worth briefly examining how we are so certain of this fact and why there is such a widespread misconception regarding stature.
Sunday, 31 March 2013
|Viking Warrior Queen. Unkown source*|
Migration Age graves from England, Scandinavia and the Low Countries have revealed men buried with traditionally female grave-goods and women found buried with weapons. What are we to make of this? Perhaps it is time to examine the evidence critically.
*Image source unknown. Retrieved via tumblr.com under fair use.
Sunday, 24 March 2013
In an earlier article concerning spears, I wrote that the javelin could be thought of as a light spear meant to be thrown as a missile weapon. While the already discussed 'Angon' heavy javelin fell out of use by the later period, lighter javelins seem to have seen longer use. The Old English name for such a weapon was "daroð", from which the modern term ‘dart’ derives. Such a universal weapon deserves a more in-depth review.
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
Today, for most in the developed world, ectoparasites are a thing of the past. In fact, the war on lice was only relatively recently won. In other species, such parasites are significantly detrimental to individual fitness, but human beings and, to a lesser extent, other primates, have demonstrated a unique ability to rid ourselves of such irritations. Much of the progress made by man has followed from one humble and ancient invention; the comb - an object that, by the Anglo-Saxon period, was in extensive use. The manufacture of Anglo-Saxon combs appears to have been quite a complex process, emphasising the importance of such objects, and it is worthwhile examining the significance of this tool in Anglo-Saxon society, along with other strategies used by our 'Dark-Age' ancestors for tackling infestation.