Vikings!!!!!!!

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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Way cool! Maybe some of the ancient accounts of Delaware River Swedes finding old buried foundations and wells had merit, as well as accounts of the war-like, blue-eyed Indian clan of Mullica River lore. One Cumberland County artifact still haunts me as the real deal.

Jim Holder, a roofer, skilled banjo player, and archaeological enthusiast from Bridgeton unearthed a stone knife that was a dead ringer for an early European relict I had seen in the Museum of London. He found it in a peat deposit along the Delaware Bay. From fifteen-year-old memory I recollect it as a solid piece of grey stone, with cross-hatched handle and a dibble-shaped blade. Credible experts have suggested it is real, but argue the knife may have been brought over by later people as a keepsake.

Jim was fount of local knowledge, and the only man I ever met that could recount the exact location of Bridgeton's once-famed Pamphylia Spring on the Cohansey Trail, the spring being that town's original seventeenth century namesake. His father, Lincoln, would use its spring water to fill the cisterns on the fishing boat before setting off into the Delaware Bay. A sunken barrel provided freeboard into the Cohansey River bank muck. He passed on in 2011.

S-M
 
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bobpbx

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Mark, very interesting post. But this one sentence needs clarification (for me, anyway):

"A sunken barrel provided freeboard into the Cohansey River bank muck."
 

Spung-Man

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Bob,

As you know I have much interest in recording the loss of shallow groundwater throughout South Jersey due to over-withdrawal by urbanization. Too often we ignore or dismiss the collective memory of a place. I like to use local knowledge to commemorate the drying up of wetlands like spungs, cripples, blue holes, and savannahs, features preserved in Piney-speak.

Springs too no longer upwell. There are no more "boiling springs" along the relatively pristine Manumuskin River as reported by Bowen (1885, History of Port Elizabeth, Cumberland County, New Jersey, Down to the Present Time). All rivers have lost some hydraulic head.

In search of old springs I learned that hollow black gum (Nyssa sylvatica) logs or cedar-staved barrels were sunk into the host sediments of local spring-heads. I suppose the wooden encasement kept a font from becoming muddied during draw.

Pamphylia Spring was in the floodplain terrace muck below bluffs at the end of a road that still bears the spring's name. Holder said a shanty town grew up around the spring during the Great Depression. Engineer and historian, Jim Steelman (deceased), remembered a similar barrel device employed where a boiling spring bubbled up into the marsh behind the early eighteenth century Steelman Plantation in Absecon.

S-M
 
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Spung-Man

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Oops! So busy I forgot to add the most important part to the above post, that we've all been hoodwinked about Vikings on the Hudson, but the thread was a good excuse to talk about Holder's find.
 

woodjin

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Nov 8, 2004
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Same here. I did the DNA thing and have gone back as far as the late 1600's. The naming conventions have caused more than a few gray hairs.

My sister did the DNA test, but mostly I account for my viking lineage on the following criteria:
1)I am mostly Swedish
2)Everytime I am in a small coastal town I need to resist the urge to pillage.
 

46er

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My sister did the DNA test, but mostly I account for my viking lineage on the following criteria:
1)I am mostly Swedish
2)Everytime I am in a small coastal town I need to resist the urge to pillage.
You probably have near east/Russian in your family tree. The Swedish Vikings took the road east.

According to a chronicle written in the 12th century AD, the Swedish Vikings were the founders of Russia.
 

46er

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I believe it hit 15 knots during trials before it left Norway; 100 pair of oars for the windless days :eek: It is being followed by a chase boat for filming and supplies. It has no hold to speak of, enough for some food and ballast, very shallow draft. The crew sleeps in one tent on deck and cooks on deck. Have to be very dedicated to join on to a trip like this.
 
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