Skaun (Norvège): Islamic coins in Viking grave


Viking sword


Archaeologists have uncovered a Viking Age grave in Skaun, Norway that most likely contained the remains of a warrior. The person died in circa 950 AD and was buried with their weapons, which included a well preserved sword and shield boss.

Viking shield boss

Remains of a leather purse were found inside the shield boss. (PHOTO: ÅGE HOJEM / NTNU / SCIENCE MUSEUM)

The wooden part of the shield had decayed and disappeared in antiquity but the metal boss survived. It contained a strike mark on its surface, most likely delivered by an axe or sword, indicating that it had been used in combat. More surprisingly, the shield boss also contained a number of Islamic coins, which had been hidden inside a leather bag.

Viking sword norway

Sword fully cleaned. Remains of an inscription and textiles have emerged (PHOTO: ÅGE HOJEM / NTNU / SCIENCE MUSEUM)

According to archaeologist Ingrid Ystgaard, the coins may indicate ‘that this person visited the eastern part of the Viking world, possibly a town such as Holmgard in what today is Russia.

Source: NRK