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U.K.'s First Fully Intact Viking Boat Burial Site Uncovered

In Ardnamurchan, archaeologists have discovered the first ever, fully intact viking boat burial site on the U.K. mainland. The details that make this case specifically interesting are the condition in which the burial site was preserved (read: great) and the artifacts found alongside the body, which suggest that this particular viking was a pretty ridiculously macho killing machine high ranking warrior.

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“[The] artifacts and preservation make this one of the most important Norse graves ever excavated in Britain” said Dr. Hannah Cobb, and she would know; she’s been excavating artifacts in Ardnamurchan for about six years now. Along with the body and 200 rivets, the remains of the boat, archaeologists found the viking had been buried with an axe, a sword with a tricked out hilt, a shield, a spear, and a bronze ring pin, all Exceptional quality, level requirement 25.

Up until this excavation, most mainland digs had been pulled off before proper techniques were perfected and adequate safety measures (to protect the artifacts) were really put in place. This is something of a do-over for mainland excavations. The find also yielded some viking pottery, a whetstone all the way from Norway, a knife, and what is probably the tip of drinking horn.

The fact that the whetstone came from Norway speaks to the dead viking’s high status. Not just anybody could get imported stuff from Norway in the 1000s. There were also a bunch of unidentified iron pieces found at the site. No telling what they are yet, but it’s bound to be something fun.

Dr. Oliver Harris, of University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History, is pretty stoked about the findings, saying “It has also yielded evidence for what will be one of the best-dated Neolithic chambered cairns in Scotland when all of our post-excavation work is complete.”

(via BBC News)

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