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What A Viking's Smile Revealed
New Scientist ^ | 1-7-2006

Posted on 01/08/2006 2:12:41 PM PST by blam

What a Viking's smile revealed

07 January 2006

VIKING warriors may have filed deep grooves into their teeth to indicate class or military rank.

Caroline Arcini of Sweden's National Heritage Board analysed 557 skeletons from four major Viking-age Swedish cemeteries and discovered that around 10 per cent of men, but none of the women, bore horizontal grooves across the upper front teeth.

The marks, which were cut deep into the enamel, are often found in pairs or triplets and appear precisely made. They might have marked certain men as members of a group of tradesmen or warriors, or signified their ability to withstand pain, says Arcini, who published her findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20164). Most of the men bearing the grooves were young, but in the absence of any distinctive injuries or artefacts buried with the skeletons, the exact reason for the marks remains a mystery.

This is the first known case of tooth filing in Europe, but it was common practice in the Americas between AD 800 and 1050. Since the skeletons date from around the same time, this raises the possibility that the Vikings picked up the practice during their travels. Arcini hopes future finds will reveal where the practice arose and how it spread.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: godsgravesglyphs; revealed; smile; vikings; what
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1 posted on 01/08/2006 2:12:43 PM PST by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 01/08/2006 2:13:13 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Recorded contacts with the "screllings" by Leif Ericsson and others were extremely limited, thus I'd doubt they picked the custom in North America.
3 posted on 01/08/2006 2:20:11 PM PST by GSlob
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To: blam
This article involves Swedish vikings. I wonder if they are going to study the Norwegians and Danes as well. The Swedes always do things differently than the other 2 Scandinavian countries. They always seem to be the odd man out =P
4 posted on 01/08/2006 2:23:57 PM PST by Theoden (Fidei Defensor - Deus vult!)
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To: GSlob
Leif Eriksen was Norwegian not Swedish. Actually, the Swedes were operating almost exclusively in Russia and Byzantium, while the other vikings went to North America. I think it may just be coincidental that they did the same types of things with their teeth.
5 posted on 01/08/2006 2:25:41 PM PST by Theoden (Fidei Defensor - Deus vult!)
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To: Theoden

This is what happens when you try and brush with your swords. . .


6 posted on 01/08/2006 2:30:55 PM PST by CondorFlight
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To: blam
They might have marked certain men as members of a group of tradesmen or warriors, or signified their ability to withstand pain, says Arcini, who published her findings in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.20164).

Or, it could be analogous the Hell's Angel's "Red Wings" patches on their jackets.

I hate it when so-called scientists speculate wildly.

7 posted on 01/08/2006 2:39:53 PM PST by Rudder
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To: blam

Picture from the original article.

8 posted on 01/08/2006 2:43:08 PM PST by blam
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To: Theoden
I thought it was the Swedes who gave us the occasional blond Irishman...
9 posted on 01/08/2006 3:01:17 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Don't buy Bose. Their warranty is no good.)
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To: GSlob

"Skralings" rather than Screllings. Translates to "wretches".


10 posted on 01/08/2006 3:05:10 PM PST by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

No that would have been a Norwegian or a Dane. I come from a long line of Norwegian red-heads - where do you think the Irish got their red hair from?


11 posted on 01/08/2006 3:05:41 PM PST by Caramelgal (I don't have a tag line.... I am a tag line. So tag, you are it.)
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To: Caramelgal

As in Eric th Red...


12 posted on 01/08/2006 3:07:58 PM PST by null and void (The lesson of the holocaust: if someone says they are going to kill you, pay attention.)
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To: blam

It's entirely possible they were trying to perform root canals on themselves.



13 posted on 01/08/2006 3:15:11 PM PST by Fintan (See??? Sometimes I do read the articles.)
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To: Theoden
Western and Southwestern Sweden were an area of Sweden that sometimes fell under the control of Denmark or Norway. If from the Goteborg area they would probably have done their "Viking" in the North Atlantic.

See:

http://www.algonet.se/~hogman/slkrig_eng.htm

The modern boundaries were essentially established after the treaty of Roskild in 1648.
14 posted on 01/08/2006 3:19:50 PM PST by Pete from Shawnee Mission
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To: Rudder

How would a MC Club respond if you referred to their "colors" as a jacket in their presence?


15 posted on 01/08/2006 3:26:38 PM PST by ASA Vet (Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know.)
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To: Caramelgal
where do you think the Irish got their red hair from?

From Neandertals, same as all red heads.


16 posted on 01/08/2006 3:28:37 PM PST by ASA Vet (Those who know don't talk, those who talk don't know.)
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

And now the Vikings are falling under the control of the Muslims, funny how fickle fate is.


17 posted on 01/08/2006 3:28:53 PM PST by ABN 505
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To: blam
A little jumping to conclusions here.

Women who weave or spin can get grooves in their front teeth where they bite off the threads. I would look for a possible occupational cause (perhaps a mouth guard on a helmet or balancing the edge of a shield for young warriors?) as another cause.

Anybody else remember all the jumping to conclusions in The Motel of the Mysteries?

18 posted on 01/08/2006 3:30:24 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (Ministrix of Ye Chase, TTGC Ladies' Auxiliary (recess appointment))
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To: Pete from Shawnee Mission

I once saw it spelled "skraelings"; the writer said this term described the Indians' war whoops and screams when they were attacking the Vinland settlement.


19 posted on 01/08/2006 3:31:58 PM PST by elcid1970
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To: Fintan
I've got a theory,Cause of death "Bad dentistry".
20 posted on 01/08/2006 3:32:37 PM PST by justrepublican (Screaming like a keynote speaker at a Wellstone memorial.........!)
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