Vikings Filed Their Teeth, Skeleton Study Shows
It's the first time that dental modification—a practice found in cultures around the world—has been seen in human skeletons from Europe.
"[These] unique finds of deliberate dental modification … reveal what we did not know before, that this custom is practiced around the world and also in Europe," said Caroline Alcini, an anthropologist at the National Heritage Board in Lund, Sweden.
Alcini led the study, which was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
The Vikings lived in Scandinavia from around A.D. 750 to 1100. They are best known for their sea voyages and violent raids of churches and monasteries in Britain and France.
The Norsemen also traveled to North America around A.D. 1000, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus set foot in the New World.
In the 1960s archaeologists discovered and excavated the remains of a thousand-year-old Norse encampment at the northern tip of Newfoundland, Canada.
Researchers say the Vikings may have learned the practice of filing their teeth from a foreign culture.
"Vikings are well known for their acquisitive habits, but until now we've thought of this in terms of gold, silver, and booty, not facial decoration," said William Fitzhugh, a Viking expert at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
comments powered by Disqus
- World War I records reveal myths and realities of soldiers with ‘shell shock’
- Were Neanderthals a sub-species of modern humans? New research says no
- Irish archaeological sites explain huge European population fall
- Reactions to JFK Assassination Included Fear of Possible Soviet Strike against U.S.; Desire to "Bond" with LBJ
- Swiss Museum to Announce Decision on Nazi-Looted Art Next Week
- Juan Cole says the postwar Middle East governments were modeled on the Soviet Union, though not communist (interview)
- Ted Widmer picks the 5 best presidential books worth reading
- AHA backs California's LGBT History law
- Cultural historian traces history of baby food
- Jules Witcover identifies the best and worst veeps in US history in an interview about his new book