Twilight of the Gods – The Archaeology and Climate Change of Ragnarök


A lot of scientific data is tucked away in mythology and tales. Sometimes they really do contain a grain of truth!

Bones, Stones, and Books

Pic. “Battle of the Doomed Gods” (F. Wilhem Heine, 1882)

(FYI this post is based on a paper I recently wrote for a course on archaeology and climate change.)

Thanks to popular culture, the Viking legends of Thor, Odin, Loki, and their homeland of Asgard have become well-known within recent generations through Marvel’s Thor comics and movies, with the most recent installment, Thor: Ragnarök, set for theatrical release in late 2017.  Google describes the storyline as “Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against the Hulk…in a race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home world and the Asgardian civilization.”  Much like the characters of Thor, Odin, and Loki, the tale of Ragnarök is recorded in the early literature of the Vikings, or Norse people.  Unlike the movie description, however, the…

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