Images of the Oseberg Ship
The Oseberg ship (Norwegian: Osebergskipet) is a well-preserved Viking ship discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway. The Oseberg burial mound (Norwegian: Oseberghaugen ved Slagen from the Old Norse word haugr meaning mound or barrow) contained numerous grave goods and two female human skeletons. The ship’s interment into its burial mound dates from 834 AD, but parts of the ship date from around 800, and the ship itself is thought to be older. It was excavated by Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabriel Gustafson in 1904-1905. This ship is widely celebrated and has been called one of the finest finds to have survived the Viking Age. The ship and some of its contents are displayed at the Viking Ship Museum, in Bygdøy.


The Coppergate Helmet (also known as York Helmet) is an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon helmet found in York. It is remarkably well preserved and is one of only four Anglo-Saxon helmets discovered to date. The partial remains of a fifth helmet were found in the Staffordshire Hoard.

Like many other helmets of Germanic Western and Northern Europe in the Early Middle Ages the construction of Coppergate helmet is derivative of Late Roman helmet types. 


An old warrior

You are looking at a warrior with a raised weapon in an 8th-century law manuscript. The book was made in 793 in Lyons, France, by someone who called himself Wandalgarius. The text is written in a pre-Caroline script, curly but surprisingly easy to read (especially if you’ve done it before). I love the colours and simplicity of the drawing. Very few manuscripts from 800 survive and only a fraction of them are illustrated. So this warrior is as rare as he is old. In fact, this may well be the oldest representation of a fighting figure in any European book.

Pic: St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, MS 731 (8th century). Browse the complete manuscript here.


Anglo-Saxon Finger Ring, 7thC - 8thC AD. Gold finger-ring; broad, flat hoop expanding to large oval bezel; covered with bands of twisted wire, simulating plaiting and diverging at the shoulders to enclose a circular design in pearled wire and pellets. Principal motive may be a quatrefoil, pellets in centre and interspaces forming a cross pattee. | ↳THE BRITISH MUSEUM


Anglo-Saxon Sword Pyramid from the Stafforshire Hoard, c. 7th-8th century

The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver metalwork ever found. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire on 5 July 2009. The items, over 3,500 in all, date from the time of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, c. 7th-8th century.

The sword pyramid is one of a pair. These pyramids are hollow inside, with a bar across the opening rather like on a belt buckle. Pyramids like this have been found in a number of Anglo-Saxon graves, lying beside sword scabbards. The pyramids would have adorned a leather strap that would have been attached to a scabbard (which is a cover for a sword).  Straps like this are mentioned in the Viking sagas, where they are called ‘peace bands’. They could be tied around the handle of the sword, securing it in place in the scabbard so warriors were not able to draw their swords suddenly in anger.

The Staffordshire Hoard is remarkable for the extraordinary quantity of sword fittings. Most are of gold and many are beautifully inlaid with garnets. Such elaborate and expensive decoration would have marked out the weapon as the property of the highest echelons of nobility. The discovery of a single sword pyramid is a notable event - to find several pairs together is absolutely unprecedented.

The Maiden Stone  is a Pictish standing stone near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire in Scotland, most likely dating to the 8th century AD.

The name is derived from local legend, incorporating the most obvious mark of wear and tear on the stone: a triangular notch toward the top of the monument.

The legend states that the daughter of the Laird of Balquhain made a bet with a stranger that she could bake a bannock faster than he could build a road to the top of Bennachie. The prize would be the maiden’s hand. However, the stranger was the Devil and finished the road and claimed the forfeit. The maiden ran from the Devil and prayed to be saved. The legend finishes by saying that God turned her to stone, but the notch is where the Devil grasped her shoulder as she ran.

Based on the mixture of Pictish and Christian symbols on the stone it is most likely that the stone marks a preaching site during missionary trips to the Picts.

The stone is carved with Christian and Pictish symbology. The west side shows a cross with a human figure between two fish. Below the cross there is a disc shape with a Celtic spiral motif surrounded by a key patterned ring, with simple knotwork patterns in the corners. On the reverse, there are four panels enclosing: several centaur-type figures and a dog; a notched rectangle and Z-rod; a Pictish Beast; and a mirror and comb. There is a knotwork pattern on the narrow north edge and a keywork pattern on the south edge. A portion of the north edge is missing and the patterns are heavily eroded, particularly on the western face.

The human figure and fish are assumed to represent the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale.

by polaris37