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NESP Reviews


Viking Heritage Magazine

review by Álfta "Svanni" Óðinssen

        I just got in got three issues of Viking Heritage Magazine today, issues 2, 3 and 4 of 2002. (These issues can be ordered from Kungslänken, whom we have done business with and highly recommend.) These magazines are produced by West Gotland University in Sweden and are in English. They are professionally produced and I must say I am quite impressed with the quality and scope of subjects that are covered. Anyone even remotedly interested in the culture and history of the Viking Age Northmen will find these magazines great reading. They are laviously illustrated and the articles come from scholars and craftsmen, so you are getting good quality information here, not the standard New Age rubbish. It would be impossible for me to cover all that is included in these three issues so I will comment on the articles that catch my eye.
        Up front on issue #2 of 2002 is an article on Hedeby detailing some of the archaeological finds there. Another article details a find from the 11th century that may be an example of a sun disk used for excavation. Included in this find was a Slavic god amulet. Another article relates personal relflections about the late Thor Heyerdahl by the Chief Excutive and Archaeologist of the Thor Heyerdahl Research Centre, J. Bjørnar Storfjell PhD. A very good article, “Under the Hammer” appears by Michael Cunningham who long time readers of Leiðurstjarna may recognize as a former contributer to our e-zine.
        Issue #3 of 2002 explains the recreation of a Viking Age ball game called knáttleikr. This article contains the recontructed rules for the game, which is played with paddles and from the rules, I could imagine would be a very rough and tumble game that would be very intertaining to watch or play. One thing I really like about the magazines is that it concentrates on reviving Viking crafts in addition to the archaeologlical and anthropolical articles. This issue details a course in wood carving for archetechtual purposes by the German master, Almut Lucht. I was pleased to see the Praiseworthy virtues of Cleanliness reaffirmed in an article in this issue.
        In issue #4 of 2002 the latest news on new excavations are chronicled; something that is a prominent feature in all three issues. Another interesting article details with the origins of the the imaginary view of the Vikings that still prevails today.
        These magazines will be interesting to those new to Viking Age culture and history as well as the old hands. If you have any interest in the real culture and hearitage of the Northmen then do yourself a favor and pick up a couple of issues from
Kungslänken and enjoy.

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