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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

DARC Blog Moving

With google dropping support for our style of blog we had to move the blog. The old entries will stay here but the new entries can be found at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sping Pole Lathe

In a Tent.

This is the set up used at the Ribe Viking Centre.

You see that the sapling is tied off to one of the tent frame beams (the side beam in this case). The mid section of the pole is supported on a forked branch. (I would think using two of these would be even more stable.

The lathe is set along the axis of the rear wall. This specific tent does open at both ends.

I'm not sure in demo if the worker just has his back to the public. They also might open BOTH ends of the tent.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

DARC at Forward Into the Past

Saturday March 27, Laurier University, Waterloo Ontario
FITP web site

If I have this correct from the schedule, these are the classes being taught by / or of special interest to, those studying the Viking Age.

* indicates those classes being taught by DARC folks who are going to L'Anse Aux Meadows in August 2010

9:00 AM
(Keynote) Out on the town in 10th century Reykajvik, a survey of jewelry dress and textiles in early Iceland

10:30 AM
Intermediate Glass Beads "The fancy stuff"

Pottery: An experimental early-period Pit Fire *

Introduction to Tablet Weaving *

Norse Sagas - the Bloody, Bawdy and Bizarre * (which right now is the single highest registration)

11:30 AM
Viking Navigation Techniques

Introduction to Fibre Prep for Spinning

Bead Production in Scandinavia: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method *

Feet firmly in the past – Shoes from the Viking Age 800 – 1050 *

Meaningful Scratches *

1:00 PM
Viking Combat Demonstration

Treasure Necklaces

Warp Weighted loom - a Hands-On Introduction *

Iron Smelting in Vinland: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method *

2:00 PM
Building the Coppergate Helm

Bone Carving *

Tablet Woven Artefacts *

3:00 PM
Iceland - Geography and Museums *

Introduction to Drop Spinning

Norse Music *

Flint and Steel Fire Striking

Classes on Interpretive method

11:30 AM
Not Just Costume - Reenactors as serious historians

2:00 PM
Habits of mind; How tools affect thinking

3:00 PM
The importance of excellence in material culture

4:00 PM
The Importance of Excellence in Material Culture

Setting the Scene: Interpretive Methods for Living History *

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Friday, March 19, 2010

DARC does FITP, addendum

DARC's sessions at Forward Into the Past - - March 27th, 2010

As you can see, some of our members have a wider diversity of interest then the Viking Culture that the group as a whole generally focuses on.

Setting the Scene: Interpretive Methods for Living History

Iron Smelting in Vinland: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method

Introduction to Tablet Weaving

Tablet Woven Artefacts

Iceland - Geography & Museums

Bead Production in Scandinavia: converting archaeological evidence to a practical method

Warp Weighted loom - a Hands-On Introduction

Pottery: An experimental early-period Pit Fire

Norse Music

Norse Sagas - the Bloody, Bawdy and Bizarre

Dances from Tudor England (Gresley Dances)

Feet firmly in the past – Shoes from the Viking Age 800 – 1050

Meaningful Scratches

Bone Carving

Gypsies in Portraiture: Truth or Fiction?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

DARC does Forward Into the Past again!

Forward Into the Past is a day long conference featuring the best of history!

Hands on workshops, lectures, demonstrations of a wide variety of history - from learning how to warp a warp-weighted loom (and what it is!) to notes from experimental iron smelting, to pirates and so much more!

The Dark Ages Recreation Company will be there in full force again this year - we're contributing 18 different sessions in a wide variety of topics covering the Viking Age.

But this year, we're just one of 9 groups contributing to the conference, and it's moved on campus to Wilfrid Laurier University and is supported by the students of the Medieval Students Society, the Classics Society and the Archaeological Society.

All the details you could need (sessions, cost, how to register) are on the webpage above, but wait - there's more!

FITP also has a fan page on Facebook, which you can find here. Become a fan now!



Monday, February 1, 2010

Characters - Thorgrimr

There was a man named Thorgrimr, the son of Gunnar, the son of Thorvald who had come from Hardangerfjord to take land in Iceland. When Thorgrimr heard of Ragnar's intention to sail for Greenland he said that it would be no loss, and possibly a good and worthy thing to go and settle there himself.

Thorgrimr at that time was living in his brother's house without wife or child. The land was poor, and each winter was leaner than the last. But Thorgrimr was known as a good carver, and had heard of the walrus and reindeer to be found in Greenland which would give him ivory and antler to work. He said that he planned to profit from this and so sold his share of the farm, packed his tools, and joined Ragnar's ship.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Characters - Ketill

Note: This is the second in the series giving backgrounds of the characterizations DARC members are planning to use for the LAM 2010 presentation.

There was a man named Ketill, son of Einar. He was from the west coast of
Norway, near to Trondheim. This was not the same Ketill who sailed for
Greenland with Eirik the Red, who had settled in the east and named it
Now as a young man Ketill Einarsson had voyaged to Ireland, to make his home at
Dubhlin. He became a blacksmith of some skill and married Bera, known as
the Quickfingered for her skill at the loom. Although Ketill did well
enough at his trade, his luck was poor. Some said of him that he should
dream and plan less, and should work at the forge more. His reputation
became as a man who was quick to spend money, but slow to finish the work.
Although no longer young, Ketill sold his house and traveled to Iceland.
There he hoped his years of experience would have more value, and his
poor reputation be less known. Soon after he went to the Althing to see
if a wealthy chieftain might have need of a skillful smith. But the work
that was offered was that he considered only fit for journeymen, the
making of nails and rivets or the forging of horse shoes.
So it was there he heard the ale-told tales of Eirik and his Greenland.
He met silver tongued Ragnarr Thorbergsson and heard of the voyage to
Greenland that was being planned. Ketill was sure that his skills would
be of high value to Eirik and Leif in such a new settlement. For that
reason, the last of his silver has gone to Ragnarr to pay for passage on
the ship.

Text by Darrell Markewitz - Image by Susan Gold (?)

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      Updated: 4 Dec, 2007
Text © Dark Ages Recreation Company, 2007
Photographs © Individual artists
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