The iamintellectuallypromiscuous.com web nerd found TWO Viking-stuff updates in the news this week. Excerpts below, with links to the original awesomeness. Check ’em out!
One believer transformed a local curiosity into proof of Vikings on the Great Plains
Not everyone, however, is convinced Norsemen sailed up the Arkansas River to the Great Plains nearly 500 years before Columbus came to America. Others speculate that the runestone was carved by someone on the French explorer La Salle’s expedition in the 17th century, or by a Swedish captain during a period of 18th-century French colonization. Still others believe the rock may be a hoax created by a 19th-century Scandinavian farmer. Skeptics point out that there are no other remaining artifacts of Vikings in Oklahoma, although similar runestones have been found in Poteau, Shawnee, and Tulsa.
Old Arabic texts describe dirty Vikings
Arabs who encountered Scandinavians who had journeyed eastward depicted them as handsome people but filthy and barbaric.
They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food.
The Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan noted the above after meeting Viking travellers around a thousand years ago.
The Icelandic historian Thorir Jonsson Hraundal has studied comments about what we call Vikings in original texts by Arab historians and geographers. The texts described Arab encounters with Scandinavians in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River.
Their depictions differ radically from images of fearsome Viking conquerors handed down from the British Isles and France in the same era.