Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part I: Barbarian Couture

This is the first part of a three part (II, III) look at the Dothraki, the fictional horse-borne nomads of the Game of Thrones / A Song of Ice and Fire series and the degree to which George R.R. Martin's claim that they are "an amalgam of a number of steppe and plains cultures" holds … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part I: Barbarian Couture

Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

We're going to be a bit silly this week (in part because the ending of this compressed semester has left me with little time) and talk about the recently released historical action-RPG computer (and console) game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, set in 9th century Norway and England. And, as with the last time we did this, … Continue reading Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Addendum: Crucible Steel and Cast Iron

This week, as an addendum to our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, we're going to look at two alternative regional processes, where they fit into the entire iron production process that we detailed already, how they worked and what kind of product they produced. In … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Addendum: Crucible Steel and Cast Iron

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel from … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

This week, we continue our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week, we looked at how a blacksmith reshapes our iron from a spongy mass called a bloom first into a more workable shape and then finally into some final useful object like a tool. … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part III: Hammer-time

This week, we continue our four-part (I, II, III, IV) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week we took our ore and smelted it into a rough, spongy mass of iron called a bloom; this week we're going to go through the processes to reshape that bloom first into a consolidated billet, then … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part III: Hammer-time