Archaeologists uncover beautifully preserved Viking boat burial in Scottish Highlands

Posted by fi17 at Oct 19, 2011 10:25 AM |
Fully intact burial is the first of its kind discovered on the UK mainland
Archaeologists uncover beautifully preserved Viking boat burial in Scottish Highlands

Dr Oliver Harris and team member Helena Gray excavate the site

The 1,000 year-old Viking boat burial was found on the remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula by a team led by experts from the Universities of Manchester, Leicester, CFA Archaeology Ltd and Archaeology Scotland. The find, which includes the remains of a Viking, hints at the man's high status: pottery, poetry, weapons and an ornate sword hilt, among other objects preserved at the burial site.

The excavating team found the imprint of the boat and some of the remaining boat rivets, along with fragments of human bone which may provide clues to the man's origins. The man was buried with his axe, sword, spear and shield. One of the artefacts could be the tip of a bronze drinking horn, so the mysterious Viking wouldn't go thirsty on his final voyage.

Dr Oliver Harris of our School of Archaeology and Ancient History co-led the team that made the discovery, and believes the burial belonged to an important warrior or chieftain. Dr Hannah Cobb from the University of Manchester, who also directed the team, described the find as one of the most important Norse graves ever excavated in Britain.

You can read more about this story on the BBC News website and in The Guardian. The Daily Mail has some pictures of the find, and a video of Dr Harris's interview with the BBC can be watched here.