One of the century’s most spectacular archaeological finds occurred in 1921, a year before Howard Carter stumbled upon Tutankhamun’s tomb, when Poul Norlund recovered dozens of garments from a graveyard in the Norse settlement of Herjolfsnaes, Greenland. Preserved intact for centuries by the permafrost, these mediaeval garments display remarkable similarities to western European costumes of the time. Previously, such costumes were known only from contemporary illustrations, and the Greenland finds provided the world with a close look at how ordinary Europeans dressed in the Middle Ages. Fortunately for Norlund’s team, wood has always been extremely scarce in Greenland, and instead of caskets, many of the bodies were found swaddled in multiple layers of cast off clothing. When he wrote about the excavation later, Norlund also described how occasional thaws had permitted crowberry and dwarf willow to establish themselves in the top layers of soil. Their roots grew through coffins, clothing and corpses alike, binding them together in a vast network of thin fibers – as if, he wrote, the finds had been literally sewn in the earth. Eighty years of technical advances and subsequent excavations have greatly added to our understanding of the Herjolfsnaes discoveries. Woven into the Earth recounts the dramatic story of Norlund’s excavation in the context of other Norse textile finds in Greenland. It then describes what the finds tell us about the materials and methods used in making the clothes. The weaving and sewing techniques detailed here are surprisingly sophisticated, and one can only admire the talent of the women who employed them, especially considering the harsh conditions they worked under. While Woven into the Earth will be invaluable to students of medieval archaeology, Norse society and textile history, both lay readers and scholars are sure to find the book’s dig narratives and glimpses of life among the last Vikings fascinating.
Edward Plantagenet, The English Justinian – Kindle edition by Edward Jenks. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Edward Plantagenet, The English Justinian.
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Description from Publisher: Pyrrhus Press specializes in bringing books long out of date back to life, allowing today’s readers access to yesterday’s treasures. This is a concise but comprehensive biography of King Edward of the Plantagenet dynasty. From the preface:“IF ever there was a national hero, it was Edward of England. In his person, his character, his position, and his policy, are summed up the essential elements of that great English nation which came into existence during his lifetime. How far Edward was its creator, how far its creature, is a shrewd question, which each student of history must answer for himself; but I trust that this little book may help him to form a sound conclusion. Whatever be the answer, there can be little doubt, that it would be impossible to find a truer symbol of the English nation, in the days of its glorious youth, than the king whose life is sketched in the following pages.Perhaps it is necessary that I should offer a word of apology for the intrusion of a mere lawyer upon a scene so dominated by great historians. My explanation is, that I have long been unable to understand, how anyone but a lawyer can possibly appreciate the true inwardness of Edward’s reign. The Common Law which came into existence during his lifetime was, and is, the very picture of English national life, the concrete form into which the national spirit crystallises with the moving centuries.Some of Edward’s most brilliant achievements in legislation and statecraft are wholly missed by lay historians, simply because these achievements are expressed in highly technical language. If I have essayed the perilous task of striving to make technical matters clear to the general reader, as in Chapters IX. and XIII., I have done so because I have felt, that it was idle to attempt, in any other way, to bring out Edward’s real greatness. But, even with this conviction, I should hardly have ventured the task, had I not been encouraged, by those whose opinions are entitled to greater weight than my own, to hope that I might in some degree succeed in persuading my readers, that Law is a dull subject only to those who do not understand it.”
Description: Short introduction to the amazing finds of garments from the Norse settlement of Herjolfnes in Greenland by Else Østergård. Chapters on technique: production of the tread, dyeing, weaving techniques, cutting and sewing by Anna Nørgaard. Measurements and drawing of garments, hoods, and stockings with sewing instructions by Lilli Frandsen. A practical guide to making your own Norse Medieval garment!
Amazon Review (K. Duffy): While this book is missing a few things to stand alone, such as dates, It is the perfect companion to “Woven Into The Earth.” The garments are refereed to by their numbers, which makes cross refencing [sic] fairly easy. I can find a garment in this book, see the original, see the reporduction [sic], read the exact measurements of the original and it’s fabric content. I am then given a graphed pattern to follow which shows shaded which parts of the pattern are actual remnants of the original garment and which are the interpretations and filling in of missing fabric. It makes it easy to see exactly what I am looking at. I can then look the garment number up in “Woven Into The Earth” and find more informaiton [sic], such as when and where the garment was unearthed, and in some cases even the specific location on a map of Greenland where it was found. All in all this book is a real gem and it is detailed enough for true historic reproductions as well as easy enough to follow for the weekender reenactor [sic]. A great book!