The Hall of Heorot

The Foremost of Halls Under Heaven

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Save the viking goats!!!

Johanna Thorvaldsdóttir’s Icelandic goat farm (Háafell) is facing foreclosure in September, resulting in the entire goat flock being butchered - unless enough funds are raised to save it!

There are less than 820 Icelandic goats in the entire world - they are an endangered species. Almost half of them will be lost if this farm is not saved. I visited Háafell 2 years ago and every goat I draw is rooted in this place. Any little bit helps :)

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Silver Penny of Olof Tribute-King of Sweden, 990s CE, minted in Sweden in imitation of the coinage of Ethelred II of England

Ancient Scandinavia, though aware of coinage from areas as far distant as Sassanian Persia, was slow to adopt the use of coinage itself, preferring to use un-struck silver bullion or coins of other countries as it’s currency. Viking raids on England in the 980s encouraged the silver-rich English to bribe King Olof to stop the attacks, which flooded modern Sweden with large numbers of coins. This encouraged the Scandinavian kings to begin to strike their own coins, modeled on those of the English. The coins coincided with the gradual solidification of separate kingdoms in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, so we see the names of the local rulers on the coins

The portrait may appear crude but is actually a fair rendering in comparison with other contemporary coinages, it is, however, an imitation of Ethelred’s portrait, rather than a representation of Olof. The lettering at this time was done through the use of triangular punches, which explains its strange, blocky character. The reverse shows the cross, indicating the spread of Christianity which was slowly coming to Scandinavia at this time.

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Portals from Stave Churches in Norway. These photos were taken at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. I believe the typical designs (the curling lines of wood) are the branches of Yggdrasil, as syncretism was the norm during this time as Christians began the conversion of the Pagans and so Norse myth was often depicted in Stave Churches. These portals would have been on each door of the church (often there were three to four).