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SlíNanGael
Sunday, August 10th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Viking smile suggests Norse were vain warriors


STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Viking raids gave Norsemen a reputation in medieval Europe as bloodthirsty marauders. Recent archaeological finds show they may also have been vain - caring as much for the brilliance of their teeth as the bite of their swords.

A study of skeletal remains from 1,000-year-old burial sites in southern Sweden suggests some Norsemen used iron files to carve grooves into their teeth, probably to insert colourful decorations, anthropologist Caroline Arcini said.


She believes the grooves, which she found in the teeth of 10 per cent of male skeletons but none of the women, were either pure decoration or meant to show affiliation to a social class or trade group.



Arcini's study, first published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, found horizontal grooves across the upper front teeth of 24 men in 557 skeletal remains of men and women at four grave sites.

Full Article (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060214/viking_vanity_060214/20060214?hub=SciTech)

Gorm the Old
Monday, August 11th, 2008, 04:30 AM
Well, it doesn't seem to have been a very popular practise. 24 out of 557 is only 4.3%. I suppose, however, that tooth filing may have identified the members of some sort of "elite corps". I should think that grooves would be ill-suited to retain any kind of colourful decorations. I think it likely that the grooves themselves were the decorations.