• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

Viking-Era Discoveries & Theories

Sadly they didn't find the earring.

Norwegian family finds Viking-era relics while looking for earring​

IMAGE SOURCE, CULTURAL HERITAGE OF VESTFOLD AND TELEMARK COUNTY Image caption, One expert concluded that the buckle dates from between 780 and 850

A family in Norway were searching for a lost gold earring in their garden when they decided to get their metal detector out.

They did not find the earring but did stumble upon something else: artefacts dating back more than 1,000 years. The Aasvik family dug up a bowl-shaped buckle and another item that appear to be part of a Viking-era burial. Experts believe the artefacts were used in the ninth-century burial of a woman on the small island of Jomfruland.

The discovery was made under a large tree in the centre of the family's garden on the island, off Norway's south coast.

"We congratulate the family who found the first safe Viking-time find at Jomfruland," the Cultural Heritage of Vestfold and Telemark County Council wrote in a Facebook post.

Thyra was more connected than her son Harald Bluetooth.

Harald Bluetooth is the most famous of Viking leaders, celebrated for unifying the people of Denmark during his reign from 958 to around 985 CE.

As it turns out, however, another lauded monarch preceded him – one that features on even more Viking runestones than Bluetooth himself: his mother, Thyra.

An analysis of two groups of runestones, dedicated to the first known queen of Denmark, hints at the possibility that Thyra may have once been even more beloved than Bluetooth or her husband, 'Gorm the Old', whose name only features on a single stone.

Scholars from the time have credited Thyra's rule with the expansion of the Danevirke fortifications, which succeeded in holding off German invasion. Other than that, however, her story is a bit of a mystery. It's not yet clear who her family members were, where they came from, or how she ruled as Queen.

Historically, her role in Viking history has been dismissed as a mere 'side issue'. But some scientists now think that couldn't be further from the truth.

"The mentioning of Thyra on no fewer than four runestones is unparalleled in Viking-Age Denmark," write researchers from the National Museum of Denmark, the Swedish National Heritage Board, and the County Administrative Board of West Sweden.n"The combination of the present analyses and the geographical distribution of the runestones indicates that Thyra was one of the key figures—or even the key figure—for the assembling of the Danish realm, in which she herself may have played an active part," the team adds.

On one group of memorial stones found in Jelling – the royal seat of the Viking monarchy – Thyra is commemorated as 'Denmark's strength/salvation'. ...

This buried ship is pre-Viking but casts new light on the developments which led up to that period.

This summer, archaeologists and a metal detectorist conducted a small survey of Herlaugshagen, at Leka in the northern part of Trøndelag County. They found something amazing.

The goal was to date a burial mound and find out if it contained a ship. They carried out the surveys on behalf of the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage and in collaboration with Trøndelag County Authority.

The archaeologists were over the moon when they found large rivets confirming that this was indeed a ship burial, and their enthusiasm didn't subside when the finds were recently dated.

"The mound was constructed in approximately 700 CE. This is called the Merovingian period and precedes the Viking Age. This dating is really exciting because it pushes the whole tradition of ship burials quite far back in time," said Geir Grønnesby, an archaeologist at the NTNU University Museum.

Grønnesby was the project manager for the dig. He says the date for the ship has many consequences.

"It tells us that people from this area were skilled seafarers—they could build big ships—much earlier than we previously thought."

Scandinavia's oldest known ship burial is located in mid-Norway

Archaeologists used a drone to get an above-ground view of what the big burial mound in Leka looked like. The mound, called Herlaugshaugen, is mentioned in Snorre's royal sagas as the final resting place of King Herlaug. Credit: Hanne Bryn, NTNU University Museum

The development of shipbuilding has played a key role in the discussion about when and why the Viking Age started. We can't say that the Viking Age started earlier based on this dating, but Grønnesby says that you don't build a ship of this size without having a reason for doing so.

"The burial mound itself is also a symbol of power and wealth. A wealth that has not come from farming in Ytre Namdalen. I think people in this area have been engaged in trading goods, perhaps over great distances."

He is supported by archaeologist Lars Forseth from Trøndelag County Authority, who also participated in the surveys this summer.

"I think that the location along the shipping route plays a key role in understanding why Herlaugshaugen burial mound is located at Leka. We know that whetstones have been traded from Trøndelag to the continent from the mid-700s onwards, and goods transport along the route is key to understanding the Viking Age and developments in ship design before the Viking Age," Forseth said.

This buried ship is pre-Viking but casts new light on the developments which led up to that period.

This summer, archaeologists and a metal detectorist conducted a small survey of Herlaugshagen, at Leka in the northern part of Trøndelag County. They found something amazing.

very exciting! and nice reasoning on the analysis.

Can't have been that hot as sailors though, given that they crashed their ship so far in land! :twothumbs:
Vikings filed their teeth to cope with pain

More than 2,300 juvenile and adult teeth found near a church in Sweden dating back to the 10th through 12th Century CE had evidence of dental problems. They had evidence of tooth decay called caries and even oral diseases that some tried to treat.


Right: Teeth that have been filed down recovered from the excavation site. Left: Evidence that the individual picked at their teeth, likely to keep them clean. CREDIT: Carolina Bertilsson

The teeth were uncovered during a 2005 excavation of the remains of a Christian church in present-day Skara, Sweden. The nearby cemetery contained thousands of Viking graves and a team from University of Gothenburg examined teeth belonging to 171 individuals. The team used radiography to take detailed images of the teeth that were also physically examined by a team of dentists and osteoarchaeologists.

While none of the juveniles had evidence of dental caries, 60% of the adult remains showed signs of decay. The team also saw traces of tooth infection and signs that some teeth had been lost before death. Many of the individuals likely had tooth decay that would have been severe enough to cause pain and there were signs of attempted dental treatments. One individual also showed signs of filed front teeth.


maximus otter
Near-perfect Viking sword discovered in Polish river

A rare 1,000-year-old 'Viking sword' has been found in near perfect condition on a river bed in Poland.

Workers carrying out dredging work in the Wisla River in the city of Wroclawek came across the 'perfectly preserved' sword after spotting 'an oblong, metal object' sticking out of the sediment.


Handing the sword over to researchers from the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, when archaeologists X-rayed the weapon and dated it to before 950 AD.

They also discovered an inscription of the word 'Ulfberht'.

Only eight such swords are known to exist in Poland and only 170 in the rest of Europe.

The Ulfberht sword was a revolutionary high-tech blade and is considered to have been one of the greatest swords ever made. [They] were known for their strength, flexibility, and sharpness, and were highly prized by Viking warriors.


maximus otter
Another Ulfberht blade! The stuff of legends!
What lies beneath? Viking era buildings and/or even older artifacts?

A Viking Age marketplace may be buried on a Norwegian island, new research suggests.

Archaeologists surveying part of the historic island of Klosterøy, in southwest Norway about 190 miles (300 kilometers) west of Oslo, used ground-penetrating radar to detect signals from what appear to be the buried remains of several pit houses and piers.

The archaeological remains suggest the site could have been a market during the Viking Age (A.D. 793 to 1066), and other finds hint that the place was important to local people long before that, according to Kristoffer Hillesland, a researcher at the University of Stavanger's Museum of Archaeology who took part in the research.

"It was likely that this was a power center during the Iron Age," or from about 500 B.C. to A.D. 800 in this region, Hillesland told Live Science, noting that several large burial mounds from this period are visible nearby.

The marketplace would have been established later, he said, possibly when the island was a royal farm for the first king of Norway, Harald Fairhair (reigned A.D. 872 to 930), and a monastery for Augustinian monks was built beside the site in the Middle Ages.

The monastery, too, could be a sign that a settlement on the island was a local center of power, because early Christian institutions in Scandinavia tended to be built at such places, he said. ...

Viking sword found in River Cherwell, Oxfordshire

By magnet fisherman.

Mr Penny, who found the sword in November, said the discovery and authentication has been thrilling, but not without some stress.

‘There was a little dispute with the landowner and the rivers trust who don’t permit magnet fishing,’ he explained.

“The latter sent a legal document saying they wouldn’t take action on the condition the sword was passed to a museum, which I had done.”

Magnet fishing needs permission and anything found belongs to the landowner.

The sword has since been authenticated as Viking and dated to between 850 and 975 AD.

It will now be looked after by Oxfordshire museums and may one day go on display.
1,100-year-old Viking sword pulled from UK river by magnet fisher

A corroded sword pulled from an English river by a magnet fisher is a Viking weapon dating to between A.D. 850 and 975, experts have confirmed.

Trevor Penny was searching for lost and discarded objects in the River Cherwell in Oxfordshire in November 2023 when he made the discovery. The magnet fisher had been down on his luck that day and only pulled scaffolding poles from the water. When Penny lugged out the sword, he didn't immediately recognize what it was.

"I was on the side of the bridge and shouted to a friend on the other side of the bridge, 'What is this?'" Penny recalled in the message. "He came running over shouting, 'It looks like a sword!'"


The sword, only provisionally dated until now, has been authenticated as Viking and estimated to date as far back as 1,200 years ago.

The newly discovered Viking sword is in the care of Oxford museum services and may eventually be put on display.


maximus otter
Not used by Baldur.

An unearthed collection of Viking combs is "extraordinary and unique in the UK", according to archaeologists.

The antler and bone finds were discovered in Ipswich, Suffolk, during 40 excavations over the course of 20 years.

Authors Ian Riddler and Nicola Trzaska-Nartowski said they included "an extraordinary sequence of Viking combs unmatched elsewhere in the country".

They indicate the presence of Vikings in Ipswich in the late 9th Century.

Riddler and Trzaska-Nartowski are among the authors of a recently published analysis of 1,341 finds and 2,400 fragments of waste unearthed during digs between 1974 and 1994.

"It was always our intention that the book had a European outlook and placed Ipswich in the centre of a developing early medieval world for one particular craft," they said in a statement about the analysis.

"There are several items that indicate links abroad, particularly northern France, Frisia (what we now know as parts of the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark) and southern Scandinavia."

Suffolk County Council Carved Viking comb etched with design and missing most of its teeth
Suffolk County Council
Many were imported, revealing Ipswich's trading links to parts of modern-day France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark

Ipswich was founded as an Anglo-Saxon trading port in the wake of the collapse of the Roman Empire and prospered through maritime trade with Europe.

The combs were made in Scandinavia and they indicate the presence of Vikings in Ipswich in the late 9th Century - it fell under Viking rule in AD869.

Combs were also made in the town and had "distinctive local forms", according to the Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. ...

Gotland girls imported head-binding from foreign culture.

Viking Age women with cone-shaped skulls likely learned head-binding practice from far-flung region​

The skull modifications were found on the skeletons of three women buried on Gotland almost 1,000 years ago.

Artificially elongated skull of a woman buried in the 11th century on the Baltic island of Gotland.

One of the artificially elongated skulls of a woman buried in the 11th century on the Baltic island of Gotland, which was at that time a center for Viking Age trade. (Image credit: © SHM/Johnny Karlson 2008-11-05 (CC BY 2.5 SE))

The elongated, cone-shaped skulls of Viking Age women buried on the Baltic island of Gotland may be evidence of trading contacts with the Black Sea region, a new study finds.

The women's skulls were most likely modified deliberately from birth by wrapping their heads with bandages. This practice is attributed to the nomadic Huns, who invaded Europe from Asia in the fourth and fifth centuries, and it was followed in parts of southeastern Europe until the 10th century.

But the modifications have been found only on the skulls of three Viking Age (A.D. 793 to 1066) women buried on the now-Swedish island of Gotland and nowhere else in Scandinavia, which indicates it was a foreign practice, said study lead author Matthias Toplak, an archaeologist at the Viking Museum Haithabu in Germany. ...


Norwegian farmer discovers rare Viking sword while picking up trash in field

Øyvind Tveitane Lovra and his son Haakon were preparing their family farm in Suldal when Lovra picked up what he thought was a piece of metal trash. Upon closer inspection, he realized he was holding a rare Viking sword. Lovra immediately reported his discovery to the authorities.


The Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger confirmed the significance of the find. The sword, believed to date between 900 and 1050, is about 15 inches long—roughly half of its original length. Despite its age, the weapon is remarkably well-preserved, thanks to being buried in dense clay, which protected it from the elements.

Through X-ray analysis, archaeologists uncovered an inscription on the blade. The inscription features a cross pattern and possibly letters, leading experts to speculate that the sword could be a VLFBERHT sword, a high-quality weapon produced in the Frankish Empire (modern-day Germany) during the Viking Age and early Middle Ages.


VLFBERHT swords are renowned for their superior craftsmanship and high carbon content, making them stronger than typical swords of the era. Only about 170 such swords with inscriptions have been discovered across Europe, with around 45 found in Norway.


maximus otter