New interpretation of how Rus-vikings dressed

Moderator: Moderators


Mary Craig
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:12 pm

Postby Mary Craig » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:39 pm

It's a dubious interpretation of the brooch positioning, That bit of her costume research is based on *one* grave.

Ask any female who actually has breasts and they will bluntly tell you that wearing metal brooches bouncing around over the nipple area of the breast is not on......Carry On harem girls them weren't :roll: but hey! It makes good salacious headlines, doesn't it?

The high positioned, apple shaped breasts of youth do not last for life. Unless you spend your life in a sports bra or a corset, gravity plays a part in the changing breast shape. As the milk glands stop functioning at menopause the breasts change shape again.

It's much more likely that the position of the brooches in the grave simply reflects this.

Pity that this is the part everyone is talking about because her research is interesting for many other reasons.

regards,
mary



User avatar
Neil of Ormsheim
Posts: 423
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 1:37 pm
Location: Deepest Darkest Leeds

Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:40 pm

Thank you Mr. Mad, dead interesting........ :D


Lurv 'n' Kizzez

User avatar
Wiblick
Posts: 146
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:34 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Postby Wiblick » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:02 pm

the position of the brooches notwithstanding, what do people make of the garment interpretation, the lack of apron dress.

And how do you think it's arranged, it seems to be red dress, chemise, trained capey thing... or do you think the red dress is sleeves attached to the inside of the white garment and a red panel attached to the bottom?

Aoife



User avatar
sally
Post Knight
Posts: 1805
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:31 pm
Location: Sunny Wales
Contact:

Postby sally » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:20 pm

Whilst I know that some of the little metal images of women in profile show what look like trailing dresses, and of course we get trains on posh frocks in later periods, my first thought was that the arrangement looked terribly impractical if its to indicate a widespread style of dress. I havent read the article in detail though, so will go back and do so.



User avatar
Zachos
Posts: 424
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 5:34 pm

Postby Zachos » Tue Feb 26, 2008 3:22 pm

I want to be a russ vik. The guys costume is awesome. not sure her interpretation of female costume would look good on anyone over 25, but thats looking with modern eyes.

As for authenticity, its not my era, so I don't know, but anything that far back is gonna be hard to trace as so little evidence is left.


Slowly realizing just how far is still to go.

User avatar
Slavic
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 2:28 pm
Location: Lincoln
Contact:

Postby Slavic » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:39 am

Zachos wrote:I want to be a russ vik. The guys costume is awesome. not sure her interpretation of female costume would look good on anyone over 25, but thats looking with modern eyes.

As for authenticity, its not my era, so I don't know, but anything that far back is gonna be hard to trace as so little evidence is left.


The get up is Bulgar not Rus C10th-C11th, although thats not to say the Rus wouldn't have adopted other cultural styles.


Grumpy son of a Servalvanitovoulgarovlachos!

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Wed Feb 27, 2008 7:57 pm

Very interesting interpretation. I'd like to read the article properly but the womans dress only differs from the Flemming Bau interpretation in the positioning of the brooches.

She put forward an interpretation of an open fronted apron dress back in 1981. This being based on linen stains on some of the implements indicating that the dress had fallen away from the thigh area leaving the shears, I think sat on the linen of the chemise.

As for the brooch position - I'd really need to read the whole thing to see how the decision to place them that low on the breast was reached,

Wiblick - what interpretations are you guys in Ireland using? As for practicality Sally -whoever said these had to be practical?


Caroline

User avatar
ViscontesseD'Asbeau
Posts: 299
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:57 am
Location: Xanadu

Postby ViscontesseD'Asbeau » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:11 am

The weird reference to 'sweater' told me all I needed to know, really. :D Maybe they wore wellies as well. :D

Only one grave, as others have said. Things would shift as the body rotted. Train might be a ceremonial thing but not an everyday. Pretty sure I've read references to beads being found circling ladys' breasts but they're thought to be in situ remnants of sewn on beads - why'd you be sewing them on to yer undershift? Uncomfortable and illogical. Is crazy. :lol: :D



Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:34 pm

Mary Craig wrote:It's a dubious interpretation of the brooch positioning, That bit of her costume research is based on *one* grave.


Where did you pick that bit of information from? In my experience Scandiavian archaeologists are normally a lot more thorough than that. Is the actual report available? Have you read it? I like a copy if you have.

The reference to 'sweater' could also be a weird translation problem - I wouldn't rule this interpretation out on those grounds.


Caroline

m300572
Post Centurion
Posts: 624
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:11 pm
Location: NW England

Postby m300572 » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:54 pm

ViscontesseD'Asbeau wrote:The weird reference to 'sweater' told me all I needed to know, really. :D Maybe they wore wellies as well. :D

Only one grave, as others have said. Things would shift as the body rotted. Train might be a ceremonial thing but not an everyday. Pretty sure I've read references to beads being found circling ladys' breasts but they're thought to be in situ remnants of sewn on beads - why'd you be sewing them on to yer undershift? Uncomfortable and illogical. Is crazy. :lol: :D


Nah, rubber would show up in the grave fills as a strange black deposit (probably!)

What we need is some volunteers to donate their corpses (or the bodies of friends and families) for research - tog them up in verious interpretations of kit, bury them, then dig them up after a few years to see what the result was, followed by a formal funeral to dispose of whats left in a respectful manner.

I'm not sure if any of the forensic archaeology departments have got "body farms" or if anyone at these places could assist with details of corpse decay - Bournemouth, Bradford, Birmingham and Preston all have forensic archaeology courses.


Wilkes and Liberty, Wilkes and the Forty Five

User avatar
Medicus Matt
Post Knight
Posts: 1469
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:16 pm
Location: Zummerzet
Contact:

Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:58 pm

Lady Cecily wrote:Is the actual report available? Have you read it? I like a copy if you have.


Here you go dear, there's also a summary and the paper in it's original Russian:- Pvosk

If you can be in Copenhagen on 15 May you can hear the first presentation of the latest paper on the subject by the Institute for the History of Material Culture Russian Academy of Sciences. Abstract from the paper:-

In summer of 2006, a chamber-grave burial was uncovered during rescue excavations in
Pskov (Russia). This chamber-grave was dated to the late 10th century. The director of the
excavation E. A. Yakovleva supposed that the burial belonged to the series of Scandinavian
monuments of the Viking Age.
In a hiding place beneath the wooden floor of the chamber, were found the remains of a
birch-bark box which contained fragments of textiles. The researches have yielded clear
stratigraphic positions of the layers of textiles and several types of cloth have been recognized.
The preserved cloths were woven from plant fibres and silk. The textiles made of vegetable fibres
were of the plain weave type whereas the silken ones were identified as summit. It was found that
the cloths of vegetable fibre were undoubtedly predominant in numbers. These cloths were
folded into several layers. In the course of clearing of the fills of the box it proved to be possible
to recover and preserve 10 details of both silken and linen textiles. The assemblage of these
details suggests that there were two textile objects here made of blue linen. Detailed examination
of the parts of silk showed that the latter were no separate articles but were sewn onto linen. The
Pskov find proved to be a long blue linen shirt or tunic. Its long sleeves were trimmed up with
silk of reddish-purple colour. Put on over the shirt was a clothing of blue linen conventionally
designated as a sarafan or an apron. Related with this outer item of the costume was the largest
piece among the silk details found. It was a complete upper part (152 cm long and 25.5 cm wide)
of the apron. At equal distances from the centre, fragments of two loops or shoulder-straps were
preserved. The loops themselves were found on the pins of two oval fibulae.
The silken trimming of the upper part of the apron consisted of several details cut from
different kinds of silk. These all were cloths of the Byzantine type. On silken cloth no. 1, a woven
pattern has been recognized with a scene of the Sassanian prince Bahram Gur hunting. In
Europe, cloths with similar designs are known by finds from Milan, Cologne, and Prague. Within
the territory of Russia they have been found at mountain burial grounds of the northern
Caucasus. All of them are dated, at the latest, to the 9th century being imitations of the earlier
Sassanian textiles.
The Pskov find of 2006 is of the highest interest having provided new information for
reconstruction of the ceremonious woman’s costume of the Viking Age both in its complete
form and of its detail known as apron in archaeological literature. This object is furthermore a
kind of a puzzle since no finds of so late silken cloths with a scene of hunting Bahram Gur have
until present been reported from elsewhere.


Have to say that, from looking at the report and the more conventional way in which the finds can be reconstructed, the Larsen proposal is...interesting. It DOES give a shape that matches the profiles seen on some of the jewellery though.


"I never said that I was here to help."

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:03 pm

Oh I should have been more specific. I meant the report/dissertion that resulted in these reconstrucions. I've written to Ms Larsson to see what I can get from her.


Caroline

User avatar
Lena
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 9:10 pm
Location: Oxford

Postby Lena » Thu Feb 28, 2008 2:42 pm

Lady Cecily wrote:Oh I should have been more specific. I meant the report/dissertion that resulted in these reconstrucions. I've written to Ms Larsson to see what I can get from her.


Let us know what you can find out. I'm hoping to have a look at the thesis at the uni library when I go home to Sweden for Easter, but there's quite a risk that it's out on loan, since it's a new and controversial study.

I've checked COPAC, and it's not in any uni library in the UK. Hmpf.



Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:03 pm

Lena wrote:
Lady Cecily wrote:Oh I should have been more specific. I meant the report/dissertion that resulted in these reconstrucions. I've written to Ms Larsson to see what I can get from her.


Let us know what you can find out. I'm hoping to have a look at the thesis at the uni library when I go home to Sweden for Easter, but there's quite a risk that it's out on loan, since it's a new and controversial study.

I've checked COPAC, and it's not in any uni library in the UK. Hmpf.


Will do, she's already e-mailed me. I'm not conviced its that controversial. As I said earlier the brooch placement is the only really new thing as I see it.


Caroline

User avatar
Caithlinn
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:26 pm

Postby Caithlinn » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:43 am

Lady Cecily,

I'd also be VERY interested to hear what she says about it all. On a Swedish forum she defended her reconstruction from a "material" point of view (i.e. the use of authentic fabrics and braid apparently imported from the UK etc), but was otherwise very defensive and a little bit condescending towards the users of the forum, implying that "amateurs" weren't on her level of expertise and research.... be that as it may.

It is a very common misconception that Fleming Bau is a woman.... he is in fact a MAN and I very much agree, Ms Larsson's reconstruction reminds me a lot of his proposed reconstructions 25 years ago. The find in Pskov consisted of material found in a box next to the body, i.e. there was no indication of the positioning of brooches on the body. Another very interesting summary of the Pskov find can be found on Peter Beatson's website.

In MANY graves in Birka (which is likely to be the other source for her work, as she describes costume in the Maelar valley as such((here is a link to her thesis) the grave plans indicate that the tortoise shaped brooches could be found anywhere between the collarbone and the hips. This is generally believed to be due to the shift of the weighty brooches when the body decays and the added pressure from above through the soil.

Particularly in Birka, many finds have revealed that there was probably another garment on top of the shirt, under the "wrap around" or "apron style" suspended dress (in the same time frame, since Ms Larsson indicated that the "provocative dress" is apparently limited to the advent of Christianity). The proposed reconstruction by Ms Larsson *looks* as if the lady is wearing only a "shirt" on top of another garment made of silk or at least with long silk cuffs. The Pskov find revealed that the silk cuffs were sewn onto the linen garment, which was made from blue linen btw. I haven't seen the reconstruction in person, only the available photographs online, hence the *looks like*... it may well be that the silk cuffs are attached to the "shirt", but the photograph doesn't reveal this. I have ordered the "Material and Methods" and the "Discussion" parts of her thesis through a document delivery service, since it's unfortunately not available in the UK yet... does anyone know if you can ask the Bristish Library to aquire it for you? (I am sure it'll get plenty of borrowers, with all that hype going on).

Another interesting thing is the width and material of the straps... up until now, braided straps were not known for certain to be used to suspend the apron or pinafore construction. There are very few remains of braids around the brooches anyway, and in most cases they can be linked to having suspended other items like knives, tools or cosmetic accessories. The other thing is, sewn straps are generally ranging between 1 and 1.5cm in width - not much more than that. The straps on the reconstruction look like they are braided (whichever method) and at least 2-2.5cm wide.... interesting to say the least.

So anything Ms Larsson can say to shed some light on the reconstruction would be greatly appreciated.

Caithlinn :)

Sources: Birka II (Haegg) and Birka III (Geijer - there are several Birka publications with more info)
Inga Haegg, Kvinnodraekten i Birka, and articles in Cloth and Clothing (also Geijer in there)
Fleming Bau, Seler og Slaeb

And if I have forgotten something or people are interested in a particular source, let me know.


Plus faict douceur que violenz

User avatar
Caithlinn
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:26 pm

Postby Caithlinn » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:44 am

Ah, and the people who made the discovery in PSkov are also going to present at NESAT.... it's going to be VERY interesting, I am sure. I so want to be there!

Caithlinn :)


Plus faict douceur que violenz

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:21 pm

You know I think someone told me before that Bau was a man - but I'd forgotten. Thanks for putting me straight Caithlinn. :D

I already have the impression that the doctoral thesis is mostly about the male costume research rather than the female. How have you ordered the abstracts Caithlinn? I don't have ready access to an academic library but have friends who do, if that is the route to take.

I have a feeling that her real interest is the movement from 'pagan' to 'christian' style dress. She's intimated that some translation of the female dress reconstruct may be available soon.

Anyway - it's nice to have something new to look at in what is a very narrow field - and I don't for one minute think that there is only one way to reconstruct these dresses.


Caroline

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:23 pm

Caithlinn wrote:Ah, and the people who made the discovery in PSkov are also going to present at NESAT.... it's going to be VERY interesting, I am sure. I so want to be there!

Caithlinn :)


You and me both Caithlinn, you and me both.


Caroline

User avatar
Caithlinn
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:26 pm

Postby Caithlinn » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:47 pm

Hehe,

well, I AM going to be there... :D

Caithlinn :)


Plus faict douceur que violenz

Lady Cecily
Posts: 316
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:05 pm

Postby Lady Cecily » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:59 pm

Caithlinn wrote:Hehe,

well, I AM going to be there... :D

Caithlinn :)


You can go off some people you know :roll:


Caroline


Return to “410-1100”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests