Articles, Comments & Rants

This is a set of written materials that has been pulled from all over the place - mostly presented here without any kind of real organization at all! Over the years I have done a fair amount of writing, everything from short articles on craft topics through academic papers to full length training manuals.

What I have done here is set up a number of these materials as a separate sheet, with this page providing a short description of what each contains. The Internet provides an excellent format for what used to be called 'vanity press' - without the cost. Expect there to be additions as time goes on - with newer materials added to the top of the list.

Note that additions here only revised on an infrequent, and random, basis...

I get a LOT of requests for information related to blacksmithing, practical information on various crafts techniques and information related to the Viking Age:


since January 2206

The blog is a collection of shorter articles and commentaries, primarily focused on Experimental Iron Smelting, Blacksmithing, and topics related to the Viking Age.

(Note - this takes you off the main Wareham Forge site.)

In the early days of the web, I started a separate 'Geocities' site that will gather a number of short articles, sources, and such together in a simple text format.
Go on to

(Note - this takes you off the main Wareham Forge site.)

Bloomery Iron Smelting
experimental research
from 2006

Starting in 2001, I have been actively involved in re-discovering the lost techniques of bloomery iron smelting. The primary documentation for all this effort has been recorded in a sub section of this web site.
This includes experiment descriptions, technique information and copies of formal academic papers - all massively illustrated.

Experimental Iron Smelting

I have also added a number of sections that provide specialized resources for Blacksmiths :

Check On Blacksmithing
the Norse Encampment
'unofficial' documentation
from 1995

Beginning in 1994, I created a series of living history programs, illustrating 'daily life in the Viking Age', with a special focus on 'Vinland - circa 1000 AD'. This work would result in the development of the current presentation at L'Anse aux Meadows NHSC for Parks Canada.
There is a considerable volume of material presented in its own section of this web site :

the Norse Encampment and the Viking Age

Individual Articles:

Norstead - a physical description of the site.

Added 7/20/2000

This short article consists of a physical description of the ground of the 'Norstead' site. This is the location of the major re-enactor's activities planned for this summer. This information was compiled this spring (April / June 2000). (At this point more of 'historical' interest)

go to 'Norstead Description'

A Mainlander's Guide to Newfoundland and L'Anse aux Meadows

with new revisions - 7/25/2000

If you are planning a trip out to 'the Rock' to visit the L'Anse aux Meadows NHS, or to take part in any of the special events planned to mark the Viking Millennium - take a look at this guide. Covers travel to and within Newfoundland and provides some information sources. As well there is some personal advise on what the situation in the area is like, and some 'best of' recommendations.

go to 'Newfoundland Guide'

a Short Discourse concerning

Aunt Martha's and Damnthings

Added 9/1/99

This was an older article written for a re-enactor's newsletter. It was the first time I put to paper some particular lessons on evaluating artifacts suggested by years of working at living history museums. I would latter formalize these ideas as part of an academic paper.

go to "Aunt Martha's & Damnthings"

Jamestown Settlement

a Review

Added 9/1/99

This article was also written for a re-enactor's newsletter a few years back. I have visited the historic site at Jamestown, Virginia, several times. Overall I have been impressed with the work done there.

go to "Jamestown"


Added 9/1/99

In 1994 there was a long drawn out discussion that spilled into several internet groups I was member of. The nature of it all was "Just how effective WAS medieval armour at stopping bullets?". There were a lot of claims made and stories given that were plain unbelievable. I had a chance to put some real metal plate in front of real firearms. This article tables the results.

go to "Impact Tests"

"Lessons from the Viking Age"

Added 12/15/98

This academic paper was written in early 1998 about various aspects of the Interpretive program developed for L'Anse aux Meadows NHS. Two versions of the same basic paper were created, suited to different audiences. The first version was presented at the 33rd International Medieval Congress at Western Michigan University. The second paper, (the one available here) was given at the 27th Annual Association for Living Historical Farms & Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) Conference at University of Waterloo. This version deals with more of the practical aspects of the creation and operation of the Viking Encampment program.

go to "Lessons from the Viking Age"


Added 12/15/98

This is a short piece I wrote on Remembrance Day - 1997. It was generated out of the media coverage of events, and general lack of understanding, I felt I was seeing in so many people at the time. Although I was just shy of being old enough to have been caught up personally in the War in Viet Nam, it cast a huge shadow over all us. And some of us will "Never Forget".

go to "Remembrance"

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All text photography Darrell Markewitz - the Wareham Forge