BERLIN.- The extraordinary Viking expansion from the Scandinavian homelands during this era created a cultural network with contacts from the Caspian Sea to the North Atlantic, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean. The Vikings are viewed in a global context that highlights the multi-faceted influences arising from extensive cultural contacts.
The exhibition features many new archaeological discoveries and objects never seen before alongside important Viking Age artefacts from the British Museum’s own collection and elsewhere in Britain and Ireland. It capitalises on new research and thousands of recent discoveries by both archaeologists and metal-detectorists, to set the developments of the Viking Age in context. These new finds have changed our understanding of the nature of Viking identity, trade, magic and belief and the role of the warrior in Viking society. Read more.
A tiny County Louth village has been confirmed as home to one of the most important Viking sites in the world.
Carbon testing on trenches at a ‘virgin’ site in Annagassan have revealed that the small rural community once housed a Viking winter base, one of only two in Ireland.
The other went on to become Dublin but the Annagassan site, 50 miles north of the capital, was believed to be the stuff of mythology and folklore until now.
Geophysical tests funded by Dundalk’s County Museum have allowed scientists to make the big breakthrough. Read more.
It is believed that a skeleton discovered on an archaeological dig in East Lothian may be that of an Irish Viking king.
Olaf Guthfrithsson was the King of Dublin and Northumbria from 934 to 941. Archaeologists think the skeleton could belong to him or one of the members of his entourage.
The remains, which were excavated by AOC Archaeology Group at Auldhame in East Lothian in 2005, are those of a young adult male who was buried with a number of items indicating his high rank. These include a belt similar to others from Viking Age Ireland. Read more.
After hours of searching through the mud with metal detectors, amateur archaeologists Frank Pelle and Bent Gregersen made the discovery of their lives on a ploughed field in Bornholm earlier in April.
The two lucky gold-diggers found an ancient Viking gold treasure hidden in the ground.
"It was an amazing feeling, for we had searched for hundreds of hours without luck," Pelle told Ekstra Bladet.
After studying x-rays of collected earth samples, Bornholms Museum, the local archaeological museum, estimated that the treasure of 250 gold and silver coins was buried in the ground in the 1080s. Read more.
An ancient Norse code which has been puzzling experts for years has been cracked by a Norwegian runologist - to discover the Viking equivalent of playful text messages.
The mysterious jötunvillur code, which dates to 12th or 13th-century Scandinavia, has been unravelled by K Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo, after he studied a 13th-century stick on which two men, Sigurd and Lavrans, had carved their name in both code and in standard runes. The jötunvillur code is found on only nine inscriptions, from different parts of Scandinavia, and has never been interpreted before.
"The thing that solved it for me was seeing these two old Norse names, Sigurd and Lavrans, and after each of them was this combination of runes which made no sense," said Nordby, who is writing his doctorate on cryptography in runic inscriptions from the Viking Age and the Scandinavian Middle Ages. Read more.
THE public have been given their first chance to see a fabulous treasure hoard unearthed from a North Yorkshire field.
The gold and silver objects were put on show at the Yorkshire Museum in York as fund-raising began to save the artefacts from being snapped up by the highest bidder.
Found in a field near Bedale in May 2012 the long-lost treasure would once have been a wealthy Viking’s life savings and are worth more than £50,000.
And the museum is now in a race against time to raise enough to buy the nationally-significant find before March and save it for the county. Read more.
On Christmas Day 1013, Danish ruler Sweyn Forkbeard was declared King of all England and the town of Gainsborough its capital. But why is so little known of the man who would be England’s shortest-reigning king and the role he played in shaping the early history of the nation?
For 20 years, Sweyn, a “murderous character” who deposed his father Harold Bluetooth, waged war on England.
And exactly 1,000 years ago, with his son Canute by his side, a large-scale invasion finally proved decisive.
It was a brutal time, which saw women burned alive, children impaled on lances and men dying suspended from their private parts.
Gainsborough historian Darron Childs says: “It is perhaps one of the reasons why Sweyn has been largely forgotten. Read more.
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.