One Viking in Ardnamurchan

Viking Discovery of the MONTH
10/18/2011 Port an Eilean Mhòir, Ardnamurchan, Scotland

Unearthed:

A full boat burrial. Perhaps the most complete ever found in the UK.

Contents:
1 Viking Boat’s worth of rivets
1 Viking, whole
1 Sword with decorated hilt
1 Axe head
1 Boss from a Shield
1 Spear
1 Irish Bronze ring pin
1 Norse Whetstone
Viking Pottery
Remnants from what could be a drinking horn
Several bits of as-yet unidentified iron


Image Jon Haylett


Image: University of Manchester

Historical Importance:
This particular discovery is amazing: An untouched boat burial. But it doesn’t stop there. The contents of the grave were preserved very well, which allows archeologists to learn a great deal from the excavated materials. What few other boat burials archeologists have found in the past were subject to sub-par, older excavation methodologies and much potential information was forever lost. This will be different.

Already, archaeologists can tell by the artifacts found with the Viking that this individual was high ranking and well respected in his community.

And the significance of this find reaches beyond this one man. Dr Oliver Harris, project co-director from the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History said: “This [excavation/research] project examines social change on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula from the first farmers 6000 years ago to the Highland Clearances of the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

The international nature of the artefacts already identified at the Ardnamurchan boat grave also suggests further evidence for strong links between the Vikings that occupied Ireland, Scotland and north west England at that time.

And they will only learn more!

This post concludes the January is Viking Month blog series. To read the first post, click here, to see the series page click here.

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