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A 12th century toy boat with a hole in the middle where a mast could have been stepped
Image credit Åge Hojem, NTNU University Museum
A thousand years ago, for reasons we will never know, the residents of a tiny farmstead on the coast of central Norway filled an old well with dirt. Maybe the water dried up, or maybe it became foul. But when archaeologists found the old well and dug it up in the summer of 2016, they discovered an unexpected surprise: a carefully carved toy, a wooden boat with a raised prow like a proud Viking ship, and a hole in the middle where a mast could have been stepped.
A gold pin from the Dumfries and Galloway Viking Hoard
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland reports yesterday that –
A hoard of Viking treasure described as the largest found in modern times has been discovered on land owned by the Church of Scotland. The historically significant find was made by Derek McLennan, a committed metal detector enthusiast who has been searching around the area in Dumfries and Galloway for the last year. The hoard contains more than one hundred artefacts, many of which are unique. They are now in the care of the Treasure Trove Unit and considered to be of international importance.
The hoard falls under the Scots law of treasure trove, and is currently in the care of the Treasure Trove Unit. The law provides for a reward to be made to the finder which is judged equivalent to the market value of the items. The Church of Scotland General Trustees, as the landowners, have reached agreement with Derek about an equitable sharing of any proceeds which will eventually be awarded. Secretary to the General Trustees, David Robertson said “We are very excited to have been part of such an historic find and we commend Derek for the spirit in which he has worked with us and the other agencies involved in making sure everything is properly registered and accounted for. Any money arising from this will first and foremost be used for the good of the local parish. We recognise Derek is very responsible in pursuing his interest, but we do not encourage metal detecting on Church land unless detailed arrangements have been agreed beforehand with the General Trustees.”
The location of the find is not being revealed. The Scottish Government, Treasure Trove Unit and Historic Scotland are all involved in ensuring the area is properly protected while the full historical significance of the site is established. The objects within the hoard will now undergo painstaking conservation work, revealing their secrets and preserving them for future generations.
Full Church of Scotland article here.
Promotional video for the Viking exhibition now showing at The National Museum of Scotland
Opening today, stv news reports that, “An exhibition of more than 500 Viking objects will be shown in Scotland. The National Museum of Scotland is the only UK venue for Vikings!, a collection of artefacts which are rarely seen outside of Scandinavia. The jewellery, weapon fragments, carvings, precious metals and household items are from the collections of the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. The objects, along with archaeological evidence, hands-on displays and innovative interpretation, show a different side to the Vikings. The term Viking refers to an activity rather than a group of people. Men would go “out on a Viking”, which could refer to both pillaging raids and peaceful trading expeditions.”
The exhibition runs until 12 May 2013. Details on The National Museum of Scotland website here.