Medieval

Archaeology in Orkney: What should I see? Handy map and bucket list

Looking into Skara Brae house 1, Skaill, Orkney
Are you coming to Orkney? Are you keen to see archaeology? Orkney is fantastic for archaeology! It's difficult to choose what to see or where to go. Therefore, I have helped you out with this handy map (link at the bottom). I would be happy to guide you, or you can visit on your own. [...]Read more of Archaeology in Orkney: What should I see? Handy map and bucket list...

When walls talk: The medieval and post-medieval graffiti of Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway

Helmet and heraldic shield, believed to be that of Karl Knutsson Bonde.
Introduction to Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim and its relationship with St Magnus Cathedral, Orkney Transcript of a public talk given to Orkney Archaeology Society, 27th November 2018. By Dr Ragnhild Ljosland Graffiti is so exciting because the walls talk to us, and by looking for and recording the graffiti, we are finally listening to them! Nidaros [...]Read more of When walls talk: The medieval and post-medieval graffiti of Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, Norway...

Why did Lifolf the cook cry?

Martyrdom of St Magnus, re-enacted, April 2017, Egilsay, Orkney, for Magnus 900.
Martyrdom of St Magnus, re-enacted, April 2017, Egilsay, Orkney, for Magnus 900. Saint Magnus church, Birsay Why did Lifolf the earl's cook cry? Male tears and changing masculine ideals in Orkneyinga Saga. Big Viking boys don't cry In saga literature, real men don't cry. Not even as they are being assassinated, or their entire family [...]Read more of Why did Lifolf the cook cry?...

Layers of sand, layers of history

Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes.
Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes. Reverse side of stone. Lines in sandstone caused by natural weathering. Despite the visual similarity they are not runes. Beach combing in Burray Burray is an exciting place for beach combers: Along a wide, beautifully arched bay, the layers of [...]Read more of Layers of sand, layers of history...

A pilgrimage in sleet

St Magnus Way: Across the Orphir hills in sleet and snow, December 2017. The sun glowing golden on the horizon over Scapa Flow between sleety showers.
St Magnus Way: Across the Orphir hills in sleet and snow, December 2017. The sun glowing golden on the horizon over Scapa Flow between sleety showers. The Round Kirk, Orphir. 12th Century. Believed to have been commissioned by Earl Hakon Palsson, killer of St Magnus, after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Firth and Orphir on a [...]Read more of A pilgrimage in sleet...

Chocolate archaeology for Christmas

Brodgar Archaeological Chocolate is now in William Shearer's very special Christmas shop, Kirkwall.
Brodgar Archaeological Chocolate at Kirkness and Gorie, Kirkwall. Christmas at Kirkness & Gorie Kirkness and Gorie is a very old family run shop in Kirkwall, specialising in good wine, good cheese and good food, and therefore the ideal place to find Christmas gifts. Ingrid and Duncan, the owners, have supported Brodgar Archaeological Chocolate from the [...]Read more of Chocolate archaeology for Christmas...

Pilgrimage on St Magnus Way

Ragnhild Ljosland Orkney Tourist Guide
On the St Magnus Way pilgrimage route, Orkney, with tourist guide Dr Ragnhild Ljosland. An Orkney pilgrimage on St Magnus Way On the 16th of April 2017, to the day 900 years after the martyrdom of St Magnus, the pilgrimage route opened, which traces the route of his relics. It is a 55 mile walk [...]Read more of Pilgrimage on St Magnus Way...

The mystery of the rune disc

The rune inscribed stone disc (OR 1) from Stackrue Broch.
This glorious Sunday we spent in Lyking, trying to get to the bottom of a mystery. We had invited Andrea Blendl along: She is doing a PhD on runic inscriptions, and I (Raggie) am one of her supervisors. Andrea had for some time tried to find out more about the history of a rune inscribed [...]Read more of The mystery of the rune disc...

We found a stone dish on the beach today

The Round Kirk, Orphir. 12th Century. Believed to have been commissioned by Earl Hakon Palsson, killer of St Magnus, after a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Today was the first day you could really feel the sun warming your face again, so it seems we are now through the deepest of winter. Chris and I took our boys to the beach below The Bu in Orphir today — the site of Earl Hakon Palsson’s round church and formerly also a Viking […]

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Digging for Kirkwall Castle

There’s a very exciting project going on in Kirkwall at the moment: The great garden dig, led by archaeologist Dan Lee. Being a community project, everyone is welcome to dig, so we did — including the children. The digging happens in volunteer gardens along what was once Kirkwall’s shoreline. We had a go at digging […]

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