We have been very busy the last few months with school, traveling and celebrating the holidays. That is why we will take you a few months back and tell you about all the exiting things we have been doing since May.
The International Viking Market
A few weeks before our final exam of the year, the International Viking Market was held in the Viking Centre in Ribe. To gain extra information about the Vikings for our exam, but also for a nice day out, we had organized a trip to the Viking Centre with MASE. In the Viking Centre people dress up and live like the Vikings did, and it can be compared to the Dutch theme park Archeon. Houses, food, games, everything was made and done as it would have been in the Viking Age hundreds of years ago. We went into different houses and even had the change to feel like Ragnar Lothbrock, by sitting in the Viking throne. We played Viking games (board and throwing games, no beer involved J) and witnessed a Viking battle and a horse show. On the market itself, they sold everything that would have been used during the Viking Age. The people who sold their goods came from all over Europe. It was a very interesting and nice day, and we learnt a little bit more about the Vikings.
The field school started on the first of June., and took place in Mukran on the island of Rügen, Germany. We stayed on the campsite of a hostel in Prora. This area is famous for the colossal hotels that were built for Nazi-tourism. The hostel itself had been renovated from Nazi-hotel-ruin to the Jugendherberg where we stayed. For three weeks we dived at a 16th century wreck, probably of Danish origin. We made drawings, photos and videos of the wreck, and also got coordinates so we have the exact location of the wreck. The wreck had first been documented in the mid ’80’s and since then a lot of archaeologists and divers have had a look at it. The documentation of the wreck was however not up to today’s standard, and that is why it was up to us to make a final and exact recording of the wreck. During previous investigations quite a lot of finds were recovered. Therefore, we also had a look at these finds. The finds of the wreck were mostly located in Schwerin, a two-hour drive from Prora. Here we documented all the finds. There were guns, one wrought iron gun and a bronze gun, a lot of wooden artefacts, pottery and metal objects. These finds were photographed and the interesting ones were also drawn. For the two guns a photogrammetry model was made, so we can have a good look at them in 3D.
Ruins of the Prora hotels.
Every day there was a dive team and a land team. The dive team was split up in two teams, one would dive in the morning, the second group would dive in the afternoon. The wreck needed to be cleaned first, which took much longer than expected, since the wreck was totally covered with seaweed and rocks. All the timbers needed to be tagged and drawn separately. Once the wreck was cleaned and the timbers were tagged, a diver with a GoPro could film the wreck in order to make a photogrammetry model of it. This coming semester we will work on the model and other documentation, and write a report on the wreck. The land team was responsible for the finds. These finds were given a number, were drawn and photographed. They also worked with a Total Station, to shoot the positions of the shipwreck.
The youth hostel we were staying at with in the front of it our base camp.
The location of the wreck site from the nearby beach.
Changing shifts on the beach.
Everyone is hard at work in our office inside the youth hostel.
Besides all the work we had to do during the field school, we also had a few days off, when the weather was ‘bad’. Since the site was located on the Baltic Sea coast, an easterly wind caused high waves, which was too dangerous to dive in as the site was really close to shore and only 3 meters deep. But although we couldn’t dive it was really beautiful, sunny weather. We spent those days off in the beautiful nature park on Rügen, in the Hanseatic city of Stralsund, and walking and cycling on the island. It was an amazing place to be, with a lot of history and beautiful nature.
The beach near the wreck site.
Rügen is known for its beautiful white cliffs.
They even had hunebedden (dolmen) here!
The Hanseatic city of Stralsund.
The Hanseatic city of Stralsund.
Sailing in Roskilde
Only one day after we came back from the field school, we had another trip planned. This time we went back to Roskilde. The first time we went there, we spent our day looking at how Viking boats were built and how the Vikings lived. This time we got the experience at how to sail like a Viking! We sailed on a replica of a clinker-built boat, that was built originally in Norway. First we needed to row out of the harbour, before we could start sailing in the Roskilde Fjord. During the 2 hour sailing trip we learnt all about rigging, sailing and steering. We did a lot of different sailing-techniques, which made it really exiting.
Sailing in Roskilde.
After a two-month holiday, we and other members of MASE organized an introduction for the new first year students. We went to Ribe, the oldest town of Denmark, where we got a tour from the Viking Museum through the town. It was really interesting, and even though we had the tour last year as well, we still learned some new things about the town. After the tour we had some free time, so we showed some of the people some nice places in the town. Afterwards we headed back to Esbjerg, where we had a nice barbeque to finish the day.
The students trying out making sparks with flint for fire.
One of the props the tour guide had with her, to show us what finds have been done in Ribe.
We ended the tour near the beautiful St. Catherina church.
Classes have started again. In the next blog we will give an overview of these classes and what can be expected from them. Until next time!
Robert de Hoop & Nicole Schoute