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Monday, October 24, 2016

MIA - Snorri : 2000 - 2016

It is with a very heavy heart I have to announce that Snorri, DARC's travelling gnome, is Missing in Action.

Snorri was last seen on Sunday September 11, at the ARTifact's - Pruszkow Archaeological Festival in Poland.

Snorri was easily the most traveled member of DARC. His first voyage with us was to take part in the Norstead demostration at L'Anse aux Meadows Newfoundland in 2000. On that trip he substituted for Thorgrimmir (who could make that trip). Since then he has accompanied many of us in DARC on various adventures. In my company alone he has made several trips back to Vinland, any number of trips throughout Canada, to the USA, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium and finally Poland as his last seen destination. This is hardly the full list of his travels, as he accompanied so many members of DARC on individual voyages.

Snorri supervised my two iron smelting demonstrations at the Pruszkow event:
Snorri examining the remains of the first iron smelt at Pruszkow (The last image of him)
Snorri again supervised the second smelt there that happened on the Sunday. The last time he was clearly seen was at the end of the extraction process that day, about 4 - 5 pm. He had been comfortably sitting on our side work table at that point.
Everyone then gathered away from our work area to assist in the massive effort of dismantling the huge 'Roman' style furnace (1.5 m ID x 2.3 m tall). The team then returned to our station and started to pack up equipment and clean up our equipment.
Honestly, both Kelly and I had thought the other had collected Snorri at the end of that exhausting working day. The next morning, as we packed to leave for our plane out of Poland, Snorri was not to be found...

Some images from Snorri's last trip in our company:
Superivising the Ypres 2016 work.
Hamming it up with the locals in Ypres
Always the Viking - checking 'valuables' in Ypres Cathedral
That's one BIG dog - outside Passendale.
Sharing one last beer (with Dan Nickles) at Ypres 2016
Instructing 'Loki' - Smelt 1 at Pruszkow
You can see that Snorri certainly enjoyed his travels around Ypres as part of the Ypres 2016 project. He continued providing his long experience with many iron smelting experiments at the Pruszkow ARTifacts event.

Snorri has been well known for this roving eye with the ladies. (On more than one occasion in the past he has been known to 'miss the boat' because he has dallied too long with some fair maid!) It is our hope that his absence in Poland is just due to another time he wandered off in the company of some pretty girl.

He most certainly will be missed, and I offer my best wishes to him - where ever he may now voyage...

Extreme apologies to all of DARC, especially to Steve!
I had waited to announce this, because I wanted to double check with the Museum staff hosting the event, and also the other team members working in our area. As it turned out, none of them remember seeing Snorri past late afternoon Sunday either. He certainly was not present when the museum staff returned later the following day to clean the working areas.
Most likely what happened is a member of the public 'jumped the rope line' while the rest of us were occupied with dismantling the large furnace.


Monday, July 25, 2016

Glass beads page updated

Over the years many people have been frustrated by the concept of 'intensity' on the glass beads page.  The page, and all of the bead charts have now been updated to reflect the actual numbers of the beads.  A few new thoughts and ways of looking at the beads have also been added.

Have a look and let us know what you think!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

DARC at ICMS 2017 (Kalamazoo)

EXARC will be hosting a session at ICMS 2017 in Kalamazoo in May 2017.  If you have been doing exarc and want to talk about it, we'd love to hear from you.  Note that a written paper is *NOT* required.

Archaeology & Experiment: Moving beyond the artifacts (papers)
Experimental archaeology moves beyond the artifacts, allowing researchers to examine the underlying question of "how" related to artifact finds.  Ideally, experiments can provide a preliminary answer to the question "Does this theory of how it was done actually work". A keystone of experimental archaeology (and a differentiator from reenactment/recreation) is that it follows the scientific method of question, setup, and result - whether that result is positive or negative.  Presentations in this session will be expected to review all three key elements in the discussion of their paper.  Papers submitted for these sessions would be good candidates for publication in the EXARC Journal.

Proposals are due by 15 Sep, 2016 and should be sent to me ( Proposal forms are available at

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Snorri at SCA 50th

Snorri taking in the replica of the Sutton Hoo burial chamber assembled by Talymar.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Call for Papers for EXARC 2017

The Call for papers for the 10th International Experimental Archaeology Conference has been published. The conference itself is April 20,21 2017 at the University of Leiden, Netherlands.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Beads Update Coming

I was asked about updating the beads pages to use bead numbers instead of intensity.  I have recently finished updating the spreadsheets involved.  Now the fun comes in re-writing the glass bead page and doing the updated bead charts. Look for that in the next month or so.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

at Upper Canada Village Medieval Festival

Saturday June 11, Sunday June 12
Education Day - Monday June 13
Upper Canada Village - Morrisburg ON

Come join members of DARC at their encampment at the public festival:

Monday, May 16, 2016


Once again DARC sponsored a session on Experimental Archaeology at the International Congress on Medieval Studies.  As usual it was a lot of fun.  This year, however, brought a new twist as we arrived to register.  This was up as a large poster at the front door.