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Canadian Museum of Civilization - 2002

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Thora is carving an oil lamp out of a lump of soapstone, a very soft type of stone found in Scandinavia as well as Canada. The Norse used soapstone (also known as steatite) for a variety of purposes, including cooking pots, spindle whorls, and loom weights. There is even an example of a soapstone bead, but they are rare.

When the Norse settled in Iceland, they used soft volcanic rocks for lamps and loom weights because soapstone is not found there.

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Text © Neil Peterson, 2017
Photographs © Darrell Markewitz, 2017

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