Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins, AP reported.
Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.
Sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark.
Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him “a bit nerdy.”
Moesgaard said Thursday, May 16 that it was the first time since 1939 that so many Viking-era coins have been found, calling them “another important piece in the puzzle” of history. (source)
A little face peering up from a clod of frozen mud in Denmark has proved to be a unique find: the only known 3D Viking representation of a valkyrie.
The figurine, believed to date from about AD800, was found in December and has gone straight from conservation to display in the National Museum in Copenhagen. It will then be included in the exhibition on the Viking age that opens there in June and at the British Museum in 2014.
The legends of the valkyries – the ominous companions of the god Odin who descend on battlefields to choose which warriors will die – have been among the most enduring in Scandinavian folklore and literature. Later images, often inspired by Wagner’s music, tend to be romantic creatures with flowing locks and voluptuous bodies.
For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendants abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century. But archaeologists now believe that economic and identity issues, rather than starvation and disease, drove them back to their ancestral homes.
On Sept. 14, 1408, Thorstein Olafsson and Sigrid Björnsdottir were married. The ceremony took place in a church on Hvalsey Fjord in Greenland that was only five meters (about 16 feet) tall.
It must have been difficult for the bride and groom to recognize each other in the dim light of the church. The milky light of late summer could only enter the turf-roofed church through an arched window on the east side and a few openings resembling arrow slits. After the ceremony, the guests fortified themselves with seal meat. Read more.
UNSOLVED MYSTERY Greenland’s viking settlers, the Norse, disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from Greenland about 500 years ago. Natural disasters, climate change and the inability to adapt have all been proposed as theories to explain their disappearance. But now a Danish-Canadian research team has demonstrated the Norse society did not die out due to an inability to adapt to the Greenlandic diet: an isotopic analysis of their bones shows they ate plenty of seals.
“Our analysis shows that the Norse in Greenland ate lots of food from the sea, especially seals,” says Jan Heinemeier, Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University.
“Even though the Norse are traditionally thought of as farmers, they adapted quickly to the Arctic environment and the unique hunting opportunities. Read more.
Ranvaik’s golden chest was made in Ireland or Scotland toward the end of the eighth century and originates from a church or a monastery.
“Ranvaik owns this shrine” the inscription on the bottom reads, as a strong indication that it later came to belong to a noble Viking lady named Ranvaik.
Archaeologists believe that the shrine, which can be admired at the Danish National Museum, is stolen property from the Viking Age.
”Viking Age objects that come from churches and monasteries can best be explained as loot from the raids which made the Vikings notorious in the Christian world,” explains Maria Panum Baastrup, an archaeologist at the National Museum’s Prehistoric Collection. Read more.
For the past 50 years—since the discovery of a thousand-year-old Viking way station in Newfoundland—archaeologists and amateur historians have combed North America’s east coast searching for traces of Viking visitors.
It has been a long, fruitless quest, littered with bizarre claims and embarrassing failures. But at a conference in Canada earlier this month, archaeologist Patricia Sutherland announced new evidence that points strongly to the discovery of the second Viking outpost ever discovered in the Americas.
While digging in the ruins of a centuries-old building on Baffin Island, far above the Arctic Circle, a team led by Sutherland, adjunct professor of archaeology at Memorial University in Newfoundland and a research fellow at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, found some very intriguing whetstones. Read more.
Powerful figures from the late Iron Age through to the end of the Vikings were drawn to a sandy plain on South Uist, according to archaeologists.
Bornais, on the west side of the island, has the remains of a large farmstead and a major Norse settlement.
The area has produced large numbers of finds, including what have been described as exotic items from abroad.
Green marble from Greece, ivory from Greenland and bronze pins from Ireland have been among the finds.
A piece of bone marked with an ogham inscription, an ancient text that arrived in Scotland from Ireland, was also found.
Archaeologists said the items provided a detailed picture of life in the first millennium AD. Read more.
Melbourne, June 19 (ANI): Divers have discovered an 800-year-old shipwreck off the south coast of Sweden, which was virtually buried under the sea floor.
According to The Local, the vessel, which some Swedish reports have claimed is a Viking ship, was found in the Baltic Sea at Sturko.
“This is an extraordinary medieval wreck. We’ve found that the wood was cut down between 1250 and 1300. When the divers recovered fragments for dating, they were literally ‘looking’ with their hands. The sediment is so easily disturbed that it makes it almost impossible to see what you’re doing. In some ways, it would be easier if the ship was ten times deeper,” News.com.au quoted Lars Einarsson, underwater archaeologist at Kalmar Lans museum, as telling the news website.
Experts are hoping the ship may contain medieval treasures that would make the cost of recovering it worthwhile. Read more.