burial recordings

First Female Viking Warrior Proved Through DNA
The first conclusive proof of a Viking warrior woman has been found in the DNA of a skeleton from Sweden.
By Kristina Killgrove

In the past, numerous preconceptions have prevented the full study of possible female warriors. The researchers note that “similar associations of women buried with weapons have been dismissed, arguing that the armaments could have been heirlooms, carriers of symbolic meaning, or grave goods reflecting the status and role of the family rather than the individual. Male individuals in burials with similar material record are not questioned in the same way.” Another argument was that this particular grave may have held a second individual at some point in time, and all of the weapons belonged to him. And finally, some have argued that weapons buried with a female do not make her a warrior, while not examining the assumption that weapons buried with a male do signal his warrior status.


La Vie en Rose (English version)
Édith Piaf with Robert Chauvigny and his Orchestra
La Vie en Rose (English version)

Song: La Vie en Rose / The Three Bells

Artist: Édith Piaf with Robert Chauvigny and his Orchestra

Record Label: Columbia Records 38948

Recorded: 1950

Here’s an interesting record especially with the anniversary of Burial at Sea Episode 2 coming up soon.

While the original French version has been featured here before, Édith Piaf sang an English version shortly after her success touring the United States with Les Compagnons de la chanson.

As you may recall, all the records of Burial at Sea have been featured here before.

Here are the compilation posts for your perusal:

The Records Behind the Music of Burial at Sea Episode 1

The Records Behind the Music of Burial at Sea Episode 2

Édith Piaf (left) with Robert Chauvigny (right)

Robert Chauvigny was a classically trained musician and arranged music for Édith Piaf for most of her career. He would also bring the accordionist Marc Bonel to work with the orchestra.

Together with manager Louis Barrier, the three would remain a stable constant throughout Piaf’s life.

Not only did Chauvigny tirelessly play the piano for rehearsal sessions and conduct the orchestra for “Milord” , “Le mots d’amour”, and “Non, je ne regrette rein”, but he provided the mysterious voice for “Un étranger”.

Listen to the original French version here.

Listen to the Piaf’s English version of “Les trois cloches” here.

“Unexpected Romance” Ahkmenrah fanfic Part 3/?

AN: Hello there guys! I am so thankful for your lovely messages and likes. As promised some Ahkmenrah/Reader interaction here.

Word count: 1183

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After some good night sleep you have woken up at the early hour of six. You made your way towards the kitchen and having your standard breakfast of oats boiled in chocolate milk. Of course you had a pretty big day ahead of you and you had to allow yourself to keep your energy at its best! At eight o clock you’ve found yourself at the museum and went to the comforting back room to check your schedule. As you sat down on the blanket covered couch you went through your planner and noticed something interesting on the floor. It was a golden bracelet. From the texture you could tell that it was from ancient Egypt, most probably dating from the second intermediate period, maybe around 1600 BC. And what do you think what else is dating from that period… better who. You could recall Ahkmenrah wearing similar when you met him last night. You thought to yourself and slid the decorative object on your wrist. It reminded you of him very well and since you seemed to like the guy you could not remove the smile of your face.

Several hours of working and translating the hieroglyphics written on the back of the tablet had passed, it was time for a well earned time break.  You’ve reached to grab the black bag of the sofa corner, taking your sandwich out. As you began to eat Amy had entered the room with a bright smile on her lovely face. “Hello there___! How are you doing today?”

“I am doing perfectly fine dear fellah and yourself?” you smiled softly giving a playful wink to a lady that has now peacefully seated next to you. “I am doing excellent, thank you for wondering. How was yesterday? Your first day working here?” As she questioned you felt the familiar feeling of those clouds spreading and playing with your inner organs. But hey what were you thinking! It has barely passed 48 and you are thinking of the pharaoh like that. __ needs to give time to resolve her feelings well.

“The day was pretty nice, as I still am now, I was enjoying researching the tablet and Ahkmenrah’s family tree. You know the process of mummification and digging out big tombs for important personas of Egypt did not started like all of us know. For example did you know, that for the burial of the first recorded pharaoh, around fifty people were sacrificed including the most important people from his life. Including his concubines, good chefs, parents, family members and more.”  You were rambling on and on causing Amy to let out a silent giggle. “I understand sweetheart. Now I understand why you got this job. You enjoying talking about this so much. But excuse me it is four pm which means my shift has ended. I must leave now” She gave you a soft smile before standing up to take her bag. “It was lovely having this conversation with you.”

Despite the fact that your shift needs to end at five, you had found yourself buried in work until seven pm. You glances at the clock on your phone. Since you are here at this time, you could wait for a bit longer, you knew what was coming.. You watched the other employees leave their work places, the cleaning ladies doing their last bits and of course the famous night gourd Larry arriving. And minute after minute, the moment clock struck 7:33, the tablet above the sarcophagus lighted up the room for  several seconds and the objects around you began moving. Since you knew what is it about, you might as well meet the other plastic people. You noticed a man hopping of his brown furred horse and greeting Larry. That must be the president Roosevelt, so you approached to greet the man with a polite bow of your head. “I apologise for my manners, I didn’t introduced myself last night. My name is ___ and I am new here, it is an honor to meet you.” You’ve said and offered him a hand shake.

“Theodore Roosevelt, president of the United States of America. It is a pleasure to meet you young lady, I’ve heard so much about”

“You hear about me, you say? From who…?” You wondered even though you sort of already knew the answer… For the other exhibits and living people here that knew about the tabled, could notice Ahkmenrah having a little crush on your. Speaking of him; the brown haired man had entered the main hall and placed his golden crown on.

/I am not aware of this questionable feelings this young lady has been giving me over the past sun downs. That hair… shines like silk that I could easily compare it to Konsu’s light. And considering her knowledge and education she must be incredibly blessed by Toth.  A woman like that is one of those females respected my Hathor. Oh dear Ra and the other various wonderful Gods, how I wish to hold her close to me and call her mine. Oh how I wish to see her more than just several moments before she has to go. Is this love? Might she be the chosen one from me from the Gods? /

After meeting several more of wonderful exhibitions here at the museum, you had came to a realisations that everyone is absolutely lovely. Every single one, had this sort of soul, but how? It was a mystery. So you decided to stay there.. the entire night, exploring this miracle and wondering how does rationalism and common sense approve all of these happenings. And eventually you had found yourself playing chess with Larry’s son Nick at the main desk.

“So you’re the new geek around here” He asked giving you a playful smirk. “I am not just a geek… I prefer the statement ‘I will not work at McDonalds with you’, besides this is something I really enjoy doing. It is, really close to my heart.” Your response made him understand so he nodded. “So it’s like me and working as  a DJ” , “Sort of like that yes” You chuckled softly.

The night has passed really quickly since you were having fun, and it was almost sunrise… So you have decided to take a one last turn in the Egyptian area and wish Ahkmenrah goodnight. You saw the man struggling with the linen sheets on the edge of the sarcophagus which made you giggle. A step by step you approached him with a soft smile. “Come on, lay down …” You’ve mumbled a little, might as well help him.

You helped him settle down on the bottom gently and slowly threading fingers through his hair. It is over 5000 years old but yet soft… you began wrapping the shets up from his torso and chest. Then as gently as you could you began to gently wrap his fingers up in the linen, slowly saying good night.

Side notes:  

Konsu – Egyptian God of the moon.

Thoth – Egytian God of literacy

Hathor – Egyptian Goddess of motherhood and females

La Vie En Rose
Édith Piaf with Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra
La Vie En Rose

Song: La Vie En Rose / Un Refrain Courait Dans La Rue

Artist: Édith Piaf with Guy Luypaerts and his Orchestra

Record Label: Columbia Records (4004-F)

Recorded: January 1948

Location: La Poche Du Temps Café

Keeping in with the circular themes of BioShock Infinite, this song will be the first and the last that you will hear in the game. There’s nothing quite so Parisian as hearing this song playing on a phonograph while admiring the pink-tinted clouds floating lazily amongst iconic French scenery.

Édith Piaf is widely regarded as being the voice of France with many of her chansons frequently becoming wildly popular internationally. “La Vie En Rose” would go on to be one of her greatest hits as well as many others such as “l'Accordéoniste”, “Milord”, “Le Vieux Piano”, and “T'es Beau, Tu Sais”.

Piaf’s songs were of sorrow and love drawn from her humble beginnings and sung with a powerful voice which earned her the nickname La Môme Piaf or The Little Sparrow. Her childhood in the streets of Paris would also lead to her unique accent.

You may also recall Piaf’s “Non, Je ne regrette rien” as the musical “kick” in the 2010 film Inception. In an interesting coincidence, not only did the song work its way as musical cues in the score, but Marion Cotillard, who played the role of Mal Cobb, also starred in a 2007 film adaptation of Édith Piaf’s life. Naturally, the film was named after Piaf’s signature song, “La Vie En Rose”.

Guy Luypaerts is well-known as an accomplished conductor of orchestras the world over. Prior to World War I, he played as a jazz pianist in several music-hall orchestras including performing with swing-trumpeter Bill Coleman.

In 1937, he joined the Musique de l'Air, a military band formed by Captain Claude Laty and was stationed at the Ministère de l'Air de Paris-Balard. Shortly before the advent of World War II, he met Charles Trenet whom we worked with to compose and record hits such as “Près de toi mon amour”,  “La folle complainte”, “Deux mots à l'oreille”, “Un air qui vient de chez-nous”, and “Liberté”.

He would meet Piaf in 1946 after the war whom he cultivated a life-long relationship along with other stars such as Georges Guéthary.

He would go on to compose more songs such as  "Balade des petits lutins", “ Rêver”, and “Libellule” as well as conducting
Radio Télédiffusion Française’s radio orchestra.

About the Record:

Unfortunately, I cannot find more information on this record. It’s not one of the original French pressings as it was made in the United States and uses the US version of the Columbia label. Yet some parts are in French instead of English.

However, it’s backed with the same song as the French pressing.

Listen to Piaf’s English version of “La Vie en Rose” here.

Listen to the flip side “Un Refrain Courait Dans La Rue” here.

P.S. In a strange turn of events. I checked out a book of Piaf’s music repertoire from the library the Saturday before Burial at Sea Part 2 was released.

Here’s the sheet music for “La Vie En Rose”.

‘A female Viking Warrior confirmed by Genetics’

Ok, it’s been a year since i’ve posted anything on my archaeology page, but I think now maybe a good time to bring it back. I’m sure if you have facebook or twitter you’re aware of the recent research by Hedenstierna-Jonson et al  released this week ‘confirming’ the presence of a female Viking Age warrior from Birka. If you know me, you know Viking Age women and children are my thing so I’m just going to compile a few thoughts that I have about this research.

Firstly, I think people are a little bit too eager to accept this article at face value, people are so eager to see confirmation that society in the Viking Age was largely egalitarian and don’t consider the rest of the evidence we have, a common example of people trying to place modern ideals on the past, but that’s for another post.The title of this article is incredibly miss leading because the research does not confirm that the skeleton  Bj581 from Birka was a ‘female viking warrior’, it confirms that a burial initially thought to be male is in fact female from DNA Analysis, analysis is a wonderful thing but it cannot tell us someone’s profession or daily activities in this instance.

‘But Bethany, the only difference is the sex why are you trying to suggest she was not a warrior?’ Because even when it was thought to be male there is no actual evidence that this individual so much as picked up a weapon in their lifetime, artifacts are placed in burials as a ritual by the mourners (Harke 2004). Artifacts are tricky little things; at Bedale we see a male buried with a pair of tortoise brooches which are heavily associated with females. It could be suggested that they were placed in the burial in memory of a loved one etc (Hardcastle 2017). Objects can be used in burials to convey a wide array of identites or just as symbols of mourning (Halsall 2011 and Brather 2017). Heinrich Harke conducted research on the weapon burial rite in Anglo-Saxon England, he largely concluded that weapons in male burial were likely connected to wealth due to the ratios of other grave goods present and time invested in the burial (2004: 3). Harke also notes the presence of weaponary in children’s graves in England and older adults who would not have been of fighting age, suggesting that weaponary were not a symbol of ‘fighting males’ (Ibid: 5). We see the occasional weapon in the burials of Scandinavian children, for example at Balnakeil, Sutherland, the burial of an individual between the age of 10 and 13 produced a wide array of grave goods including weapons and gaming pieces (Batey and Patersen 2012). There are many things I could say about this burial; however, the thing of most importance here is that the individual was most likely a member of the elite, which I would most certainly argue the woman from Birka was too.

The authors note the presence of a gaming board and gaming pieces suggesting that the woman was involved in military tactics. I’ve already noted that artifacts are problematic little things, but lets take a look at where else we see such items. Yes we see gaming pieces at places such as Torksey winter-camp (Hadley and Richards 2016) which is heaviliy associated with the Great Heathen Army; however is it not possible that they were used as gaming pieces? after all I’m sure members of the Viking Army liked to have fun. In the burial record we see gaming pieces with the child at Balnakeil, with an adult and 3 children at Cloghermore Cave, Co. Kerry (Connolley and Coyne 2005), The Scar Boat Burial containing the remains of an elderly woman, an adult male and a child (Batey and Graham-Campbell 1998), along with others. We also see them at the settlements of Buckquoy and Saeve Howe, Orkney. In honestly, nothing here is screaming ‘military tactics’ but rather ‘people who could afford it liked to play games’.

Moving on to literary sources, I’m an archaeologist not a historian so forgive me but this is far from my comfort area so I’m only going to very briefly touch upon this. Yes the Gesta Danorum notes women who dressed as men and participated in combat; however, this account was produced in the late 12th-13th century which is problematic in itself as it is second hand knowledge. There are obviously Saga accounts of ‘shieldmaidens’ but again, they are not contemporary accounts and in parts largely influenced by the mythology. Further, the archaeological record as it is does not support the notion of female Viking Warriors as such…there are female weapon burials in the Scandinavian homelands (see Gardela 2013) but nothing to the extent of the Birka burial. Birka was excavated a long time ago and as with all antiquarian finds there is the issue of ‘archaeologically gendering’ a burial not ‘osteologically sexing’ by this I mean a persons biological sex has been assumed by their grave goods and not their skeleton. With this in mind it is very possible we many more females with the weapon burial rite that have been identified as males due to their grave goods; however, without digging out every old skeleton we have we’re not going to know. But then again, weapons do not equal warriors, so we would still be no closer to solving the question of whether shieldmaidens were a part of Viking Age society.

Isn’t archaeology fun?

xenzen-thewholeshebang  asked:

So there's a lot on the Internet about what goes on before a battle, and even during battle (at least, after you wade through all the video game information), but what happens after? Did the losers or winners bury their dead comrades, or was that left to the people who live on the land they fought on? Did anyone think to conduct funeral rites of some sort? Or did they just lah-de-dah off into the sunset and hope the opponents didn't follow?

A quick Google for the term “medieval battlefield graves” brought up plenty of info. Here’s one useful page

Though some battlefields were left littered with bodies, either if the battle was fought far from human habitation or to make a point

…there were plenty of recorded mass burials, like these at Culloden.

One of the best known is at Visby, where hot weather and fast decomposition meant the winners buried - or ordered the locals to bury - a lot of enemy casualties not from altruism but to prevent disease. They were already getting too unpleasant to strip or loot (given the stronger medieval stomach, that says how nasty the bodies had become) so ended up providing lots of archaeological evidence of what “low-to-mid-level” armour like coats-of-plates looked like.

It also gave graphic evidence of what medieval weapons were capable of doing.

Even the fairly sober “Blood Red Roses” documentary about Towton had people expressing shock about this. It’s as if the scientists came to their work in a haze of fictional chivalry and knights-in-shining-armour (or possibly just the supposed “bluntness” of European medieval swords) and were surprised when they discover that hitting a man in the face with what was more like a three-foot-long razorblade did the same then as it would do now.

A modern sniper’s head shot makes just as much mess - check the famous Zapruder film, and that involved just a 6.5mm round, not the massive Barrett .50 (14.5mm) which can go most of the way to the Dirty Harry thing of “Blow your head clean off”. Yet injuries from hot lead don’t seem to provoke the same surprise as those from cold steel.

There may have been funeral rites of some sort; in fact, it being a fairly religious age, there probably were. It would have been as easy for a priest to say a funeral mass over a hole with 100 or 1000 corpses in it as over a hole containing one.

Not doing so probably involved religious differences, as in the Crusades, or was just putting the spiritual boot in to interfere with the enemy’s afterlife, like this incident in the classic John Ford / John Wayne 1956 western “The Searchers”…

[Brad Jorgenson smashes the head of a dead Comanche warrior with a rock]

Reverend Clayton: “Jorgenson!”

Ethan Edwards: “Why don’t you finish the job?”

[He draws his gun and shoots out the dead Comanche’s eyes]

Reverend Clayton: “What good did that do ya?”

Ethan Edwards: “By what you preach, none. But what that Comanche believes, ain’t got no eyes, he can’t enter the spirit-land. Has to wander forever between the winds. You get it, Reverend?”

I don’t know how viewers of sixty years ago would have responded to this; maybe they weren’t shocked, maybe they thought “the murderin’ redskin had it coming”. Or maybe, since Ethan was played by a noted “good guy” like Wayne, they’d have felt properly uncomfortable since it proves that the character isn’t a hero but an anti-hero, with a corrosive level of hatred that goes beyond the grave.

A brief scene of a grave-marker near the beginning shows that Ethan’s mother was killed by Comanches - the death of a family member is one of “the usual reasons” for any revenge-driven movie character - and Martin Scorsese writes

(Ethan) hates Comanches so much that he actually has bothered to learn their beliefs in order to violate them.

(Ethan can also speak the Comanche language, going oddly far given his attitude which is that, quoting another film character entirely, “(I am) distrustful of language. A gun means what it says.“)

IMO this hatred at a spiritual level would have been equally shocking in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, at least among people of the same religion - you tried not to treat the enemy too badly either alive or dead in the hope that their side would do the same to yours.

It didn’t always happen - and still doesn’t, so we shouldn’t do any back-patting on that score  - but sometimes it did even when not expected. A mass grave from the Battle of Lützen in the Thirty Years War, which was a really nasty religious war between flavours of Christianity, revealed that…

A few facts have already come to light. For example, the corpses…were, at least, carefully laid to rest. The bodies were gathered from the battlefield and placed in a grave next to the street, arranged in two rows with their legs facing each other.

Several layers of dead probably lie within these two blocks, although researchers have only uncovered the first. The burials were not taken care of by the surviving soldiers, who were already on their way to the next battle. Instead the good citizens of Lützen had to take on the unpleasant job. They asked 200 soldiers in the neighboring garrison of Weissenfels for extra support.

If there was care taken over laying out the bodies, it seems reasonable to assume that someone “said words” over them. Quite possibly the wrong words (Catholic service over Protestant corpses or vice versa) either because of what clergy was available, or maybe as a form of post-mortem conversion. It’s the thought that counts.

At least nobody said “Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms…