Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hot Iron Age Lovin'

by Susanna Ives

You’ve read Regency, Roman, Victorian, Ottoman Empire, Western and Viking, but let me introduce you to a new romance setting: Iron Age Denmark. Because nothing says romance like sleeping in a thatched mud and wattle hut in sub zero degree weather, snuggled with Lars under your wild boars pelt, listening to the gentle oinks of the pigs in the other half of your hut and calls of the wild aurochs in the distance.





For starters, Iron Age Denmark isn’t as far away as you think. Just fast forward past those Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks, and the beginnings of the Roman Empire to 1 A.D: that’s the Danish Iron Age.

Imagine your Iron Age Lars, sweat pouring down his rock hard muscles as he works over the clay furnace, smelting down some hot iron. He would build that furnace for two days and then fire it up for 5 hours using a cubic meter of wood. Then he packed down 70kg of charcoal and 50kg of the iron he dug up from the bog pit. He baked this for 24 hours to make sponge iron. Then he hammered the sponge iron into 1 kg of usable iron to make ten knives or an axe. Imagine his bulging biceps as he slung that hard hammer down. If that doesn’t turn you on…



When Lars wasn’t making you pretty axes, he was farming with the oxen so he could harvest barley, wheat, and spelt to for you to grind in your super modern grain grinder. Trust me, your man loves you when he gives you this grinder.


Your friends still have to use the old-fashioned hand and stone method.



And don’t forget the wool Lars sheared for you to weave your family’s fashionable clothes.





At night, when you’re sitting around the fire in your mud hut and your young children are playing with this wooden pig your husband carved, you tell them stories about how you and your hot iron smelting man met.You were still a virgin and it was the spring fertility festival. The elders placed you in the center of the dancing labyrinth. The village boys raced each other through the labyrinth and Lars reached you first.



You were a lucky virgin because they could have just chucked you in the peat bog as a sacrifice to the bog gods.



Also, your Lars fashions himself quite the artist. Look at the beautiful sculpture he made for you. You can see the beginnings of the phallic symbolism that would later characterize Viking art.



I think Danish Iron Age has great romantic potential. If, after reading this post, you have the burning desire to write some hot Iron Age loving please visit Sagnlandet or Danish National Museum

NOTE: The last Aurochs died in 1627. At Sagnlandet there are several Heck Oxen, a type of oxen created by the Germans under Hitler in an attempt to revive the Auroch. The Heck Oxen were very playful and chased each other around the grounds. Here is the only picture I took of them:

22 comments:

Barbara Monajem said...

I'm busy right now, but if you write it, I'll definitely read it! (As long as you promise to give the peat bog a substantial role.) I'm already hooked.

I had no idea what aurochs were, so I googled and found this article about recreating them:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/7011035/Giant-cattle-to-be-bred-back-from-extinction.html

Tia said...

You take the best vacations. I'm jealous. And yes, you'd better get busy writing about Lars and ... Brunhilde?

Abigail Carlton said...

That's hysterical -- and strangely informative.

Claire Robyns said...

Actually, I'd quite fancy a man like Lars, what's not to like about a sweat sleeked, muscled honed torso?? Not so much the living quarters, lol.

Cathy said...

I bet some good writer (you) with a passion for hot Scandinavians could make Lars's and his life pretty hot. Write a streamy short.

Wendy Soliman said...

I'm with Claire. Can't get those sweat-soaked, rock hard muscles out of my head. I shall slap my wrist and go stand in the corner.

Susanna Ives said...

Barbara, Thanks! Isn't the bit about the Aurochs fascinating? I went back to the blog post and added a picture of the Heck Oxen that I took.

Susanna Ives said...

Tia, Thanks. My husband and I are such history junkies. I'm not writing Lars's story. Maybe Lars becomes a mercenary in Roman army which some of these guys did. Now that might be more interesting to me.

Susanna Ives said...

Abigail, Infotainment :)

Susanna Ives said...

Claire, I like the hot sweaty Lars body...but with modern showers.

Susanna Ives said...

Cathy, I think a little time travel romance back in history to Iron Age Denmark :)

Susanna Ives said...

Wendy, no standing in corners in romance classroom. Thoughts about sweaty hard muscle moves you to the head of the class.

Taryn Kincaid said...

I mean, seriously, how could you not fall for a man who carves you a wooden pig?

Tina said...

Thanks to this piece, I can now look in my hubby-junked garage and think, hmmm, this isn't a mess, it's modern redneck lovin'. Just look at my fancy scrap metal wind chime as proof. Way to bring the Iron Age to life! I heart Lars!

Stevie Carroll said...

Great narrative there. I've been to West Stow's Anglo-Saxon village, and now I'm tempted to see if there is anything properly iron age and closer to Hampshire for me to visit.

And there is! Butser Ancient Farm, which I shall have to visit sometime this summer now.

Susanna Fraser said...

I can see the potential, especially if Our Heroine was meant to be a sacrifice to the peat bogs but Lars rescued her. :-)

Sandy L. Rowland said...

Great pictures and so fun! It was a hard life, but Lars might be worth it.
Not a bad idea for writers.

Thanks for another great blog.

Susanna Ives said...

Thanks Sandy! I had fun taking the pictures.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Wonderful post. Being the granddaughter of Danes, I have always appreciated the ancestory of the vikings. I did visit a museum while visiting there years ago but don't know if it is the one you found. Also, when we were in Sweden we saw an outline of a viking ship done in rocks that made us think of the Druids in Scotland. Fantastic part of history .I hope someone takes up the challenge and starts writing in this era...soon.

Susanna Ives said...

Thanks Paisley! Perhaps you should write in this time period :) I saw some old Viking ships in the National Museum in Denmark. An amazing culture!

Debby Lee said...

I'm part Danish so I love stories with Danish hero's. Most of the hero's in my stories have Danish ancestory. Think Viggo Mortensen, blond, blue eyes, sigh.

Sharla Rae said...

Great blog! I loved pictures and the way you make the history fun.
Sharla Rae