Wednesday 22 August 2007

Discovery films archeological findings in Iceland

A team from the Discovery Channel is currently filming archeological diggings supervised by Adolf Fridriksson in Hringsdalur valley by Arnarfjördur fjord in the Westfjords in a series about the work of archeologists around the world.

Discovery’s filming in Iceland revolves around archeological findings in Hringsdalur and in Skriduklaustur, an old monastery in east Iceland, and the new series will air next year, Morgunbladid reports.

The diggings by Skriduklaustur are finished, but archeologists are still unearthing a pagan grave discovered in Hringsdalur last weekend.

“The script was made in the last few weeks and now shooting is taking place,” Fridriksson said. “This has been very exciting and the people who came here [the Discovery Channel crew] are obviously very professional and well traveled.”

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Friday 17 August 2007

Queen Margrethe has contributed to a foundation aimed at digging deeper into the roots of ancient Denmark’s fortresses

Danes need to know more about the land’s ancient Viking fortresses, according to Queen Margrethe, whose foundation is behind a new project with that goal in mind.

The foundation, known as the Augustinus Foundation and Queen Margrethe II’s Archaeological Foundation, will cover all expenses relating to a major research and excavation project led by Moesgård Museum outside Århus in Jutland.

It is the first time in 27 years that the foundation has itself initiated an archaeological digging in Denmark, although it has funded many through the years.

Project leaders hope the work will unearth more information about Harald Bluetooth’s massive coastal fortress network of Trelleborg, Aggersborg, Fyrkat and Nonnebakken. Harald ruled Denmark from 958-987 and is considered one of the nation’s great kings.

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Danes say sorry for Viking raids on Ireland

More than 1,200 years ago hordes of bloodthirsty Viking raiders descended on Ireland, pillaging monasteries and massacring the inhabitants. Yesterday, one of their more mild-mannered descendants stepped ashore to apologise.

The Danish culture minister, Brian Mikkelson, who was in Dublin to participate in celebrations marking the arrival of a replica Norse longboat, apologised for the invasion and destruction inflicted. "In Denmark we are certainly proud of this ship, but we are not proud of the damages to the people of Ireland that followed in the footsteps of the Vikings," Mr Mikkelson declared in his welcoming speech delivered on the dockside at the river Liffey. "But the warmth and friendliness with which you greet us today and the Viking ship show us that, luckily, it has all been forgiven."

The Havhingsten (Sea Stallion) sailed more than 1,000 miles across the North Sea this summer with a crew of 65 men and women in what was described as a "living archaeological experiment".

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Replica Viking warship hoisted into National Museum

The replica Viking warship that arrived in Ireland from Denmark today is being hoisted into the National Museum at Collins Barracks this morning.

The 40-metre Sea Stallion of Glendalough, which weighs 13.5 tonnes, is being lifted out of the River Liffey and into the museum grounds, where it will be on display as part of a Viking exhibition.

The vessel will remain at Collins Barracks until next summer, when it will make a return journey back to Denmark.

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Wednesday 15 August 2007

Viking ship ends voyage in Dublin

A replica Viking ship has pulled into Dublin nearly 1,000 years after the original sank off Denmark's coast.

The arrival of the Sea Stallion in Dublin's harbour on Tuesday capped a 1,700km (1,000 mile) journey across the waters of northern Europe.

The 65 crew were overjoyed after the six-week voyage, during which they faced unfavourable sailing conditions.

The endeavour took the crew from Scandinavia, around Scotland and into the Irish Sea.

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Viking Ship Completes 1,000-Mile Journey

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) - A replica Viking ship sailed triumphantly into Dublin's harbor Tuesday after attempting to re-enact the arduous 1,000-mile journey Scandanavian warriors made more than a millenium ago.

But this time around, there was a little towing with the rowing, and absolutely no pillaging.

The six-week journey of the ship ``Stallion of the Sea'' crossed the waters of northern Europe from Scandinavia, around Scotland and into the Irish Sea, retracing the path of Vikings who invaded Ireland. At times, it passed through violent waters and high winds.

Spectators cheered and sailors blew their horns as the ship drew into the harbor in Dublin, which was founded by Vikings in the 9th century.

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Tuesday 14 August 2007

The Sea Stallion is in Dublin!

The seven weeks' voyage is over: The Sea Stallion is in Dublin!

At 13.39, local time, the Sea Stallion moored at Custom House Quay in Dublin.

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Replica viking ship sails in

An Irish-built replica Viking ship arrives in Dublin today under the power of 64 oarsmen at the end of a two month voyage from Denmark.

The Sea Stallion of Glendalough, the biggest reconstruction of a Viking long ship in the world, is modelled on a 900-year-old vessel.

It put into Irish shores at Clogherhead, Co Louth last week after sailing 1,000 miles from the Danish port of Roskilde, via Norway and the Orkneys.

It is to be put on show in the National Museum in a homecoming of sorts after it arrives in the capital city.

It is a reconstruction of a ship, the Skuldelev 2, built in Dublin in 1042 which is believed to have sunk in Roskilde Fjord, near Copenhagen, some 30 years later.

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Monday 13 August 2007

Viking Voyage

From Denmark to Dublin

Follow the reconstructed Viking ship, 'Sea Stallion', on one of the most perilous archaeology experiments ever attempted. Check back regularly for updates.

This BBC site features a number of videos.

Click here to go to the website...

Sunday 12 August 2007

Viking replica ship to arrive in Ireland

After six weeks at sea, 65 crew members will row the Sea Stallion Viking ship up the Liffey this week.

The ship began its 1,000 nautical mile journey in Roskilde, Denmark, and, although the voyage was hampered by bad weather, it will arrive in Dublin on time, at 1.30pm this Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Visit Denmark, one of the organisers of the event, said each crew member had a tiny space on board where they sat, slept and kept their belongings. ‘‘All 65 of them take it in turn to row and sail,” she said. ‘‘It’s all voluntary and it’s a private holiday for them.”

Most of the crew are Danish, but there are also crew members from Germany, the US and Australia, among others. Kildarewoman Triona Nicholl, a PhD student in archaeology at UCD, is the sole Irish representative and is one of a number of archaeologists and scientists on board.

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Modern Vikings sail replica in epic journey

An extraordinary voyage by a team of archaeologists and historians has begun to solve some of the greatest riddles of the Viking age. On Tuesday, a giant Viking warship, an exact replica of one built nearly 1,000 years ago, will complete a 1,200-mile trip from Scandinavia to Ireland.

Throughout the six-and-a-half-week voyage, experts from Denmark's Viking Ship Museum have conducted experiments into 11th-century life and tested sailing technology. And they have found the famed longships were slower and more complex than thought. The vessel they replicated had been discovered and lifted by archaeologists in Denmark 50 years ago. Research showed it had been built in Dublin in 1042 and scuttled in Denmark 30 years later.

On this voyage, the vessel sailed from Roskilde in Denmark to southern Norway, then across the North Sea (where it was forced by poor winds to accept a tow from its escort vessel to Orkney), then via the Western Isles and the Isle of Man to Ireland. It will arrive in Dublin on Tuesday.

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Friday 10 August 2007


A Danish crew has arrived in the Isle of Man on board the world’s biggest Viking ship ever reconstructed in an epic voyage from Denmark to Ireland that retraces the journey made by Norse ancestors almost 1,000 years ago.

The 16-strong volunteer crew set sail on the historic voyage from Roskilde in Denmark on July 1 2007, and arrived in Peel Harbour in the early hours of Wednesday morning (August 8). The Viking longship Sea Stallion from Glendalough is on a 1,000 mile journey with the goal of reaching her 'birthplace' in Dublin on August 14 2007.

The Sea Stallion from Glendalough is a reconstruction of a 30-metre long warship – the largest of five Viking ships discovered at Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord, Denmark in 1957. Following excavations in 1962, archaeologists discovered the vessel was built in Dublin in 1042 using traditional Scandinavian ship-building methods.

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Wednesday 8 August 2007

Viking longship at Isle of Man

On its historic voyage from Roskilde in Denmark to Dublin in Ireland the ’Sea Stallion fom Glendalough’ moored at Peel Harbour at Isle of Man this morning at five o’clock.

The worlds largest reconstruction of a Viking longship will probably set its course for the coast of Ireland Thursday arriving to Dublin Tuesday 14th of August.

The Sea Stallion and her 65 men crew left the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark June 1st. So far the ship visited Norway, The Orkney Islands, the west coast of Scotland and Islay. The sail from Islay to Isle of Man prooved to be one of the most dramatic, however.

Going through The North Channel between Ireland and Scotland winds went up to 23 metres per second – Beaufort 9 that is. In waves up to 5-6 metres in height the crew faced problems as the rope and leather band holding the rudder in place collapsed. Repairments were made and all reefs in the 112 square metre sail were taken to reduce the impact of the harsh weather to the ships steering system.

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Friday 3 August 2007

New Viking graves discovered

While most parts of Norway have experienced the wettest summer in years, the county known as Nord-Trøndelag, not far from Norway's third largest city Trondheim, has experienced extreme drought. But due to the dry summer, supposedly the driest in a century, more traces from Norway's Viking past have appeared.

The most recent findings include around 120 Viking graves, traces of houses, and even traces of what could be the Viking Chief's hall. A total of 145 antiquities have been found in the area.

"These are some of the most exciting antiquities ever found in this part of Norway," said county archaeologist Lars Forseth to newspaper Aftenposten.

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Family discovers Viking treasure

The most important haul of Viking treasure to be discovered in Britain since the 19th century was unveiled by the British Museum on Thursday.

Discovered earlier this year by a father and son detecting team near Harrogate in northern England, the find includes coins, ornaments, ingots and precious metal objects all hidden in a gilt silver bowl and buried in a lead chest.

"The size and quality of the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years," the museum said.

"The find is of global importance, as well as having huge significance for the history of North Yorkshire," it added.

Vikings, sailor-warriors from modern day Norway and Denmark, began raiding the undefended coast of ancient Britain at the end of the eighth century AD.

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Viking hoard ‘is of global significance’

THE most important haul of Viking treasure to be discovered in Britain since the 19th century has been unveiled by the British Museum.

The objects, which date to the 10th century, come from as far as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe.

Discovered this year by a father and son detecting team near Harrogate in northern England, the hoard includes coins, ornaments, ingots and precious metal objects all hidden in a gilt silver bowl and buried in a lead chest.

The museum said: “The size and quality of the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for more than 150 years. The find is of global importance, as well as having huge significance for the history of North Yorkshire.”

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Treasure hunters share £1m Viking hoard looted from round the world

A Viking treasure hoard of silver and gold, traded and looted from across Europe and as far afield as Asia and north Africa, and lost for more than 1,000 years, was revealed to public view again yesterday at the British Museum.

The find is one of the most spectacular recent discoveries from anywhere in the Viking empire: 600 coins, some unique, from as far as Samarkand in central Asia, Afghanistan, Russia and north Africa, hidden in a silver and gold pot. "This is the world in a vessel," said Jonathan Williams of the British Museum.

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Lucky landowner in line for share of £1m treasure trove

A HARROGATE landowner could receive a share of £1m after a hoard of Viking treasure was unearthed in fields in the area.

The collection of 617 silver coins and 65 artefacts has been described by archaeology experts as the most important British find for 150 years.

The hoard was confirmed as treasure by North Yorkshire coroner Geoff Fell at Harrogate Magistrates Court yesterday afternoon.

Mr Fell said the find held global significance and described the most spectacular single object as a gilt silver vessel, made in what is now France in the first half of the ninth century.

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Sea Stallion from Glendalough 2007

This is the official Website for the Sea Stallion from Glendalough – the reconstruction of the Viking longship (Skuldelev 2) which sailed on Sunday from Roskilde and is intended to reach Dublin in six weeks’ time.

This interesting Website contains a wealth of information over the voyage, including a Google Earth satellite picture showing the Sea Stallion’s current position.

You can also sign up to receive a daily newsletter about the voyage.

You can find the Website at :

Vikings set sail

A Viking ship leaves Danish shores for Ireland to retrace the journey of the Nordic tribe.

At the Danish port of Roskilde, the Sea Stallion, a ship crafted from 300 oak trees, set sail for Ireland in a bid to recreate the adventures of the Vikings.

Thousands of people came to wave off the reconstructed Viking ship and to enjoy the delights that a Viking market had to offer.

Blacksmiths, carpenters and craftsmen provided spectators with a show that transported them back to the time of the original Nordic tribe.

The vessel's sixty strong crew are aiming to answer questions about viking ship-building and travel. Like the vikings, the Sea Stallion crew will brave the elements and be put to the test of spending time at sea in an open ship.

The journey is expected to take six weeks.

Watch the video...

Viking ship sets sail for Dublin

A Viking ship has set sail for Dublin from the Danish port of Roskilde, in an attempt to recreate the voyages undertaken by early Norsemen.

The 30m (100ft) long replica, called Sea Stallion, is said to be the world's largest reconstructed Viking vessel.

It is based on a ship made nearly 1,000 years ago in Ireland, which in 1962 was excavated from the Roskilde fjord.

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Rare carving on display at Cathedral

An "exceptional" 8th century limestone carving is set to return to permanent public display for the first time in more than 1,100 years.

The return of the Lichfield Angel, which was destroyed by a Viking raid in 873 and lay undiscovered under Lichfield Cathedral until 2003, comes as part of an £8 million development plan to dramatically transform the Cathedral's image. Yesterday senior clergy announced the start of the Lichfield Inspires campaign, which aims to change the way tourists and pilgrims view one of the country's most historic cathedrals.

The proposals, which are still in the development stage, will see improvements to the entrance of the building as well as new educational facilities and a visitor centre. It also features the restoration of the artwork, which depicts the Archangel Gabriel. This will go on show permanently from midday on Sunday.

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Angel is back after 1,100 years

An 8th-century limestone religious carving is to go on display for the first time in more than 1,100 years.

The Lichfield Angel was destroyed by a Viking raiding party in 873 and its remains lay buried under Lichfield Cathedral until archaeologists dug it up in 2003. The carving, which depicts the Archangel Gabriel, was made originally in 700, and formed part of a shrine to St Chad. It will go on show at the cathedral from noon tomorrow, after 14 months of conservation work.

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Viking Longship to Sail Across North Sea

ROSKILDE, Denmark (AP) - On the skipper's command, deckhands haul in tarred ropes to lower the flax sail. Oars splash into the water. The crew, grimacing with strain, pull with steady strokes sending the sleek Viking longship gliding through the fjord.

A thousands years ago, the curved-prow warship might have spewed out hordes of bloodthirsty Norsemen ready to pillage and burn.

This time, the spoils are adventure rather than plunder.

The Sea Stallion of Glendalough is billed as the world's biggest and most ambitious Viking ship reconstruction, modeled after a warship excavated in 1962 from the Roskilde fjord after being buried in the seabed for nearly 950 years.

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English Heritage is putting three rare coffin lids on display for the first time at its store in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, after solving a riddle that has defied archaeologists for the past three decades.

The heavyweight relics, excavated from Wharram Percy Deserted Medieval Village, near Malton, were used for the burial of a high-status Viking family, but experts have now discovered they entombed Romans up to 800 years earlier.

Unearthed at Wharram 30 years ago as part of Britain’s longest running dig (1950-1990), the re-used coffin lids concealed the burials of a child up to five years old, a female in her early twenties and a male aged between 40 to 50, found in the churchyard and dating between 1060 to 1160.

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Viking woman had roots near the Black Sea

The bones of one of the women found in one of Norway's most famous Viking graves suggest her ancestors came from the area around the Black Sea.

The woman herself was "Norwegian," claims Professor Per Holck at the University of Oslo, who has conducted analyses of DNA material taken from her bones.

But Holck says that while she came from the area that today is Norway, her forefathers may have lived n the Black Sea region.

Holck, attached to the anthropological division of the university's anatomy institute (Anatomisk institutt), isn't willing to reveal more details pending publication of an article in the British magazine "European Archaeology" later this year.

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YAT Training Excavation 2007

York Archaeological Trust has begun excavations as part of the Hungate
(York) Regeneration. Over the next five years excavations and research will be conducted on the largest scale urban archaeological excavation in the city for 25 years.

Following the great success of Archaeology Live! training excavations at previous sites in the City of York, St Leonard’s (2001–2004), St Mary’s Abbey (2005) St Saviour’s Church (2006), Archaeology Live! will be running in conjunction the excavations at Hungate during 2007 and beyond. You have the unique opportunity to join in with this exciting journey in to the last 2000 years of the history of York.

The excavation will be looking to answer a number of questions about the site, which has proven to contain deeply stratified archaeology from the Roman period onwards. Small-scale excavations in 2000 and 2002 revealed a complex sequence of burials, structures, occupation deposits and road surfaces dating from as early as the 3rd Century. Significant archaeology, including the burials, lay relatively close to the modern ground surface and was generally well preserved. Excavation which is currently underway has revealed the outlines of buildings and other structures from the 18th and 19th Centuries, with finds including medieval and Viking pottery, carved animal bone, and significant amounts of architectural stone which has been re-used from a medieval church.

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£2m Viking centre bid launched

THE preservation of Wirral's Viking Heritage begins later this week with the launch of a £2million three-year project.

Friday morning's event follows the publication of a report detailing the borough's links with the Norse invaders. It also made five key recommendations so that local history can be fully developed for tourist and educational purposes.

Following a successful bid for development funding from the Mersey Waterfront and English Heritage. It was submitted by Friends of Hoylake and Meols Gardens and Open Spaces' steering group The Heritage Project, set up to oversee the study. Chairman, Wirral West MP Stephen Hesford hopes the launch will help put the borough's Norse links firmly on the map.

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Irish river find may be first discovery of Viking ship

An ancient boat discovered in a riverbed north of Dublin may be the first Viking longship found in the country, Environment and Heritage Minister Dick Roche said.

The wreck in the River Boyne, close to the northeastern port of Drogheda, was described by Roche as potentially an "enormously exciting discovery".

The vessel, nine metres (30 feet) wide by 16 metres long, was discovered accidentally during dredging operations last November but the find was not made public until now.

"It is described as clinker built, a shipbuilding technology dating from the Viking era but also still in use centuries later," Roche said.

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Melton Carnegie Museum in Leicester is hosting an exhibition that showcases many of the rare archaeological artefacts unearthed by local residents.

The exhibition, Found in Leicestershire, runs until 23 March 2007 and features an array of exciting finds including a wonderful collection of Roman brooches, a rare prehistoric flint dagger, Viking age objects and many medieval items, all from the Melton area.

The display tells the story of everyday life for our ancestors and gives a compelling picture of our past. The finds also include an assortment of domestic items made of metal, stone and pottery, whilst accompanying literature reveals their historical importance and how they were found.

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Treasure hunters – the new heroes of national heritage

Members of the public unearthed 57,566 ancient objects last year, according to the British Museum — an increase of 45 per cent on 2005. The items included a spectacular Viking hoard of 20 silver bracelets.

Two reports published yesterday show how finds by people walking, gardening, farming or actively searching for treasure provide a wealth of information about our past.

David Lammy, the Culture Minister, described metal detector users as “the unsung heroes of the UK’s heritage”.

The Treasure Act 1996 requires the reporting of all gold and silver objects more than 300 years old, and groups of coins that are more than 300 years old and found on the same site.

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'Unsung heroes of heritage' extolled for unearthing hoard of treasure

A missing gold finial from the Sedgeford torc, excavated almost in its entirety more than 40 years ago, and a stash of Viking silver bracelets that may have helped finance an attack on Dublin were among a glittering hoard of treasure disclosed yesterday, the discovery of amateurs and their metal detectors.
The culture minister, David Lammy, yesterday called metal detectorists "the unsung heroes of the UK's heritage", a phrase that will cause a sharp intake of breath among some archaeologists who still regard them as little better than legalised looters.

However, in most parts of the country a truce is in place, with archaeologists and hobbyists working together, a code of conduct agreed by both sides. The amateurs, in fact, are often called in to help at excavation sites, valued for their equipment and expertise at telling a buried coin from a can ring-pull.

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New Viking treasures found

Archaeologists have made a major discovery in Western Norway, unearthing well-preserved Viking graves from the 9th century full of riches.

The Viking treasures were found at Frøyland in Rogaland County. Local newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad reported Monday that items recovered from the graves indicate they belonged to wealthy Vikings of the time.

In one of the graves, belonging to a woman, archaeologists found jewellery, many pearls, glass beads, scissors, a knife and other household utensils.

"The size, quality and design of the jewellery is highly unusual," said archaeologist Olle Hemdorff. "She took with her many things."

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Viking longships' last voyage strikes fear into the heart of archaeologists

A ROW has broken out in Norway over a decision to move three ancient Viking ships, which may not survive the journey.

The University of Oslo has decided to move three longships, probably by lorry and barge, to a new museum, despite dire warnings that the thousand-year-old oak vessels could fall apart en route.

A retired curator of Oslo's current Viking Ship Museum has said that the delicately preserved ships, two of which are nearly 80ft long, were almost equal in archaeological importance to the Pyramids.

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