Building Houses

So I discovered this small article that details the processes that have helped keep some buildings from 12th century Scandinavia intact for almost a thousand years. It’s not Viking Age, but it does fall into the Literary Age. 🙂 And I think it’s just fascinating to see how you can prep your lumber before cutting down the tree. And that it will last so long!

For something building-related for the late Viking Age, I suggest learning more about the Viking House at the University of Wisconsin — Green Bay (on its Facebook page you can see the new paint job). I had the honor to be able to stay overnight at this house (built by Master of the Laurel, Guttorm meistari Arneson, his articles and class handouts can be found at the Guest Hall at Eithni’s Keep) thanks to Master Edwin atte Bridge, in the fall of 2012, before it was donated to the University. It is an experience I still remember and draw from. I hope to get to visit it in its new home one of these days.

Guttorm meistari has an material on the building technique Grindbygningen, as well as References on Viking Age Buildings, and Longhouse slides.


Prof. Clover and Njáls saga provided an article August 27th, Proving Facts in Njáls saga. It is a summary of one of the lectures Professor Carol Clover of the University of California-Berkeley gave during the Saga Conference. (Clover has a wonderful introductory article on gender and its unusual treatment in Old Norse culture as opposed to Medieval European culture, which I recommend to anyone interested in the topic.) And especially since I went to the Æthelmearc event on Njáls saga (you can still check out some of the information on the WordPress blog for the event) just last October, the lecture topic perked my interest.

The introduction didn’t give me any information I hadn’t already read about (and it is ironically about leaving out established information to an audience), but the description of how the saga author sets up the description of less concrete deaths gave me a new perspective.

Daniel Serra, Culinary Archaeologist

I’m a big fan of the work that Daniel Serra does. I have been to one of his lectures, and I have read his blog Eldrimner, and I own the book he co-authored with Hanna Tunberg, An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Culinary Odyssey (on ChronoCopia PublishingAmazon). He takes the archaeological record from the Viking Age and helps to interpret that into plausible recipes. Well, he also does for Medieval Scandinavia too. 🙂

And if you’re in Northshield, you’ll have opportunities to listen to him speak.


Also not too far away in Calontir…

Tattúínárdǿla saga & Dr. Jackson Crawford

An interview came upon my radar the other day which interviewed the eminently cool Dr. Jackson Crawford of the University of Colorado (I may have mentioned in more than one place his YouTube channel and videos at some point) on a project he did eight years ago, the Tattúínárdǿla saga or “the story of the Tattoine river valley”.

That’s right. He adapted Star Wars as an Icelandic Saga.

Now, I had of course heard about this project eight years ago. I was in college at the time, working on my Bachelor’s in Linguistics, and studying Old Norse and Modern Icelandic. I thought it was wicked cool at the time, but had no time to really follow the project because I was working on my Bachelor’s in Linguistics. ;-P So, I never really learnt the name of the person who was working on it.

Until this interview article. And I just stared at it for a moment and went, “Ya. Of course it was Crawford…”

So, now that I am not working on my Bachelor’s, I have been taking the time to read the adaption like I’ve been wanting to. I’ve been a little disappointed with how heavily he is drawing from other sagas in the first few chapters. But, there’s also some cleverness that makes me laugh.


Islandica is a long-time publication for scholarly papers on Icelandic and Norse topics, and is apparently quite hard to find via search engines (I had to look for an old bookmark since my Google-foo failed.) The most recent papers are available in pdf for free.