The Norwegian Vikings were more oriented towards the East than we have previously assumed, says Marianne Vedeler, Associate Professor at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo in Norway. After four years of in-depth investigation of the silk trade of the Viking Age, she may change our perceptions of the history of the Norwegian Vikings. The silk trade was far more comprehensive than we have hitherto assumed.
The Norwegian Vikings maintained trade connections with Persia and the Byzantine Empire. A network of traders from a variety of places and cultures brought the silk to the Nordic countries. Her details are presented in the book “Silk for the Vikings”, to be published by Oxbow publishers this winter, but in this article you can glimpse some of her key findings. Read more.
A CAR park in a Highland town has been confirmed by archaeologists as the meeting place of a medieval Norse parliament.
Excavations at the Cromartie Memorial car park in Dingwall uncovered evidence of a mound that archaeologists believe was established in the 11th century as a gathering spot for a Viking parliament, known as a “Thing”.
When it was constructed the “Thing” would have been on a man-made islet in the estuary of the River Pefferey, historians claimed. They believe the mound was built on the instructions of Thorfinn the Mighty, a powerful Viking earl who died in 1065. Read more.
It was already known that Iron Age Danes whitewashed their houses and halls with lime to protect clay walls against wind and weather. However it wasn’t clear whether they created their their own lime, or if it was sourced from elsewhere.
Now Danish National Museum archaeologists have found the answer in the rich Viking settlement at Tissø, Zealand. In the spring of 2013 they excavated the first lime kiln from the Danish Late Iron Age, the oldest found in Denmark.
The researchers examined a kiln used to burn slaked lime around the the middle of 800s CE. National Museum archaeologist Sandie Holst explained that, “We knew in advance that the great halls and buildings of Fuglede farmhouse were whitewashed because of previously excavated daub with traces of white chalk, but now we have proof that the limestone was burned in the immediate area”. Read more.
About 1,000 to 1,200 years ago, a Viking man still in his 20s was laid to rest on a craggy island in the Norwegian Sea. A new analysis of his skeleton and others buried nearby — several without their heads — suggests a haunting possibility: Some of the dead may have been slaves killed to lie in the grave with their masters.
Slavery was widespread in the Viking world, and scientists have found other Viking graves that include the remains of slaves sacrificed as “grave goods” and buried with their masters, a custom also practiced in ancient China and elsewhere. But the newly analyzed site is one of a very few Viking burials to include more than one slave, says the University of Oslo’s Elise Naumann, a Ph.D. student in archaeology who led the research. Read more.
Several pieces of Viking jewelry, some of which contain gold, have been uncovered at a farm site in Denmark that dates as far back as 1,300 years.
Although the Vikings have a popular reputation as being raiders, they were also farmers, traders and explorers, and the craftsmanship seen in this jewelry demonstrates their artistic skills.
Archaeologists working with volunteers used metal detectors to find the jewelry in different spots throughout a farmstead on Zealand, the largest island in Denmark. The remains of the site, which is now called Vestervang, date from the late seventh to the early 11th centuries. Read more.
When archaeologists Geir Grønnesby and Ellen Grav Ellingsen found these and other artefacts during a dig in mid-Norway, they realized they had intriguing evidence of a Viking-age trading area mentioned in the Norse Sagas.
The finds came from two separate boat graves in an area in Nord-Trøndelag County called Lø, a farm in part of Steinkjer. The archaeologists, who both work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s University Museum, were there to conduct a routine investigation required because of an upgrade to Norway’s main national highway, the E6.
But instead of a simple highway dig, the researchers found themselves with a potential answer to an unsolved puzzle about a mysterious Viking trading place that is named in ancient sagas, but that has never before been located. Read more.
A RARE Viking ring discovered on the outskirts of Rugby is to go on display to the public for the first time.
Rugby Museum’s first official piece of treasure was found in King’s Newnham and dates back to the 9th or 10th century.
It is among a rare discovery of artefacts from that era in Warwickshire and has led experts to suggest the local area had links with Viking traders.
The ring will take centre stage during the Relics and Romans day on Saturday, July 13.
Members of Rugby Archaeology Society (RAS) will treat visitors to guided tours of the museum’s Tripontium exhibition while Geminus, the Roman craftsman and part-time guard, will give craft demonstrations and talk about living and working in the turbulent times of 4th Century Britain. Read more.
Three items of Viking silver dating back 1,000 years, discovered using a metal detector in the Isle of Man, has been declared treasure trove.
An inquest heard the three silver pieces, found by Seth Crowe in a field in Andreas in April, date back to between 930 and 1080 AD.
Archaeologists believe the two silver ingots and brooch fragment contain more than 60% silver.
Coroner of Inquests John Needham made the ruling at Douglas Courthouse.
Mr Crowe, 39, made the discovery having sought the permission of the landowner Leslie Faragher, some years ago. Read more.