The British Isles are a group of islands off the north-western coast of continental Europe that consist of the islands of Great Britain and over six thousand smaller isles. Situated in the North Atlantic, the islands have an area of approximately 315,159 km2. Two sovereign states are located on the islands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the oldest rocks in the group are in the north west of Scotland and North Wales and are 2,700 million years old. During the Silurian period the north-western regions collided with the south-east, the topography of the islands is modest in scale by global standards. Ben Nevis rises to an elevation of only 1,344 metres, and Lough Neagh, the climate is temperate marine, with mild winters and warm summers. The North Atlantic Drift brings significant moisture and raises temperatures 11 °C above the average for the latitude. This led to a landscape which was dominated by temperate rainforest. The region was re-inhabited after the last glacial period of Quaternary glaciation, which became an island by 12,000 BC, was not inhabited until after 8000 BC.
Great Britain became an island by 5600 BC, Hiberni and Britons tribes, all speaking Insular Celtic, inhabited the islands at the beginning of the 1st millennium AD. Much of Brittonic-controlled Britain was conquered by the Roman Empire from AD43, the first Anglo-Saxons arrived as Roman power waned in the 5th century and eventually dominated the bulk of what is now England. Viking invasions began in the 9th century, followed by permanent settlements. Most of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom after the Irish War of Independence, the term British Isles is controversial in Ireland, where there are objections to its usage due to the association of the word British with Ireland. The Government of Ireland does not recognise or use the term, as a result and Ireland is used as an alternative description, and Atlantic Archipelago has had limited use among a minority in academia, while British Isles is still commonly employed. Within them, they are sometimes referred to as these islands. The earliest known references to the islands as a group appeared in the writings of sea-farers from the ancient Greek colony of Massalia.
The original records have been lost, writings, e. g. Avienuss Ora maritima, in the 1st century BC, Diodorus Siculus has Prettanikē nēsos, the British Island, and Prettanoi, the Britons. Strabo used Βρεττανική, and Marcian of Heraclea, in his Periplus maris exteri, historians today, though not in absolute agreement, largely agree that these Greek and Latin names were probably drawn from native Celtic-language names for the archipelago. Along these lines, the inhabitants of the islands were called the Πρεττανοί, the shift from the P of Pretannia to the B of Britannia by the Romans occurred during the time of Julius Caesar
Viking ships were marine vessels of unique design, built by the Vikings during the Viking Age. The boat-types were quite varied, depending on what the ship was intended for and they were clinker built, which is the overlapping of planks riveted together. Some might have had a head or other circular object protruding from the bow and stern, for design. Viking ships were not just used for their military prowess but for long-distance trade, in the literature, Viking ships are usually seen divided into two broad categories, merchant ships and warships. These categories are overlapping, some kinds of merchant ships, built for transporting cargo specifically, were regularly deployed as warships. The majority of Viking ships were designed for sailing rivers and coastal waters, while a few types, such as the knarr, could navigate the open sea and even the ocean. The Viking ships ranged from the Baltic Sea to far from the Scandinavian homelands, to Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Newfoundland, the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and Africa.
Scandinavia is a region with relatively high mountain ranges, dense forests. Consequently, trade routes were operated via shipping, as inland travel was both more hazardous and cumbersome. The Viking kingdoms developed into cities, all of which were deeply dependent on the North Sea. Control of the waterways was of importance, and consequently advanced war ships were in high demand. But in fact, because of their importance, ships became a mainstay of the Viking pagan religion, as they evolved into symbols of power. Throughout the first millennium, respectable Viking chieftains and noblemen were commonly buried with an intact, the Hedeby coins, among the earliest known Danish currency, have ships as emblems, showing the importance of naval vessels in the area. Through such cultural and practical significance, the Viking ship progressed into the most powerful, a faering is an open rowboat with two pairs of oars, commonly found in most boat-building traditions in Western and Northern Scandinavia, dating back to the Viking Age.
Knarr is the Norse term for ships that were built for Atlantic voyages and they were cargo ships averaging a length of about 54 feet, a beam of 15 feet, and a hull capable of carrying up to 122 tons. Because of this, the knarr was used for longer voyages, ocean going transports, the design of the knarr influenced the design of the cog, used in the Baltic Sea by the Hanseatic League. Longships were naval vessels made and used by the Vikings from Scandinavia and Iceland for trade, commerce and warfare during the Viking Age. The longships design evolved over years, beginning in the Stone Age with the invention of the umiak and continuing up to the 9th century with the Nydam
Clinker (boat building)
Clinker built is a method of boat building where the edges of hull planks overlap, called a land or landing. In craft of any size planks are joined end to end into a strake, the technique developed in northern Europe and was successfully used by the Norsemen and typical for the Hanseatic cog. A contrasting method, where edges are butted smoothly seam to seam, is known as carvel construction. From clinch, or clench, a common Teutonic word, meaning “to fasten together”, overlapping seams already appear in the 4th century BC Hjortspring boat. The oldest evidence for a vessel, dendrochronologically dated to 190 AD, are boat fragments which were found in recent excavations at the site of the famous Nydam Boat. The Nydam Boat itself, built ca.320 AD, is the oldest preserved clinker-built boat, clinker-built ships were a trademark of Nordic navigation throughout the Middle Ages, particularly of the longships of the Norsemen explorers and the trading cogs of the Hanseatic League. In building a simple pulling boat, the keel, stem, deadwoods and perhaps transom are assembled, in normal practice, this will be the same way up as they will be in use.
From the hog, the garboard, bilge and sheer strakes are planked up, at the stem and, in a double-ended boat, the sternpost, geralds are formed. That is, in case, the land of the lower strake is tapered to a feather edge at the end of the strake where it meets the stem or stern-post. This allows the end of the strake to be screwed to the apron with the outside of the planking mutually flush at that point and this means that the boats passage through the water will not tend to lift the ends of the planking away from the stem. Before the next plank is laid up, the face of the land on the lower strake is bevelled to suit the angle at which the next strake will lie in relation with it and this varies all along the land. Gripes are used to hold the new strake in position on the one before the fastening is done. Once the shell of planking is assembled, transverse battens of oak, ash or elm, called timbers are steam-bent to fit the internal, elm species are not durable where the boat is used frequently in fresh water.
As the timbers are bent in, they are copper riveted to the shell, through the lands of the planking. On many clinker built craft, e. g. in Scandinavia, in Thames skiffs, sometimes the timbers in larger craft were joggled before being steamed in. With the timbers all fitted, longitudinal members are bent in, the thwart risings are fastened through the timbers with its upper edge on the level of the undersides of the thwarts. Bilge keels are added to the outside of the land on which the boat would lie on a surface to stiffen it. A stringer is usually fitted round the inside of each bilge to strengthen it, in a small boat, this is usually arranged to serve as a means of retaining the bottom boards
A kurgan is a tumulus, a type of burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, often of wood. The Russian noun, which is attested in Old East Slavic, is borrowed from an unidentified Turkic language, compare Modern Turkish kurgan. They are mounds of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves, associated with its use in Soviet archaeology, the word is now widely used for tumuli in the context of Eastern European and Central Asian archaeology. The earliest kurgans date to the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus, kurgans were built in the Eneolithic, Iron and Middle Ages, with ancient traditions still active in Southern Siberia and Central Asia. Kurgan cultures are divided archeologically into different sub-cultures, such as Timber Grave, Pit Grave, Sarmatian, many placenames contain the word kurgan. The earliest known kurgans are dated to the 4th millennium BC in the Caucasus, Kurgan barrows were characteristic of Bronze Age peoples, and have been found from the Altay Mountains to the Caucasus, Ukraine and Bulgaria.
Kurgans were used in the Ukrainian and Russian steppes, their use spreading with migration into eastern, the monuments of these cultures coincide with Scythian-Saka-Siberian monuments. Scythian-Saka-Siberian monuments have common features, and sometimes common genetic roots, the archaeological site on the Ukok Plateau associated with the Pazyryk culture is included in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site. Scythian-Saka-Siberian classification includes monuments from the 8th to the 3rd century BC and this period is called the Early or Ancient Nomads epoch. Hunnic monuments date from the 3rd century BC to the 6th century AD, the tradition of kurgan burials was adopted by some neighboring peoples who did not have such a tradition. The Kurgan hypothesis postulates that the Proto-Indo-Europeans were the bearers of the Kurgan culture of the Black Sea, the hypothesis was introduced by Marija Gimbutas in 1956, combining kurgan archaeology with linguistics to locate the origins of the Proto-Indo-European -speaking peoples.
She tentatively named the culture Kurgan after their burial mounds. This hypothesis has had a significant impact on Indo-European studies and those scholars who follow Gimbutas identify a Kurgan culture as reflecting an early Indo-European ethnicity, which existed in the steppes and southeastern Europe from the 5th to 3rd millennia BC. In Kurgan cultures, most of the burials were in kurgans, most prominent leaders were buried in individual kurgans, now called Royal kurgans. More elaborate than clan kurgans and containing grave goods, the examples have attracted the greatest attention. Burial mounds are complex structures with internal chambers, within the burial chamber at the heart of the kurgan, elite individuals were buried with grave goods and sacrificial offerings, sometimes including horses and chariots. The structures of the earlier Neolithic period from the 4th to the 3rd millenniums BC and they were inspired by common ritual-mythological ideas. In all periods, the development of the kurgan structure tradition in the various zones is revealed by common components or typical features in the construction of the monuments
Dendrochronology is the scientific method of dating tree rings to the exact year they were formed in order to analyze atmospheric conditions during different periods in history. Dendrochronology is useful for determining the timing of events and rates of change in the environment and in works of art and architecture, such as old panel paintings on wood, buildings and it is used in radiocarbon dating to calibrate radiocarbon ages. New growth in trees occurs in a layer of cells near the bark, a trees growth rate changes in a predictable pattern throughout the year in response to seasonal climate changes, resulting in visible growth rings. Each ring marks a complete cycle of seasons, or one year, as of 2013, the oldest tree-ring measurements in the Northern Hemisphere extend back 13,900 years. Dendrochronology derives from Ancient Greek, δένδρον, meaning tree limb, χρόνος, meaning time, and -λογία, the Greek botanist Theophrastus first mentioned that the wood of trees has rings. In his Trattato della Pittura, Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to mention that trees form rings annually, in 1737, French investigators Henri-Louis Duhamel du Monceau and Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon examined the effect of growing conditions on the shape of tree rings.
They found that in 1709, a severe winter produced a distinctly dark tree ring, the English polymath Charles Babbage proposed using dendrochronology to date the remains of trees in peat bogs or even in geological strata. During the latter half of the century, the scientific study of tree rings. In 1859, the German-American Jacob Kuechler used crossdating to examine oaks in order to study the record of climate in western Texas, in 1866, the German botanist and forester Julius Ratzeburg observed the effects on tree rings of defoliation caused by insect infestations. By 1882, this observation was already appearing in forestry textbooks, in the 1870s, the Dutch astronomer Jacobus C. Kapteyn was using crossdating to reconstruct the climates of the Netherlands, in 1881, the Swiss-Austrian forester Arthur von Seckendorff-Gudent was using crossdating. From 1869 to 1901, Robert Hartig, a German professor of forest pathology, wrote a series of papers on the anatomy, in 1892, the Russian physicist Fedor Nikiforovich Shvedov wrote that he had used patterns found in tree rings to predict droughts in 1882 and 1891.
During the first half of the 20th century, the astronomer A. E. Douglass founded the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona. Growth rings, referred to as tree rings or annual rings, growth rings are the result of new growth in the vascular cambium, a layer of cells near the bark that is classified as a lateral meristem, this growth in diameter is known as secondary growth. Visible rings result from the change in speed through the seasons of the year, critical for the title method. If the bark of the tree has been removed in a particular area, the rings are more visible in temperate zones, where the seasons differ more markedly. The inner portion of a ring is formed early in the growing season, when growth is comparatively rapid and is known as early wood. Many trees in temperate zones make one growth ring each year, for the entire period of a trees life, a year-by-year record or ring pattern is formed that reflects the age of the tree and the climatic conditions in which the tree grew
Book of Durrow
The Book of Durrow is a medieval illuminated manuscript gospel book in the Insular art style. It was probably created between 650 and 700, the Book of Durrow was certainly at Durrow Abbey by 916. Today it is in the library at Trinity College, Dublin and it is the oldest extant complete illuminated Insular gospel book, for example predating the Book of Kells by over a century. The text includes the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, plus pieces of prefatory matter. Its pages measure 245 by 145 mm and there are 248 vellum folios and it is written in majuscule insular script, with some lacunae. The page size has reduced by subsequent rebindings, and most leaves are now single when unbound. It is clear that some pages have been inserted in the wrong places, the main significance of this is that it is unclear if there was originally a seventh carpet page. Now Matthew does not have one, but there is, most unusually, one as the last page in the book. Perhaps there were only six, one at the start of the book with a cross, one opposite the next page with the four symbols.
Otherwise the original programme of illumination seems to be complete, which is rare in manuscripts of this age, the illumination of the book shows especially well the varied origins of the Insular style, and has been a focus for the intense art-historical discussion of the issue. One thing that is clear is that the artist was unused to representing the figure, his main attempt. The animal iconography derives from Germanic zoomorphic designs, the depictions of the Jesus, the geometric borders and the carpet pages cause more disagreement. The page illustrated at left has animal interlace around the sides that is drawn from Germanic Migration Period Animal Style II, the Book of Durrow is unusual in that it does not use the traditional scheme, usual since Saint Jerome, for assigning the symbols to the Evangelists. Each Gospel begins with an Evangelists symbol – a man for Matthew, an eagle for Mark, a calf for Luke and this is known as the pre-Vulgate arrangement. Each evangelist symbol, except the Man of Matthew is followed by a carpet page and this missing carpet page is assumed to have existed. A first possibility is that it was lost, and a second that it is in fact folio 3, which features swirling abstract decoration.
Where the four symbols appear together on folio 2r they appear in the order if read clockwise, and in the pre-Vulgate order if read anti-clockwise. The first letter of the text is enlarged and decorated, with the following letters surrounded by dots, parallels with metalwork can be noted in the rectangular body of St Matthew, which looks like a millefiori decoration, and in details of the carpet pages
Halfdan the Black
This article is about the ninth-century king of Vestfold and father of Harald I of Norway. For his less famous grandson by the name, see Halfdan Haraldsson the Black. Halfdan the Black was a king of Vestfold. He belonged to the House of Yngling and was the father of Harald Fairhair, according to Heimskringla and Fagsrkinna, Halfdan was the son of the Yngling King Gudrød the Hunter. Heimskringla names his mother, as Åsa, daughter of King Harald of Agder, Heimskringla relates that when Halfdans father was killed, Åsa took the 1 year-old Halfdan and returned to Agder, where Halfdan was raised. When he was 18 or 19 years old, Halfdan became king of Agder and he quickly began adding to his kingdom, through political negotiation and military conquest. He divided the kingdom of Vestfold with his brother Olaf and, through military action, Halfdan next is said to have subdued an area called Raumarike. To secure his claim to Raumarike, Halfdan first defeated and killed the ruler, Sigtryg Eysteinsson. He defeated Sigtrygs brother and successor Eystein, in a series of battles and this established Halfdans claim not only to Raumarike, but to half of Hedmark, the core of Sigtryg and Eysteins kingdom.
These details are mentioned in Heimskringla. Fagrskinna and Heimskringla both agree that Halfdans first wife was Ragnhild, daughter of King Harald Gulskeg of Sogn and Ragnhild had a son named Harald after his grandfather, and they sent him to be raised at his grandfathers court. Harald Gulskeg, being elderly, named his grandson as his successor, Ragnhild died shortly after her father, and the young king Harald fell sick and died the next spring. When Halfdan heard about his sons death, he travelled to Sogn, no resistance was offered, and Halfdan added Sogn to his realm. The narrative in Heimskringla adds another conquest for King Halfdan, in Vingulmark, the sons of Gandalf of Vingulmark, Hysing and Hake, attempted to ambush Halfdan at night, but he escaped into the forest. After raising an army, he returned to defeat the brothers, Hake fled the country, and Halfdan became king of all of Vingulmark. According to Heimskringla, Halfdans second wife was named Ragnhild, Ragnhild Sigurdsdotter was the daughter of Sigurd Hjort, king of Ringerike.
She was kidnapped from her home by Hake, a berserker who encountered her father in Hadeland, in turn, Halfdan had her kidnapped from Hake, so that he could marry her. Fagrskinna does not mention any of these details, but calls Ragnhild the daughter of Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, both sagas agree that Ragnhild and Halfdan had a son who was named Harald
Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, at 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10.0 million. Sweden consequently has a low density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre. Approximately 85% of the lives in urban areas. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats/Götar and Swedes/Svear, Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is heavily forested. Sweden is part of the area of Fennoscandia. The climate is in very mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence. Today, Sweden is a monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state. The capital city is Stockholm, which is the most populous city in the country, legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister, Sweden is a unitary state, currently divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities.
Sweden emerged as an independent and unified country during the Middle Ages, in the 17th century, it expanded its territories to form the Swedish Empire, which became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were gradually lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, the last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since then, Sweden has been at peace, maintaining a policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. The union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905, leading to Swedens current borders, though Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars, Sweden engaged in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from German-occupied Europe. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 and it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides health care. The modern name Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod and this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige literally means Realm of the Swedes, excluding the Geats in Götaland, the etymology of Swedes, and thus Sweden, is generally not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning ones own, referring to ones own Germanic tribe
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus of the beech family, Fagaceae. There are approximately 600 extant species of oaks, the common name oak appears in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus, as well as in those of unrelated species such as Grevillea robusta and the Casuarinaceae. North America contains the largest number of oak species, with approximately 90 occurring in the United States, the second greatest center of oak diversity is China, which contains approximately 100 species. Oaks have spirally arranged leaves, with lobate margins in many species, the acorns contain tannic acid, as do the leaves, which helps to guard from fungi and insects. Many deciduous species are marcescent, not dropping dead leaves until spring, in spring, a single oak tree produces both male flowers and small female flowers. The fruit is a nut called an acorn, borne in a structure known as a cupule, each acorn contains one seed and takes 6–18 months to mature. The live oaks are distinguished for being evergreen, but are not actually a distinct group, the oak tree is a flowering plant.
Oaks may be divided into two genera and a number of sections, The genus Quercus is divided into the following sections, the white oaks of Europe and North America. Styles are short, acorns mature in 6 months and taste sweet or slightly bitter, the leaves mostly lack a bristle on their lobe tips, which are usually rounded. The type species is Quercus robur, Hungarian oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia. Styles long, acorns mature in about 6 months and taste bitter, the section Mesobalanus is closely related to section Quercus and sometimes included in it. Cerris, the Turkey oak and its relatives of Europe and Asia, styles long, acorn mature in 18 months and taste very bitter. The inside of the shell is hairless. Its leaves typically have sharp tips, with bristles at the lobe tip. Protobalanus, the live oak and its relatives, in southwest United States. Styles short, acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter, the inside of the acorn shell appears woolly. Leaves typically have sharp tips, with bristles at the lobe tip.
Lobatae, the red oaks of North America, Central America, styles long, acorns mature in 18 months and taste very bitter
Human sacrifice is the act of killing one or more human beings, usually as an offering to a deity, as part of a ritual. Human sacrifice has been practiced in various cultures throughout history, closely related practices found in some tribal societies are cannibalism and headhunting. By the Iron Age, with the developments in religion, human sacrifice was becoming less common throughout the Old World. In the New World, human sacrifice continued to be widespread to varying degrees until the European colonization of the Americas, in modern times, even the practice of animal sacrifice has virtually disappeared from all major religions, and human sacrifice has become extremely rare. Most religions condemn the practice, and modern secular laws treat it as murder, in a society which condemns human sacrifice, the term ritual murder is used. Human sacrifice is distinguished from infanticide, infanticide is deliberately causing the death of an unwanted infant or young child, but without a ritualistic or religious purpose.
The idea of sacrifice has its roots in deep prehistory. From its historical occurrences it seems mostly associated with neolithic or nomadic cultures, Human sacrifice has been practiced on a number of different occasions and in many different cultures. The various rationales behind human sacrifice are the same that motivate religious sacrifice in general, Human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify the gods, for example in the context of the dedication of a completed building like a temple or bridge. There is a Chinese legend that there are thousands of people entombed in the Great Wall of China, for the re-consecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they killed about 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days. According to Ross Hassig, author of Aztec Warfare, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed in the ceremony, Human sacrifice can have the intention of winning the gods favour in warfare. In Homeric legend, Iphigeneia was to be sacrificed by her father Agamemnon to appease Artemis so she would allow the Greeks to wage the Trojan War.
According to the Bible, Jephthah vowed to devote to God the first creature to come out of his house to him if he won the battle against the Ammonites. His daughter was the first to come out and meet him, in some notions of an afterlife, the deceased will benefit from victims killed at his funeral. Mongols, early Egyptians and various Mesoamerican chiefs could take most of their household, including servants and concubines, with them to the next world. This is sometimes called a sacrifice, as the leaders retainers would be sacrificed along with their master. Another purpose is divination from the parts of the victim. According to Strabo, Celts stabbed a victim with a sword, headhunting is the practice of taking the head of a killed adversary, for ceremonial or magical purposes, or for reasons of prestige