The Anglo-Saxon Archaeology Blog is concerned with news reports featuring Anglo-Saxon period archaeology. If you wish to see news reports for general European archaeology, please go to The Archaeology of Europe Weblog.
Monday, 10 February 2020
Ancient Viking Glass Artifact Was A Game Piece Of The Elites
A tiny glass crown is being heralded as a rare archaeological artifact from the first wave of Viking raids in England.
The small worked glass artifact was unearthed at an excavation site on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne , a tidal island situated off the northeast coast of England in Northumberland. Crafted from swirling blue and white glass with white glass bobbles, a report in The Times says archaeologists believe the crown was a gaming piece from the strategy board game hnefatafl (king’s table) played in Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia before the arrival of chess in the 12th century.
A Glass Artifact With Elite Origins
The relic, which is no bigger than a grape, is described as being “of exquisite workmanship” showing influence from across the North Sea and if it is indeed a hnefatafl gaming piece it is a rare archaeological treasure linking the English island with the Vikings at the beginning of a turbulent period in English and Scandinavian history.
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Posted by David Beard MA, FSA, FSA Scot at 15:38