November 19, 1904 The Hunted – Today in History

We rarely hear about the work of the spy or the saboteur in times of war. These are the Heroes who work behind enemy lines, with little to protect them but their own guts and cleverness. We rarely know their names and yet, there are times when the lives of millions …

Source: November 19, 1904 The Hunted – Today in History

The Oslo Report: How a German Scientist Gave Away Nazi Military Secrets and Why Britain Almost Ignored Him

The HMS Royal Oak in 1937. The dossier contained information about the weapon which sank her

The HMS Royal Oak in 1937. The dossier contained information about the weapon which sank her

Early in the Second World War, the British received a dossier of Nazi military secrets. The extraordinary contents had been sent at great personal risk by…

Source: The Oslo Report: How a German Scientist Gave Away Nazi Military Secrets and Why Britain Almost Ignored Him

During Nazi occupation, office supplies became symbols of resistance

silent flip of the collar. A subtle twirl of the hem. If a safety pin was underneath, that person was a friend.

When the Germans occupied Northwestern Europe during World War II, Dutch and Norwegian citizens communicated their national solidarity with tiny devices: safety pins or paper clips. It was inexpensive and universally portable. The trick was…

Source: During Nazi occupation, office supplies became symbols of resistance

Why Did the Viking Trading Town of Kaupang Totally Disappear? – ThorNews

The first trading towns in Scandinavia were established at the same time as the first Viking raids took place on the British Isles and the continent: Birka in Sweden, Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark and Kaupang in Norway.

“Kaupang”, which translates from “kaupangr” in Old Norse to “market” or “trading place” in English, was strategically placed in a narrow bay in Sikiringssal by the outlet of the Oslo Fjord, five kilometers northeast of Larvik in Vestfold.

Excavations confirm that the town was established in the years 780-800 AD, and for unknown reasons was abandoned about year 930.The trading place was divided into many small plots with…

Source: Why Did the Viking Trading Town of Kaupang Totally Disappear? – ThorNews

Unique Finds: Unknown Photographs by Explorer Roald Amundsen Discovered

Unique: Unknown historical photographs owned by Roald Amundsen has recently been discovered inside this chest. (Photo: Follo Museum)

Thousands of photographs – some new motifs and some of better quality than publicized images, documents and lectures. 80 years after the Norwegian state took over polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s home Uranienborg outside Oslo a very special chest has been discovered.

On November 22 earlier this year, director at Follo Museum, Henrik Smith found his way into a storage room inside the old house.

– As previous conservator-restorer, I am triggered to open all sealed boxes to see if they may contain objects of importance that require different storage conditions, says Henrik Smith to newspaper Aftenposten.

– At the back of the room, covered by documents and vinyl records, stands a chest. I clear my way to reach it, and to my amazement, the inscription…

Source: Unique Finds: Unknown Photographs by Explorer Roald Amundsen Discovered

Helene Stöcker – Fighting for Women’s Control Over Their Lives

From time to time in women’s rights protests you see signs saying something along the lines of “Didn’t my Grandmother fight for these rights?” It’s true, the battles aren’t new, or confined to any particular country. One of the earliest champions for women’s rights, including control over their own bodies, was Helene Stöcker of Germany.

Born November 13, 1869 in Elberfeld, Germany, Helene grew up in a strict Calvinist household. She was the oldest of eight children born to Peter Heinrich Ludwig Stöcker and Hulda Bergmann Stöcker. Her father had wanted to be a missionary, but had to take over the family business, still Bible reading and daily prayer were part of the family routine. Helene eventually rejected her father’s religion, but acknowledged his…

Source: Helene Stöcker – Fighting for Women’s Control Over Their Lives

Found 700 Year Old Gold Ring

Archaeologists have found an ancient gold ring in the mud in Bjørvika, downtown Oslo. The ring has been hidden since Queen Eufemias era in the early 1300s.

The 23-karat gold ring decorated with garnet has been lying in the mud over 700 years. Recently, archaeologist Line Hovd at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) discovered it…

Source: Found 700 Year Old Gold Ring

The Norwegian Who Inspired Darwin | ThorNews

mr-lawson-charles-darwinA Norwegian living on the Galápagos Islands may have changed the history of biology.

Nicolai Olaus Lossius was baptized in Veøy Church outside Molde in late 1790. No one in his family where sailors, yet he settled far from Molde and never returned.At 16, he went to sea, and one day many years later fate wanted him to meet a young man who would become one of the world’s most famous scientist.


On 24 September 1835, HMS Beagle anchored up in Floreana of the Galápagos Islands. On board the ship was the 26-year-old theology student and coming scientist Charles Darwin.

The local governor was not present to greet him and the others on the ship, so the lieutenant governor welcomed them. The lieutenant governor was Nicholas Oliver Lawson.

In fact, that was not his real name. He was Nicolai Olaus Lossius from Norway.

Librarian Anders Kvernberg at the National Library of Norway has tracked Lossius through old letters, church records, sailor records and newspapers. He wanted to find out whether it was possible that Lossius actually met Darwin in…

Source: The Norwegian Who Inspired Darwin | ThorNews

Mapping Viking DNA in Normandy

Vikings Invading Normandy

The Vikings invaded and colonized Normandy and now scientists are looking for DNA traces. (Photo illustration: «Vikings», History Channel)

British scientists have started to collect DNA samples from Frenchmen to learn more about Viking colonization of Normandy.

– The aim is to learn more about the intensity of the Scandinavian colonization in the 9th and 10th centuries, says Richard Jones, senior history lecturer at the University of Leicester to

The team is also searching for Viking roots amongst residents in three areas of Britain.

Norwegian Vikings

The British researchers collect DNA from a hundred volunteers on the Cotentin Peninsula, also known as the Cherbourg Peninsula, in Normandy.

Historians believe many Norwegian Vikings settled down in the area, although most Vikings in Normandy were Danish.

According to, the French volunteers have been chosen because they have surnames that are of Scandinavian origin or that have been present in…

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Norwegian Vikings Cultivated Hemp

Cannabis Farm Viking Age Norway

1300 years ago, hemp was cultivated on Sosteli Iron Age Farm in Vest-Agder county. (Photo: Morten Teinum / Visit Sørlandet)

On a secluded Iron Age farm in Southern Norway, archaeological findings show that it was common to cultivate cannabis in the Viking Age. The question is how the Vikings used the fibers, seeds and oil from the versatile plant.

For more than fifty years, samples from archaeological excavations at Sosteli Iron Age Farm have been stored in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, according to an article on research portal

Analyses show that in the period between the years 650 and 800 AD, i.e. the beginning of the Viking Age, hemp was cultivated on the remote mountain farm.

This is not the first time there are found traces of cultivation this far back in time, but Sosteli stands out.

– In the other cases, it is only…

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999 Years Since the Battle of Nesjar

Sword Viking Age

Olaf Haraldsson used the sword to gain control over Norway. (Illustrating Photo: Museum of Cultural History)

Today, exactly 999 years ago, was the Battle of Nesjar which is considered the first accurate dated event in Norwegian history. According to Snorri’s Kings Sagas, Olaf Haraldsson (Olaf the Holy) on Palm Sunday 25th of March 1016 AD did beat Earl Sweyn nearby Larvik in Eastern Norway.

“The earl maneuvered the fleet past Grenmar (Langesundsfjord) and docked at Nesjar”, Snorri writes.

The 21-year-old Olaf overcame a number of the most powerful Norwegian chieftains and took an important step in the long process towards the Christianization and unification of Norway.

Despite his young age, Olaf already had long experience as mercenary. As a teenager, he went to the Baltic, then to Denmark and later to England. Skaldic poetry suggests that in about 1014 he led a successful seaborne attack where London Bridge was pulled…

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Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US, Scandinavian Immigration

Immigration to the US from the Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland increased dramatically in the late 19th century, due to mounting economic pressures and overpopulation. In the late 1860s, for example, Sweden was struck by crop failures and famines that stimulated massive emigration. High unemployment and a lack of open land for new farms caused increasing numbers of Norwegians and Danes to emigrate to the US. The Homestead Act of 1862, which gave free land to settlers who developed it for at least five years, was a particular magnet for Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes. Facing internal political instability as well as persecution by the Russian government, Finns in large numbers began to emigrate to the US at the beginning…

via Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US, Scandinavian Immigration.

American Got Dream Job as Viking Ship Captain

Viking Ship Captain Norway

Jared David McClune got his dream job as Viking Ship Captain at the Lofotr Viking Museum. (Photo: Kjell Ove Storvik / Lofotr Viking Museum)

Among hundreds of applicants from all over the world, Jared McClune (33) from Pennsylvania got the job as the new Viking Ship Captain at Lofotr Viking Museum in the Lofoten archipelago, Northern Norway.

After ThorNews wrote the story on January 8th, it was picked up by international media and the interest has been tremendous for the exciting position.

Jared McClune was the lucky winner of the competition and is allowed to take tourists on rowing and sailing trips with the Viking ship “Vargfotr”, one of two Viking ships at the museum.

– I will sail every day with tourists and have many nice trips. It is the perfect dream job, he says to NRK Nordland.

Experience with Viking Ships

Viking Ship Lofotr Viking Museum NorwayJared McClune has on several occasions sailed…

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Found Islamic Coins Hidden Inside Viking Age Shield Boss

Viking Age Shield Boss Norway

Remains of a leather purse with several Islamic coins were found inside this shield boss. (Photo: Åge Hojem / NTNU Museum of Natural History and Archaeology)

In August 2014 a hobby archaeologist found a Viking Age sword with metal detector in a field in Skaun, just south of Trondheim in Central Norway. Now, archaeologists have examined the finding and have some exciting news about the owner.

Having examined the grave, archaeologists at the NTNU Museum of Natural History and Archaeology in Trondheim tell NRK that it is dated to about the year 950. In addition to the sword, researchers found the remains of a shield.

– We have not managed to find out who owned the sword, but we know that he was a well traveled man, says archaeologist Ingrid Ystgaard.

Radiographs show that there is an inscription on the sword blade that tells that it probably has been produced…

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Norwegian Government Wanted to Prohibit Surnames

Norwegian Government Wanted to Prohibit SurnamesOlsen or Hansen? At the end of the 1800’s, half of the Norwegian population had -sen names. (Photo: Per Ivar Kvalstad)

Sons of Ole, Hans, Nils and Lars: Olsen, Hansen, Nilsen and Larsen. Many surnames created so much confusion and inconvenience for the Norwegian National Registry that the Ministry of Justice considered banning the names.

In 1964, national identification numbers became mandatory in Norway, which gave the authorities a secure identification of people, but by that time the number of -sen surnames had decreased.

Such -sen names are called patronymics – a family name derived from the father or another male ancestor’s first name with a sen, søn, son or datter/dottir (daughter) suffix. Similarly, the matriname originates from the mother’s name.

New Naming Law

Industrialization and large migration flows to the cities in the 1800s created a need for permanent family names. As the man was usually breadwinner, it was…

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