Thursday, 16 May 2013

Danish teen makes rare Viking-era find with metal detector


Danish museum officials say that an archaeological dig last year has revealed 365 items from the Viking era, including 60 rare coins.

Danish National Museum spokesman Jens Christian Moesgaard says the coins have a distinctive cross motif attributed to Norse King Harald Bluetooth, who is believed to have brought Christianity to Norway and Denmark.

Sixteen-year-old Michael Stokbro Larsen found the coins and other items with a metal detector in a field in northern Denmark.

Stokbro Larsen, who often explores with his detector, said he is often laughed at because friends find him "a bit nerdy."

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Monday, 6 May 2013

'Missing' rune stone turns up near Stockholm

A Viking-era rune stone has been "rediscovered" near Vaxholm in the Stockholm archipelago after a group of university students stumbled across the historic rock that had been hiding in plain sight for nearly 300 years.
'Missing' rune stone turns up near Stockholm
Researcher Magnus Källström examining the rune stone [Credit: The Local]
"It’s a very intriguing find, it shows that there is so much history yet to discover," researcher Magnus Källström from the Swedish National Heritage Board (Riksantikvarieämbetet) told The Local in reference to the 1,000-year-old stone.

The find took place last week while archaeologist Torun Zachrisson and a group of students from Stockholm University were on an excursion in hopes of finding a rune stone known as U 170.

According to Zachrisson the stone has "been missing" for 300 years, but was rumoured to be near Bogesund's brygga, a jetty just outside of the archipelago town that lies an hour east of the capital city.

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Dealing with the doldrums on a Viking voyage

The outline of a foot on the Gokstad Ship gives us an inkling of what it might have been like for Vikings to cross the ocean.

The floorboard from the Gokstad ship. (Photo: Hanne Jakobsen)

He’s crowded into a sleek sailing ship with 65 other men. Scarcely room to move. It’s been days since anybody has seen land − longer since anyone bathed. The old-timers’ repeated tales of bygone raids and voyages are beginning to wear thin. 
His place is behind an oar, but there is no need to row continuously on the North Sea. With wind in the sail, the boat surges towards England, where riches await.
But what is there to do while waiting to reach a foreign coast?
Maybe it was a teenager engaged in a Viking version of tagging a school desk. In any case, someone took out his knife, bent down and traced the outline of his foot on the deck of the Gokstad Ship.

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