Scandanavian

Viking trade connected with Persian and Byzantine Empires

A new study by Marianne Vedeler, Associate Professor at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, shows that Norwegian Vikings enjoyed a brisk silk trade with the Persian and Byzantine Empires. The study was based partially on silk fragments found In an Oseberg ship. (photo)

16th century blacksmith shop found in Norway

The discovery of an old forge, an iron arrowhead and utensils has led archaeologists to believe that they had found an area used by blacksmiths dating to the 1500s. The site was unearthed under Klosterenga in Oslo, Norway.

Wooden pillars puzzle experts in Old Uppsala

Archaeologists working on the site of a railway line in Old Uppsala, Sweden are trying to puzzle out the purpose of two rows of large wooden pillars near a 5th century pre-Viking burial ground and religious center. (photos)

Whitewashing showed high Viking status

The discovery of a lime kiln near the Viking royal hall at Tissø has led archaeologists to believe that high status Nords whitewashed their walls. The 9th century kiln is Denmark’s oldest known lime burning oven. (photo)

Archaeologists ponder Swedish "murder mystery"

"It's like Pompeii: Something terrible happened, and everything just stopped," said Helene Wilhelmson, a researcher from Sweden's Lund University about the recent discovery of a well-preserved fort on the island of Öland, just off the Swedish coast, which contained a number of skeletons.

Mathematics used to measure sociability of the Vikings

Pádraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna from Coventry University's Applied Mathematics Research Centre recently published an article in the European Physical Journal on the social relationships of Vikings, showing them to have more complex social networks than previously believed.

"Secrets of the Viking Sword" available online

In case you missed the presentation of PBS' Nova: Secrets of the Viking Sword, the program is available to view on the PBS website.

Weights important tool in Viking trade

Much of the trade during the Viking Age was international in nature, leading merchants to depend on the balance weight scale and its weights as an important tool. In Ireland, these weights were often made of small, decorative items, apparently broken off of larger objects, usually from churches or monasteries.

Were headless skeletons slaves of Vikings?

In the 1980s, a number of graves were discovered on an island in the Norwegian Sea, some without their heads. New research may show that the headless burials were slaves to their dead Viking masters.

"The greatest hall under heaven" unearthed in Denmark

Much of the action in the epic poem Beowulf takes place in the great hall. Now archaeologists in Denmark believe they have discovered the great royal feasting hall described in the poem as "the greatest hall under heaven."

Soil samples help analysize death of Danish child

Analysis of soil samples has revealed the suffering of a 13th century Danish child in the days before his death, according to chemist Kaare Lund Rasmussen from University of Southern Denmark. The 10-13 year-old child from Ribe had been treated with mercury, causing great suffering.

"Spectacular" Viking jewelry puzzles experts

Archaeologists working with volunteers have discovered several spectacular pieces of Viking-made jewelry on a farm in Zealand, the largest island in Denmark. The finds include a "heart-shaped animal head with rounded ears and circular eyes," and a "central wheel cross in relief, with inlaid gold pressed into a waffle form." (photo)

Arabs slam Vikings in historic texts

"They are the filthiest of all Allah’s creatures: they do not purify themselves after excreting or urinating or wash themselves when in a state of ritual impurity after coitus and do not even wash their hands after food," wrote Arab writer Ahmad ibn Fadlan about his encounter with Vikings in areas around the Caspian Sea and the Volga River.

Viking sword from Isle of Man on display

Showcased at the ongoing Heroes exhibition at the Jorvik Viking Centre in York are the fragments of a highly-decorated Viking sword, discovered in 2008 by metal detector enthusiasts Rob Farrer and Daniel Crowe on the Isle of Man. The sword dates to the 10th century. (photo)

Boat burials might help solve mystery of Viking trading center

To most historians, Steinkjer was just a name mentioned in the Norse Sagas, but new evidence discovered in two boat graves in Lø, Norway, may have solved the puzzle of the mysterious trading center.

Viking Shield: Viking Age replicas and gifts.

Viking Shield specializes in all your Viking needs. They offer a full range of weapons, clothing, armor, jewellry, games, feasting gear, and art.

Vikings "stole by the armload"

Sometimes Vikings are just Vikings. Studies of jewelry created by Viking artists show that objects gold and jewels used in the objects originated in the churches and monasteries of Ireland. Now Dr Griffin Murray of the Department of Archaeology at UCC asks that Irish loot be returned - in the form of a temporary exhibition.

Viking Veggies

Fans of Veggietales - or Vikings in general - will enjoy a look at the video We Married Vikings from Lyle the Kindly Viking. The short video is available on YouTube.

Early Christian grave found in Iceland

Archeologist Margrét Hallmundsdóttir believes that a skeleton discovered in 2012 in Hrafnseyri, Iceland, dates to around 1000 CE, the year of the country's conversion to Christianity. The grave was found in the vicinity of a church, dating to the same time period.

Viking and NASA collaboration stirs controversy

Ved Chirayath, an aeronautics graduate student at Stanford University, was looking for an unusual photo shoot when he connected NASA's Ames Research Center with a local group of Viking re-enactors. The results were amazing photos... and an investigation by a member of the United States Senate.

Amnesiac mystery solved by Swedish SCA

In February 2013, a 61-year-old man woke up in a Palm Springs, California hospital, speaking Swedish and claiming his name was Johan Ek. Diagnosed with Transient Global Amnesia and identified by his ID as an American, Michael Boatwright mystified doctors until the Society for Creative Anachronism became involved. (photos)

Staffordshire Hoard glass

A 2012 entry on the Staffordshire Hoard blog takes an "up close and personal" look at the use of glass in the gold artifacts of the Hoard. While the majority of gemstones in the objects have been identified as garnets, a number of the colored, transparent inlays are glass. The article includes a number of photos.

Double Viking ship burial discovered in Estonia

A team of workers laying electrical cable through the village of Salme on the island of Saaremaa in Estonia were stunned to stumble across a early Viking era ship burial containing the remains of warriors and their possessions. More extraordinary was the discovery of a second, larger ship a mere 30m (98ft) from the other.

Jewelry leads to expansion of knowledge of Vikings in England

Fifty years ago, little was known about Viking settlements in England, where they were and who lived in them, but the discovery of Nordic metalwork and jewelry in the past twenty years, thanks largely to the development of the metal detector, has opened up a whole new world of understanding. Jane Kershaw of OUPblog has the story. (photos)

"Nerdy" Danish teen finds Viking hoard

Friends of Danish teenager Michael Stokbro Larsen call him "nerdy," but the 16-year-old had the last laugh recently when he discovered a hoard of 365 artifacts from the Viking era including 60 coins bearing the imprint of King Harald Bluetooth. (photos)

Viking "compass" may have calculated latitude

In a new study in the Proceedings of The Royal Society A, researcher Balázs Bernáth and his team propose that Viking-era sun compasses, whose "lines don't quite match scientists' interpretations," may have had another purpose: calculating latitude. (photo, diagram)

Now in English: Cookbook From Archaeological Studies in Northern and Central Europe

Looking for really historical documentation for cooking? A Culinary Journey Through Time, published by Communicating Culture, is now available in English, German and Danish. The book is the "first ever cookbook based on archaeological finds." Jeppe Wojcik of ScienceNordic has a review.

Ancient gold figurine found in Danish field

A gold figurine of a bound, nude woman has been found in a farm field in Bornholm, Denmark. This is the fifth gold figurine found near each other in the same field. The woman dates to the 6th century CE.

Bored Viking Carved Outline of His Foot on Ship Deck

Two foot outlines, a right and a left, were recently noticed on removable deck planking on the Viking Gokstad Ship.

New Exhibitions Centre to host Viking ship at British Museum

The British Museum will introduce the world to its new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre with its premiere exhibit focusing on Vikings, and will include the largest known Viking ship. In addition to exhibit space, the UK£135 million project, scheduled to open in March 2014, will provide research, testing, conservation and storage space. (photo)