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The CBA's Community Archaeology Resource
Experimental Archaeology Day - Saturday 13th June

Proofing Viking sails with the Architectural and Archaeology Society of Durham and Northumberland

2pm-4pm, Botanic Gardens, Durham

Booking Essential

It is assumed that the huge sails on Viking longships would have been made of wool, sincesome of the proofing mixtures the Scandinavian countries had no source for materials such as cotton or hemp. But wool would have needed to be proofed, and the theory is that this was a process involving bone grease and red ochre. The Architectural and Archaeological Society of Durham and Northumberland shall be assisting Louisa Gidney with a small-scale reconstruction of this process; proofing a cauldron, smashing up and simmering bones, cleaning the grease off them, and proofing a small piece of cloth. This is a pilot run for the proofing of a large woollen sail, and eventually the recreation of a Viking ship tent, the final results to be written up as an article in Durham Archaeological Journal.

The practical will take place outdoors, old clothes are advisable, and adequate footwear is essential. We shall meet at the Visitors’ Centre at 2.00 pm and the session will end at 4.00 pm, but participants are welcome to take breaks to visit the gardens or café if they wish. There is no charge for the workshop, but please let the Society's Secretary, Belinda Burke, know by emailing her at by Friday 5 June if you would like to attend, so they know how many to expect.


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