Archaeologists Unearth Intact Viking Burial Site

Archaeologists Unearth Intact Viking Burial Site

Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 1000-year-old Viking in Scotland, along with his boat, axe, sword and lots of other nifty Viking stuff.

Univeristy of Manchester and Ardnamurchan Transitions Project archaeologists found the remains on a remote Scottish peninsula called Ardnamurchan. They say 5m long grave was the resting place of a high-status Viking. He was also buried with a beautifully decorated hilt, a spear, a “shield boss” (the round piece at the centre of a shield) and bronze ring pin (kind of like a brooch).

Look how stoked co-director of the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project Dr Hannah Cobb is with the 1000-year-old sword. Amazing.

The Viking was surrounded by 200 metal rivets, which they say are from the ship he was buried in, and that may have been one of the first vessels to sail the Atlantic in the 10th century A.D. And that’s not all! They also found a knife, possibly the tip of a bronze drinking horn, a whetstone from Norway, and Viking pottery. The team is working on identifying dozens of pieces of iron they found at the site.

Scientists have been hunting for remains and excavating at the Ardnamurchan site for the past six years with the goal of examining social change since the first farmers settled here 6000 years ago. An Iron Age fort from between 2500 to 1500 was also uncovered at the site earlier this year.

They say an intact pagan Norse grave like this hasn’t been excavated in mainland Scotland for 30 years, and it’s the first ever on the West Coast Mainland.

[University of Manchester via Associated Press]

Images: Associated Press, drawing by Sarah Paris