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But sometimes you risk mistreating the archaeological discoveries, because you don’t handle them on their own terms,” she says.
“Particularly if the written sources orginates from later periods which might describe completely different conditions.”“I’m trying to turn things around and say that the material sources perhaps contain a part of our history, which serves as more than an illustration.
Flower pollen is found in particular in honey, which is typically a part of the human diet, says Beck.“I don’t know whether Vikings sat and ate honey, or if it was mead, but the interpretation at least is that it’s pollen from honey, and that is rarely used for feeding animals.”Pollen analyses also showed that there was not much airborne pollen in the soil layers, which indicates that the hole had been covered, perhaps inside a small building.The idea that excrement was used as a resource on fields, requires people to have a modern, rational relationship to life,” says Beck.“But we know from cultures the world over that the treatment of faeces is surrounded by complicated cultural and social rules and taboos.From toilet culture, you can learn a lot about the norms and rules of that particular society,” she says.“For example, we know that animals, which had previously lived under the same roof as humans for thousands of years, were moved out of people’s homes at this time.In a Viking settlement on Stevns in Denmark, archaeologists have excavated a two metre deep hole. This hole, it seems, may be the oldest toilet in Denmark.Radiocarbon dating of the faeces layer dates back to the Viking Age, making it quite possibly the oldest toilet in Denmark.“It was a totally random find.