Monday 12 December 2022

Revisiting one of Scotland's rarest Viking burials

One hundred and forty years ago Victorian antiquarians excavated a rare Viking boat grave in the Inner Hebrides.

What they uncovered on the coastal meadow, called machair, at Kiloran Bay in Colonsay remains Scotland's single richest male Viking burial site to be found so far.

The finds included weapons, a silver dress pin and a set of scales and elaborately decorated weights for trading.

A boat had been placed over the top of the man's grave chamber and buried next to it was his horse, which had been sacrificed. There was also possible evidence of a human sacrifice having taken place.

"The grave was discovered after rabbits, digging in the soft machair, scooped up some boat rivets," says Prof James Graham-Campbell, an expert on pagan Norse graves of Scotland.

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