Between staring at pictures of Jökulsárlón and dreaming about going to school in Iceland for my MA, I spent a goodly amount of time researching this weekend-- for Helen, and not for Helen. These things included, in no particular order:
The Egtved Girl, my most favorite Nordic Bronze Age find.
Seriously, if you don't know about her, you should watch this video at once. It's super short, I promise.
Basically, the Egtved Girl is one of the most well preserved finds from the Nordic Bronze Age, and the grave goods found with her are really interesting. Unfortunately, I haven't found any great pictures of them on the internet (I have some awesome books, thank goodness), but her clothing was super well preserved, and included a delicate kind of hair net thing, as well as what she was wearing. When it was discovered it was kind of shocking to people, because she was pretty scantily clad. The video shows you--there have been a couple of reproductions of it. Keep in mind she was discovered quite some time ago when bare-midriffs were not, shall we say, the STYLE. The reason I love this find so much is because it gives us this tantalizing glimpse of the Bronze Age and the people who lived there. It whets my appetite like whoa to write a book based in that time period. Right now I've only been able to touch on it in passing.
Natural Child Birth to see how Helen might have had a child back in ye olden days without, you know, hospitals. You know, I'm not going to go into the details on this. And I didn't even look up historical information, so I was super lame about it. I'll get back to you if I turn up anything REALLY interesting and not "Dear Lord, It Can't Be Unseen!"
Warp Weighted Looms, uhm, again, because I seem to have forgotten everything I learned last year when I wrote the first draft of this beast of a novel.
Basically we have all these glimpses of Warp Weighted Looms painted all over pottery and the like, but we still don't really know how they were used in ancient greece--if they were vertical or angled, or how they were weighted exactly, or whether they used a heddle, etc. (They were also used later in Scandinavia, which I forced myself NOT to look at information on so that I wouldn't get totally distracted. so I am not going to even get into that.)
I read someone's thesis paper (pdf. Also, I had no idea people posted thesis papers on the internet! I think it's an undergrad paper, but still.) on the subject where they actually went so far as to build a warp weighted loom of their own, and tried weaving on it, and tested the way the weights fell to see if any set up would match the kind of evidence they've found. The funny thing is, according to what I read, we've yet to turn up a loom itself at all-- firstly because they were made of wood which wouldn't really hold up over the ages, and secondly, the thesis paper posits, because looms were not just left to take up space set up willy nilly all over the place. There are a bunch of pictures of the loom in ancient pottery representations in the paper, but apparently wikicommons has ZERO so I can't post a picture for you. (seriously?)
Rent in Iceland.
Not as reasonable as Denmark, sad to say. BUT the University of Iceland does have an apartment complex named Ásgarðar, so. Obviously that is meant to be.
What did you do with your weekend?