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Tooth marks link Vikings, Indians
CanWest News Service ^ | Jan 13, 2006 | Randy Boswell

Posted on 01/14/2006 8:32:48 PM PST by Tyche

A scientist who found deep grooves chiselled into the teeth of dozens of 1,000-year-old Viking skeletons unearthed in Sweden believes the strange custom might have been learned from aboriginal tribes during ancient Norse voyages to North America -- a finding that would represent an unprecedented case of transatlantic, cross-cultural exchange during the age of Leif Ericsson.

The marks are believed to be decorations meant to enhance a man's appearance, or badges of honour for a group of great warriors or successful tradesmen. They are the first historical examples of ceremonial dental modification ever found in Europe, and although similar customs were practised in Asia and Africa over the centuries, the Swedish anthropologist who studied the Viking teeth is exploring the possibility that trips to Newfoundland and other parts of the New World a millennium ago introduced the Norsemen to tooth-carving styles being carried out at that time in the Americas.

"The cases from the North American continent are from the time period," Caroline Arcini, a researcher with the National Heritage Board in Lund, Sweden, told CanWest News Service. "So it is within the same timespace as the Swedish ones that are dated from 800-1050 A.D."

In a paper published by the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Ms. Arcini details the horizontal etchings across the front teeth of about 25 young men whose remains were found at several Viking Age burial sites in Sweden and Denmark. The "furrows" -- some teeth have several parallel grooves -- "are so well made that it is most likely they were filed by a person of great skill," Ms. Arcini writes.

But "the reason for, and importance of, the furrows are obscure. The affected individuals may have belonged to a certain occupational group, or the furrows could have been pure decoration."

Examples of tooth modification have been found at archeological sites around the world -- with the exception, until now, of Europe.

The study notes a similarity in style between the Scandinavian specimens and dental markings common about 1,000 years ago in parts of North America, including Mexico and the present-day United States as far north as Illinois.

Tales of Viking visits to North America held a largely mythical status among scholars until the 1960s, when archeologists discovered and excavated the remains of a 1,000-year-old Norse encampment at the northern tip of Newfoundland. Today, the Viking settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows is a UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorating voyages by Norse explorers from Greenland and Iceland some 500 years before Christopher Columbus reached the New World.

Led by Ericsson, the Newfoundland colonizers are believed to have made several southern voyages -- it's not known exactly how far -- before repeated clashes with natives, whom the Vikings called "skraelings," forced the newcomers to abandon their settlement.

But researchers at the Canadian Museum of Civilization have also found artifacts that suggest a centuries-long trading relationship between Norse seafarers and native people in the Arctic until about the 14th century.

Patricia Sutherland, a CMC archeologist whose findings at ancient Baffin Island native settlements point to a prolonged period of contact with Norse traders, says she's skeptical that Viking travellers ever reached more southerly tribes that practiced the kind of dental modification found in the Swedish skeletons.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: baffinisland; godsgravesglyphs; northamerica; qavlunaat; sweden; thevikings; vikings

1 posted on 01/14/2006 8:32:49 PM PST by Tyche
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG ping


2 posted on 01/14/2006 8:34:09 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Tyche

Interesting, but bizarre.

One would think that they would have had more sense, than to damage their own teeth.


3 posted on 01/14/2006 8:36:01 PM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Tyche

Or, in a fit of early Eurocentrism, aboriginal tribes in North America adopted the custom from Vikings.


4 posted on 01/14/2006 8:36:14 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: Tyche

First the discovery that vikings invented the pizza, and now this. My people continue to break new ground!!!


5 posted on 01/14/2006 8:39:08 PM PST by Bull Market
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To: Tyche

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1558046/posts

I guess this means the Chinese are full of crap.


6 posted on 01/14/2006 8:39:39 PM PST by satchmodog9 (Most people stand on the tracks and never even hear the train coming)
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To: Tyche

Who bit whom?


7 posted on 01/14/2006 8:51:53 PM PST by dr_who_2
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To: Tyche

Groovin' on a sunny Sunday afternoon........


8 posted on 01/14/2006 9:16:29 PM PST by goresalooza (Nurses Rock!)
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To: Tyche
"Ms. Arcini details the horizontal etchings across the front teeth of about 25 young men whose remains were found at several Viking Age burial sites in Sweden and Denmark."

Early grillz?

9 posted on 01/14/2006 9:49:09 PM PST by Katya (Homo Nosce Te Ipsum)
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To: FairOpinion
Thanks FairOpinion.

Just adding this to the GGG catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

10 posted on 01/14/2006 10:03:04 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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To: Tyche

OK, what about the Keninston Runestone found in Minnasota?


11 posted on 01/14/2006 10:24:44 PM PST by stubernx98 (cranky, but reasonable)
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To: stubernx98

http://www.geotimes.org/jan05/NN_MNrunestone.html

Inscriptions are very had to prove sometimes.


12 posted on 01/14/2006 10:30:50 PM PST by Tyche (A half truth is a whole lie)
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To: stubernx98

Stuber

Here is another article about it, with updated info.

http://wcco.com/topstories/local_story_143121108.html


13 posted on 01/14/2006 10:33:22 PM PST by Tyche (A half truth is a whole lie)
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To: stubernx98

***OK, what about the Keninston Runestone found in Minnasota?***

Or the Heavner runestones of Oklahoma!


14 posted on 01/15/2006 3:35:55 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Tyche

*** -- before repeated clashes with natives, whom the Vikings called "skraelings," forced the newcomers to abandon their settlement. ***

Inresting point here, the Indian wars began when the Vikings shared their food, including MILK with the Indians.
The Indians could not digest the milk, became sick and thought they had been poisoned so attacked the Vikings.


15 posted on 01/15/2006 3:39:50 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Tyche
There was another article on this posted a few days ago. I want to point out that these are Swedish Vikings, and the Swedes sailed East into Novgorod, Kiev, and Constantinople. They never sailed to North America, it was the Norwegian Vikings under Leif Ericksen. This is just coincidence.
16 posted on 01/15/2006 5:55:17 AM PST by Theoden (Fidei Defensor - Deus vult!)
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To: Tyche

Or, two groups of people had a similar idea. Does there always have to be a single-source for human customs?


17 posted on 01/15/2006 5:59:34 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

So that's why I'm lactose intolerant!?


18 posted on 01/15/2006 8:37:55 AM PST by hispanarepublicana (Chuck Cooperstein is a tool.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

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


19 posted on 01/28/2012 10:03:02 AM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this FReepathon!)
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