March 13, 2010

What did Bede know, and when did he know it?

Aerin never misses a chance to remind me I'm a nerd.  I admit, the evidence is relatively strong.  I have an engineering degree and know how to use the vi editor.  My preferred mode of humor is the pun.  And I played Dungeons & Dragons as a kid.  OK, and in college.  Yeah, even after I got out of college, had a job, and was married.  But by then it was Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Anyway, my love of D & D fueled also my love of Anglo Saxon history.  I think I own more books about the time of Alfred the Great than any other topic except perhaps writing.  So imagine my excitement to read this article about a new archaeological discovery of a mass Viking grave.  How cool!

You don't need to read the article.  You can just get the summary from the sidebar, which I've copied verbatim over there, below on the right.

  • 51 bodies were unearthed near the site
    of the 2012 London Olympics
  • On Friday, scientists announce the men
    were Vikings from the Dark Ages
  • The men, who were beheaded, were found
    near the Olympic sailing venue
But I think the scientists are chasing the wrong questions. It's all well and good to try to figure out where the Vikings came from using iodine or isotopes or dialysis or whatever it is they use. And to examine in tiny detail all the wounds they received, like some sick S&M history voyeur.

What I really want to know is, why were they executed near the Olympic sailing venue?  Why not near, say, the Olympic velodrome?  Or the Olympic fencing venue?  Science may never reveal the answer to this mystery.


Stephen Parrish said...

From one nerd to another, I majored in math and---I'm going to lose friends by admitting this---I read math textbooks for pleasure. It dumbfounds my 14-year-old daughter.

But the reason I'm commenting is because I'm directly descended from Vikings (my father's last name is Johnson). The bodies were found near the sailing venue, rather than near the fencing, boxing, or wresting venues, because Vikings were just explorers who wanted to share their culture.

And pillage. Boys will be boys!

Jinksy said...

In the days when they met their demise, that area was probably the coastline, and us warlike Brits saw them off one by one as they stepped ashore!

Laurel said...

Pithy questions, Pete. Precognition on the part of the Vikings? Leaving their mark near the site of sailing? Or something more nefarious? Hmmm.

LOL on the D&D. Dabbled myself. I channeled more of my nerdliness into logic puzzles (I got books of them for Christmas) and Star Trek. Any flavor.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Logic puzzles. *sigh* Yes. I do the daily logic puzzle online. Heavenly.

But, dude, seriously. Not a hard question. Vikings and sailing are synonymous.

Math. Pshaw. Engineering is getting there. Try Physics. Though my retirement dreams are to teach algebra at a community college.

Robin B. said...

Count me in on the nerd list. I love history, the older the better. I drive John nuts when we're in Wales, going out to look at stione circles and carvings and stuff.