In "The Mystery of the Missing Viking Helmets," a 2000 article for Neurosurgery, physician and Viking historian Knut Wester explores the subject of Viking helmets through artifacts and in Norse literature, including the difficulty of finding any existing examples.
BASED ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL finds and old Norse literature, this study describes the Scandinavian helmet tradition from the Bronze Age to the Viking Age, as well as the Viking culture, with special emphasis on weaponry and head protection. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the study shows that metal helmets must have been used very infrequently by the Vikings. In fact, only one Viking helmet has been retrieved in Scandinavia. Possible reasons for the widespread misconception that the Vikings wore helmets are discussed, and the responsibility for not correcting this misunderstanding is placed with the archaeological profession. (Neurosurgery 47:1216–1229, 2000)