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Swedish archaeologists reveal 5th Century massacre at Sandby borg (bbc.com)
81 points by willvarfar on Apr 25, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

As a Swede, it took me a while (perhaps in part due to insufficient quantities of coffee) to realize that this "Oland" they were going on about, which I had never heard of, was actually Öland.

In this age of near-universal Unicode support, is writing it properly really too much to ask? In fact, this mysterious letter Ö is even in latin1 and codepage 850, so the BBC would have had access to it even if they were still using MS-DOS.

“Kalmar Lans Museum” is annoying to me because it should be ”Läns”, and they could have just said “County” if the Ä is so hard!

Its Oland in English.

Do you mind that SVT doesn't say Helsinki or that it doesn't call Bejing after its proper name 北京?

As I recall, there was a time when Google Maps showed native names and glyphs, with english/latin "subtitles". I liked it. And I hoped it was the start the new way this would be handled. Regrettably not.

Not particularly minding this since the area was settled by Swedes in the late 13th Century, and a trading town established as "Helsingfors" in 1550 under the rule of King Gustav I of Sweden. The new name "Helsinki" -- a Finnish-sounding modification of "Helsinge" -- was chosen in 1819 under the rule of Tsar Alexander I as part of the Russian occupier's process of erasing Swedish presence and influence in Finland. The city had fallen to the Russian invaders in 1808; a new town name of "Alexandria" was considered in 1812; maybe you should demand we call it that, and write the name in Cyrillic.

By the way it's "It's" in English.

For those of you in Sweden: This was mentioned in a documentary that is available on svtplay right now.


Episode 1 has the Öland fortress.

It's a shame but they don't have english subs and since it's swedish public broadcasting it's most likely geo blocked.

Tack ska du ha.

brew install youtube-dl

youtube-dl https://www.svtplay.se/video/16392410/vikingarnas-tid/viking...

Works fine for me, I just have to learn Swedish...

Yes, they have a bug at SVT. When the web page says a video is geoblocked, one can still download it via youtube-dl...

This also works fine with the SVT app on Apple TV in the UK.

The Swedish subtitles help to glean some insight, also downloadable with YouTube-dl

brew install learn-swedish

fungerar bra för mig

For me, chrome offered to translate the page and, after I accepted, it translated the Swedish subtitles on the fly.

No way! I did not expect it to do that. Do they use some sort of open subtitle format that chrome can understand and manipulate?

More likely they are displaying the subtitles with plain HTML elements and Chrome can translate their content as they are revealed.

It's not geo blocked. (Usually programs that are produced by SVT are available globally.)

Swedish productions are not usually blocked, unless I guess the rights are being sold to other countries.

Tack. Works here in Tyskland.

It’s a fascinating story and so far they have only excavated about 10% of the site. The thing which stands out to me (not mentioned in the article) is that so far the archaeologists have only found male remains. So far they do not know what became of the women. Some speculate that they may have been taken, but if that was the case there ought to be remains of old women since an attacker would not kidnap those. The working theory right now is that the women where rounded up before they were killed and that that site remains to be found.

The head archaeologist speculates that this attack was part of a civil war on Öland (the island where Sandby is located) and that the purpose of this attack was to intimidate opponents. And since no one came to bury the dead it appears to have worked.

Women were likely taken for slave labor. The fertile ones as sex slaves, the older ones for physical labor.

"Old women" as we think of them today (65+) didn't really exist back then because life spans weren't as long as they are today for a number of reasons. Most "older" women taken would have been 50-60 years old and perfectly able to work as laborers.

Human history is pretty brutal.

If you want to read the actual research findings, go to https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/mo... It's free to read, no registration or paywall.

Strangeness. I watched a presentation by a guy called Fredrik earlier today. He's worked with developing a VR experience that can be used as a tool in order to create strong emotions connected to the gruesome events that took place at Sandby borg. Read more here: http://www.sandbyborg.se/en/sandby-borg-in-virtual-reality/

Resistance was futile.

Today you learned: Borg means fortress in swedish.

Me too. Apparently similar etymology to English "-borough" or "-burgh". Contrast with Star Trek's borg, which comes from "cyborg", short for "cybernetic organism".

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