Thursday, July 31, 2014

Research Dump the First

It was pointed out to my (by my own brain, no less) that it would probably be an excellent idea to share the assorted links I find on my researches here, as well as on my personal and Linkspage pages on the Book of Face--just so they do not get lost, as they have been.  So, every so often (when I've actually been doing serious research), I will gather the links up and dump them in a post here.  For those who are not familiar with my habits, I often share the abstract and/or a personal synopsis of the article, and sometimes my opinion on its contents--it is not a bibliography (annotated or not), since I typically come across and post things which may (or may not) be in the same culture...but that about it.

This is the first, probably of many (hopefully, I will go back through my Linkspage and dig up many of the publications from there), and contains Norse related stuff (axes and jewelry, it seems), and 16th Century Persian clothing (at least, that is what I was searching for).


The Germanic Thunderweapon, by Lotte Motz
 A publication arguing that Thor's hammer, was in fact an axe. The argument is based on terminology in various sagas (pointing out that you can't strike off someone's head with a hammer), using that... fact that a hammer is a craftsman's tool rather than a weapon (and Thor is a warrior, not a craftsman), and attempting to say that the depictions of Thor's hammers in archaeological finding appear more to be axes (a very weak argument there, I think).

It's an interesting article and worth reading, but I feel (just feel, mind) that the author was ignoring evidence contrary to her argument.

Early Medieval Ornamented Axes from the Territory of Poland
Among over 900 early medieval axes found in the territory of Poland only 27 have some kind of ornaments. Within them we can identify axes with different decoration techniques: engraving, punching or inlay. This small group of artifacts is connected with the most interesting problem which can be discussed in the area of technological, symbolic, religious and social issues. Therefore, we can suggest that ornamented axes had a special destination and was precious for its owners. It is confirmed by the most popular opinion that they were associated with the social elite of early medieval
Europe. Axes were symbols of power, rank and wealth. But, what is interesting, some of researchers think that they could be connected with cult of Pagan gods – Perun and Perkun. The others consider that they were the attributes of Saint Olaf.


An interesting article, though I really wish the figures were scattered throughout the document, rather than all of them being at the very end.  I would also like to note a reference--though of unknown source quality--to the use of axes by the Varangian guard during Byzantine ceremony (page 13).
A Social Analysis of Viking Jewellery from Iceland. By Michele Mariette Hayeur Smith
Viking Studies has, until recently, dedicated a significant portion of the study of jewellery to typological scrutiny and the analyses of style an...d design. While important and necessary components of archaeology, the social aspect has frequently been overlooked. Jewellery as an element of adornment is part of a greater symbolic system used to convey subtle messages of social and cultural identity.
A Survey of Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-Age Strap-Ends from Britain. By Gabor Thomas.
This thesis presents a national survey of the Late Anglo-Saxon and Viking-age strap-end, one of the commonest manifestations of ornamental from the period. This survey is based on approximately 1,400 strap-ends, enabling, for the first time, a detailed investigation of various themes concerning their manufacture, circulation, and use. The introduction (1) describes the organisation and contents of the thesis in light of past work on the subject. A background chapter (2) sets out a methodological framework for the study and then introduces some relevant theoretical considerations.

A classification of Late Saxon and Viking-age strap-ends (3) presents the defining characteristics of morphology and decoration relating to a sub-division of the corpus into typological groups. Chapter (4)
discusses the variety of contexts in which Late Saxon strap-ends are discovered - highlighting the limitations and implications of each for subsequent interpretation. Evidence of their manufacture and associated technology is evaluated in Chapter (5).

Extended analysis and interpretation then proceeds in the following three chapters. The chronology and distribution of Late Saxon strap-ends are discussed in (6) and (7) respectively. Chapter (8) is primarily contextual, exploring the possible function/s of these artefacts, and the production systems involved in their manufacture.
Chapter (9) offers general conclusions and suggestions for refining the present study and strategies for future research.

Appendices include a comprehensive checklist of individual strap-ends recorded in the survey (1), a preliminary checklist of examples recorded outside the survey area (2), and contextual information relating to strap-ends discovered in stratified, archaeological contexts (3). These are intended to provide the principle source of reference for the classificatory and thematic discussions which form the main text.
Viking Age Axes
A review of Wheeler's Axe Typology, with photographs of extant examples of each form.
In addition to the above: : Photos of a number of extant axeheads.

and, which has more photos, and some discussion on types.


Common Medieval Pigments
""Within the period of time formerly known as the “Dark Ages” there existed a production of numerous objects of art containing brillia...nt and glorious colors that illuminated the medieval mind and so deeply reflected the content they embellished. This glimmer in the medieval world owes much of its brilliance to simple elements such as clay, natural minerals and insects, common ingredients in the pigments used in the production of medieval illuminations. The pigments used in medieval manuscripts varied by geographic location, time period and materials available. This paper offers an introduction to the common medieval palette used in illuminated manuscripts before 1500. The different methods that have been utilized for the identification of these pigments will be discussed, with encouragement to further develop and research non-destructive methods of testing. ""
A paper on the Hallstatt Textiles. 
While it is German (which I cannot read), and pre-period (Hallstatt being 1200-500BC), one of the things this paper does have is close up images of a variety of different seams and the extant textile. I'm fairly certain these stitches were used in the clothing of our period... (something like 98%, if you must know).

Middle Eastern:

Islamic Courtly Textiles & Trade Goods 14th-19th century
A series of images of period textile fragments, with a brief article on each.  Sadly, only the first four are in period.

A Study of the Materials Used by Medieval Persian Painters
Horse Games in Medieval Islamic Art
A portion of a book on the History of Horse Games (the book itself doesn't seem common--only four (US) university libraries are listed as having a copy).
Intro into Ottoman Turkish Clothing and Fashion: Focusing on the 16th Century in Istanbul.  by Lisa Kelly
A SCAdian research paper discussing and laying out the different layers--and characteristics of those layers--of the above style of fashion (in Outline favourite). 
Siyavush Plays Polo before Afrasiyab: Folio from the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp
A folio page, attributed to Abu'l Qasim Firdausi, from the mid/late Tenth Century.  It depicts a number of men playing polo--and shows their clothing in fair detail.
The Persian Coat: 14th--16th Centuries C.E.
Another outline format article, this time discussing the coat layer in particular, including possible patterning/construction and a couple examples from artwork.

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