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Fierce, fashionable Vikings filed their teeth and ironed their clothes
io9.com/ ^ | 07-08-2011 | Staff

Posted on 07/08/2011 11:43:14 AM PDT by Red Badger

A mysterious cache of dozens of humans skulls discovered earlier this year in Dorset, England belonged to Viking raiders. Anthropologists figured this out when they examined the teeth, and found that elaborate patterns had been filed into them.

That's right — the Vikings filed their teeth, and probably put pigment into the designs to make them look even more badass. No other European groups were known to file their teeth at the time these Vikings were beheaded about a millennium ago, though it was a common practice in Africa and Paleoamerica. Were the filed teeth these Norsemen's attempt to make themselves look like more intimidating warriors, or an extension of the Vikings' obsession with fashion, grooming, and jewelry?

The teeth found in Dorset were part of a gory mass grave of Vikings who were probably slaughtered by Britons fighting back against a raiding party. For hundreds of years during the middle ages, Viking parties robbed and brutalized the British tribes, and it was rare for them to meet with defeat. Indeed, the Anglo-Saxons eventually started bribing Vikings into not attacking, after the Vikings beat them decisively at the Battle of Maldon in 991.

Still, it is likely that these beheaded Vikings were killed around the time of the Battle of Maldon, roughly 1,000 years ago. Writes Maev Kennedy in the Guardian:

Many of the skeletons showed brutal slash marks, with one bearing six cut marks on the back of the neck, and other bones of hands and arms sliced through. Skulls, leg bones and rib cages had been piled up separately in the burial pit. There was no trace of clothing or possessions, suggesting the men were naked when they died, and the missing heads are interpreted as evidence of gruesome souvenirs kept by their killers.

Anthropologists retrieved several teeth from the 51 skulls they found, and each of them had carefully-crafted horizontal cuts in the front teeth. The job was so carefully done that it seemed they'd been filed by somebody who treated it as an art.

National Geographic's Stefan Lovgren reported on a previous discovery of Viking tooth fashion, in Sweden, back in 2006:

The marks were cut deep into the enamel and occurred often in pairs or triplets. [Anthropologist Caroline] Arcini adds that the marks appear to be ornamental rather than functional.

"I can conclude that the filed furrows in the front teeth of 24 Viking men are deliberately made and not the result of using the teeth as a tool," Arcini said.

She also noted that the marks are so well made that a person of great skill most likely filed them.

Why the Viking men had their teeth modified remains a mystery, but it's likely that the marks represented some kind of achievement.

"I think the Vikings' filed furrows should be seen as a social identification," Arcini [said]. "Maybe they were brave warriors who got a furrow each time they won a battle or tradesmen who traveled together."

[William] Fitzhugh, of the Smithsonian, says the reasons may have been partly aesthetic.

"We do know that the Vikings took pride in their appearance, combed their hair, and ironed their clothes with hot rocks," Fitzhugh said. "[They] now seem to have taken pain to decorate their teeth."

"When in-filled with pigment, these grooves would have made Viking warriors look even more terrifying to Christian monks and villagers," he added.

Arcini analyzed hundreds of Viking skeletons in Sweden to discover the 24 men with filed teeth, so the fashion may have only appealed to a minority, or may have been a passing fad. Fitzhugh suggested that these men might have learned to decorate their teeth from other cultures. Apparently, the filing pattern resembles what anthropologists have seen among some Paleoamerican groups in the Great Lakes region of what is now North America. Vikings may have had contact with these peoples a millennium ago, as they traveled to America in the 1000s.

Or they may have come upon the idea to file their teeth simply because it was the next logical step after hair care and ironing. Far from being barbaric chavs, Vikings may have been Europe's first metrosexuals.

Sources: The Guardian; National Geographic

Photos: Still from Outlander; skulls via Dorset city council; black and white teeth via Caroline Alcini.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Minnesota; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: dorset; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; unitedkingdom; viking; vikings

Now we know why they raided England. They went there for DENTAL WORK!......................

1 posted on 07/08/2011 11:43:24 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG PING!................


2 posted on 07/08/2011 11:44:05 AM PDT by Red Badger (Casey Anthony: "Surprise, surprise."...............)
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To: Red Badger

They didn’t iron their clothes.

They had wenches for that.


3 posted on 07/08/2011 11:46:05 AM PDT by Vendome ("Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it anyway")
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To: Red Badger

Viking Metrosexuals


4 posted on 07/08/2011 11:46:32 AM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few and let another take his office. - Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
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To: Red Badger

Is anybody else here *cringing*?


5 posted on 07/08/2011 11:46:48 AM PDT by Salamander (I don't want trouble, I don't need no fuss. But I'm wounded, old and treacherous.)
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To: Red Badger

LOL, grillz


6 posted on 07/08/2011 11:47:46 AM PDT by 556x45
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To: Red Badger
"Is it safe?"


7 posted on 07/08/2011 11:49:17 AM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: Red Badger

They remind me of cow teeth.


8 posted on 07/08/2011 11:49:43 AM PDT by Gator113 (weak-coward-racist-white hating-lying-traitor= Surrender Monkey in Chief-B. Hussein Obama...)
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To: Red Badger

And yet, I refuse to iron.


9 posted on 07/08/2011 11:49:46 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Red Badger
Now we know why they raided England. They went there for DENTAL WORK!......................


10 posted on 07/08/2011 11:53:40 AM PDT by arderkrag (Georgia is God's Country. LOOKING FOR ROLEPLAYERS. Check Profile.)
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To: Red Badger

the refernce to this being possibly imitative of north american indians is interesting. Would these have been vikings hired by svein during his ongoing raid/invasions of england as a preclude to conquering it? If vinland had already been discovered and explored, it isn’t too far-fetched to imagine a band of them imitating the art, then eventually meandering back to the british isles via greenland/iceland.


11 posted on 07/08/2011 11:54:10 AM PDT by WoofDog123
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To: Red Badger

If they went to Britain for dental care we know why they died out.


12 posted on 07/08/2011 11:54:29 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Red Badger

I’d love to see an artist’s rendering of what such a Viking looked like.


13 posted on 07/08/2011 11:55:03 AM PDT by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: arderkrag

I have Welsh teeth. They’re horrible!


14 posted on 07/08/2011 11:57:24 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Red Badger
According to WALT DISNEY ANIMATION FILMS, Vikings were much-more civilized than that.

Watch from 1:47 onward:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nMasOQsPME

15 posted on 07/08/2011 12:02:19 PM PDT by ExcursionGuy84
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To: Persevero

16 posted on 07/08/2011 12:05:36 PM PDT by Red Badger (Casey Anthony: "Surprise, surprise."...............)
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To: Persevero
I’d love to see an artist’s rendering of what such a Viking looked like.


17 posted on 07/08/2011 12:06:06 PM PDT by frithguild
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To: SparkyBass

no clove oil for me.


18 posted on 07/08/2011 12:11:48 PM PDT by RitchieAprile
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To: frithguild
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

What a silly title. Love the dramatic pose. And that mini skirt is faaaaaabulous!

19 posted on 07/08/2011 12:15:08 PM PDT by Luna (Evil will not triumph. God is at the helm.)
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To: Red Badger

later


20 posted on 07/08/2011 12:21:35 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: Red Badger

They didn’t have guns...they had to cut notches in something!


21 posted on 07/08/2011 12:28:37 PM PDT by jrd
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To: Persevero
I’d love to see an artist’s rendering of what such a Viking looked like.


22 posted on 07/08/2011 12:28:44 PM PDT by Romulus (The Traditional Latin Mass is the real Youth Mass)
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To: Red Badger

“Arcini analyzed hundreds of Viking skeletons in Sweden to discover the 24 men with filed teeth, so the fashion may have only appealed to a minority, or may have been a passing fad.”

MOST Scandinavians were NOT “Vikings”.

Metrosexuals??? Hardly. Probably would have chopped off his head for that comment.

The references to “Britons” and “British Tribes” here is misleading. The killers were probably Anglo-Saxons, who were an earlier precursor to the Vikings but had been Christianized - apparently not very well, based on the condition of the corpses, but then they may have more pragmatic and realistic when it came to dealing with their opponents than we are. Sort of ..... refreshing.


23 posted on 07/08/2011 12:29:38 PM PDT by ZULU (Lindsey Graham is a nanometrical pustule of pusillanimous putrescence)
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To: jrd

They didn't have a lot of gold, either...............

24 posted on 07/08/2011 12:32:20 PM PDT by Red Badger (Casey Anthony: "Surprise, surprise."...............)
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To: Red Badger

More likely a torture technique.


25 posted on 07/08/2011 12:33:35 PM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: Red Badger

They heard it was FREE!!!!


26 posted on 07/08/2011 12:35:25 PM PDT by SMARTY ("Educate men without religion and you make of them but clever devils. " Arthur Wellesley)
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To: ZULU

The corpses were found in Cornwall. They could have easily been slaughtered by Britons (Welsh) and not Saxons.


27 posted on 07/08/2011 12:37:20 PM PDT by wolfman23601
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He didn't donate

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Donate today
Or sign up to donate monthly

28 posted on 07/08/2011 12:48:00 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list.)
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To: wolfman23601

I doubt it. It’s too neat. Torture is not neat...............


29 posted on 07/08/2011 12:48:36 PM PDT by Red Badger (Casey Anthony: "Surprise, surprise."...............)
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To: Red Badger

Referring to the photo of the gold/diamond inlaid teeth—That guy better not smile in the wrong neighborhood!


30 posted on 07/08/2011 12:55:57 PM PDT by Avid Coug
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To: wolfman23601

That’s true if they were foundin Cornwall.


31 posted on 07/08/2011 1:30:44 PM PDT by ZULU (Lindsey Graham is a nanometrical pustule of pusillanimous putrescence)
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To: Red Badger

That does it no more taking vikings to dinner.


32 posted on 07/08/2011 1:35:09 PM PDT by org.whodat
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To: WoofDog123
Obviously learned from the Redskins.


33 posted on 07/08/2011 1:38:02 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: frithguild

The Very Virile Viking’s name was Sandra Hill?


34 posted on 07/08/2011 1:43:31 PM PDT by Twinkie (For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13)
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To: windcliff

ping


35 posted on 07/08/2011 2:10:40 PM PDT by stylecouncilor (Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant...better left unstirred.-PG Wodehouse)
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To: Romulus

“Summer” teeth. Summer here, summer there, summer missing, summer crooked, summer yellow, ...


36 posted on 07/08/2011 6:52:33 PM PDT by Two Kids' Dad ((((( )))))
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To: Red Badger

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Thanks Red Badger! Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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37 posted on 07/09/2011 2:34:25 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Yes, as a matter of fact, it is that time again -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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