Friday, December 14, 2012

Vikings, Samurai and the South Pole

Four stories of interest today:

Underwater archaeologists discovered two ancient swords in the River Shannon in Ireland.  One is said to be a 10th C Viking sword.  The second is a pre-Viking sword dated between the 5th and 7th centuries. More here.

1917 illustration of Viking sword, spear head, axe

Research was done on the bones of Samurai and their children living during the Edo period (1603-1868).  Analysis indicated that many of the children suffered from lead poisoning which left the children deformed, disabled or backward.  The lead came from the large amount of make-up used by Japanese mothers at the time.  The research posits that the health detriments helped lead to a weakening of the Samurai class of Japan. More here.

Photo of Samurai Sosuke Henmi (1843-1894)

1800s illustration from Edo period book “Tale of the Eight Dog Warriors of Satomi”

A team currently exploring the South Pole possibly discovered the 1912 campsite used by Robert Falcon Scott’s expedition to the South Pole.  Scott was a Royal Navy officer leading the expedition and though they reached the South Pole, the team died on the way back.  More here.

Scott’s ship the Terra Nova

In Georgia, Gwinnett County officials purchased a Hog Mountain Site where the War of 1812-era outpost Fort Daniel once stood.  Though the land is bare, archaeologists have been able to locate the fort’s wall foundations and artifacts. More here

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