Vikings

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Vikings' Collapse Had a Lot to Do With Walruses

Decline in walrus ivory left Vikings with little to trade: researchers

(Newser) - The Vikings' disappearance from Greenland in the 15th century came not in an epic battle but with a decline in the walrus ivory trade, according to researchers, who may have cracked "one of history's big mysteries," per Newsweek . Walrus ivory was a hot commodity in medieval Europe.... More »

Iceland Trying to Undo What the Vikings Did

The reforestation effort is a slow-moving one

(Newser) - That Iceland is the most lightly forested country in all of Europe is the doing of man, not nature—long-since-deceased man. The AFP reports more than 25% of the island was covered in trees, mostly birch, when the Vikings reached its shores in the late 800s. A century later, only... More »

Chess Piece in a Drawer for 55 Years May Sell for $1.3M

Piece has been identified as one of the famous Lewis Chessmen from the Viking era

(Newser) - A chess piece purchased for $7.50 by an antiques dealer in Scotland in 1964 has been identified as one of the 900-year-old Lewis Chessmen, among the greatest artifacts of the Viking era. Sotheby's auction house said Monday the chess piece is expected to bring between $670,000 and... More »

Archaeologists Find Viking-Era Ship

It will remain buried near Oslo

(Newser) - Norwegian officials say they have found a ship buried in the ground west of Oslo that they think dates to the Viking era. The ship was found using geo-radar, the AP reports. Archaeologists say they have no immediate plans to unearth it, but they will use non-invasive methods to find... More »

Girl Describes Finding Iron Age Sword in Swedish Lake

Saga Vanecek says people are calling her the country's new queen

(Newser) - The 8-year-old girl who made sensational headlines after finding a pre-Viking sword in a Swedish lake has given her side of the story to the Guardian . In a first-person take, Saga Vanecek says she was in search of rocks to skim from the bottom of Lake Vidostern in the southern... More »

From Viking Clothing Fragments, a 'Staggering' Find

The word 'Allah' opens the possibility that some Vikings were Muslim

(Newser) - Is it possible some Vikings were Muslim? That's a question the National Post is asking following the discovery of Viking funeral garb embroidered with ancient Arabic characters spelling "Allah." Annika Larsson of Uppsala University tells the BBC she was examining fragments of clothing discovered in 1,000-year-old... More »

Hunters Find Ancient Sword Still Ready for Action

Viking artifact, found on mountain, is just a little rusty

(Newser) - A Norwegian archaeologist says a well-preserved, if rusty, iron sword dating to the Viking era has been found in southern Norway. Lars Holger Piloe says the nearly 3-foot-long sword was found slid down between rocks with the blade sticking out, and may have been left by a person who got... More »

High-Ranking Viking Warrior's Remains Yield a Big Surprise

'Ultimate' grave was long thought to have held a man, but belonged to a woman

(Newser) - Ancient tales of fierce female Vikings fighting alongside men appear to be rooted in truth, according to archaeologists in Sweden. One of the most impressive graves in a burial ground near Birka, a major Viking settlement, has turned out to be that of a woman believed to have been a... More »

Viking Ship on Epic Journey Hits $400K Snag

It's a good thing Leif Eriksson didn't run into the US Coast Guard

(Newser) - It was an epic journey that was to end with the world's largest Viking ship making a tour of the Great Lakes. Now the ship might have to make a U-turn. The Draken Harald Harfagre—which made stops in the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland while... More »

Huge Discovery About Vikings Just Came From Space

They may have made it further into America than we ever knew

(Newser) - A "high-tech Indiana Jones" may have just done what no one else has been able to for 55 years: find a second Viking settlement in North America, the Washington Post reports. "Typically in archaeology, you only ever get to write a footnote in the history books, but what... More »

This Tiny Viking Pendant Could Rewrite History

It suggests Danes became Christians earlier than thought

(Newser) - Denmark's Dennis Fabricius Holm got off work early on March 11 and decided to go for a stroll with his metal detector near the town of Aunslev. "Suddenly I hit upon something," he tells national broadcaster DR , per the Local . "Ever since I turned over the... More »

Hiker Finds 1.2K-Year-Old Viking Sword

And it's in surprisingly good condition

(Newser) - Goran Olsen was enjoying a leisurely hike recently in Norway when he stopped near the fishing village of Haukeli, about 150 miles west of Oslo. Under some rocks along a well-traversed path, he made a discovery that's now the envy of every detectorist in Scandinavia: a 30-inch wrought-iron Viking... More »

Greenland's Vikings Weren't Farmers, They Were Walrus Hunters

They apparently had a lucrative ivory trade going on: researchers

(Newser) - For a long time, scientists wondered why Vikings settled in Greenland as farmers, since livestock doesn't thrive there and the growing season is truncated, notes Hakai Magazine . But while speculation as to why they eventually abandoned the island territory range from climate change to soil erosion , researchers now think... More »

Ring Links Vikings to Ancient Islam

Colored-glass ring is inscribed with either 'to Allah' or 'for Allah'

(Newser) - Those Vikings really got around: Not only did they land in North America long before 1492, they may have visited the Islamic world as well. As possible evidence, researchers say a ring from a ninth-century Viking woman's grave looks exceptionally Islamic, Science News reports. The silver ring was first... More »

Experts Find First Viking Fortress in 60 Years

Denmark discovery likely from 10th century

(Newser) - Archaeologists have dug up a rare find in Denmark: a Viking fortress. It's the first such discovery in more than 60 years, ScienceNordic reports. Researchers were clued in to its possible existence after examining the placement of fortresses nearby. "It was clear that there was a fortress missing,... More »

Peterson to Play Sunday Despite Abuse Charges

Vikings running back is reinstated by Vikings, says he's 'not a perfect parent'

(Newser) - The NFL has been rocked by domestic violence allegations, most notably in the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases, but Peterson will play Sunday against the Saints after being reinstated by the Vikings today, the AP reports. As debate rages on about what punishment should be doled out to the... More »

Skeleton May Belong to Viking King From Ireland

King Olaf ruled in 10th century

(Newser) - A skeleton unearthed in Scotland might be that of a long-lost Viking king who ruled in Ireland in the 10th century, reports the BBC . Archeologists think they've found the remains of King Olaf Guthfrithsson, or at least somebody in his entourage. One of the telltale signs is a belt... More »

'Viking Apocalypse' Due Tomorrow

Ready to Ragnarok?

(Newser) - Viking apocalypse—or British weather? Experts from the Jorvik Viking Center, which is currently running its annual Viking festival in northern England, claim that the end of times as predicted in Norse mythology will be upon us tomorrow, when gods including Thor, Odin, and Loki will fight an epic battle... More »

Ancient Viking Carving Yields ... a Love Note

PhD student deciphers mysterious codes from 12th and 13th centuries

(Newser) - A PhD student thinks he's deciphered a 900-year-old carving that has long puzzled experts—and it's basically a valentine. The carving appears to be based on a code that subs in numbers for runes and, when deciphered, reads "kiss me," Jonas Nordby from the University of... More »

Rare Viking 'Thing' Found Under Parking Lot

Just the 2nd such site in the UK, dated to 11th century

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered another parking lot find , only this time it's in Scotland, and what they discovered is best described as a "Thing." Yep, that's the technical term for a Viking parliamentary gathering site, one of which has been unearthed in the town of Dingwall. That... More »

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