And this was the find of the week that just ended. Again, I’ll quote the Gotland Archaeological Facebook page:
The “find of the week” last week from the excavation at Paviken is a well preserved chape belonging to a sword from the Viking Age. The scabbards were made of leather, sometimes of thin plates of wood, and hold together with the help of mountings, normally of bronze. The chape covers the point of the sword and are many times decorated in animal style decorations. Many of them also have bird figures on them, most often in the form of a falcon.
But, like this one, there are also some having a clear image of an eagle. It could be dated to the end of the Viking Age, around the 11th century. Using an eagle as decoration on a sword fitting gives an interesting connection to the inscription written on a runic stone from the middle part of Sweden, a famous Rune stone from Gripsholm. The actual Rune stone is one of the so called Serkland Rune stones. It is located besides the road leading up to Gripsholm Castle together with another Rune stone from the 11th century. Their original location is, however, unknown.
The inscription says that it is raised in memory of Haraldr, the brother of Ingvar, by their mother. The two brothers died in the region of the Caspian Sea.
Old Norse transcription:
Tola let ræisa stæin þennsa at sun sinn Harald, broður Ingvars. ÞæiR foru drængila fiarri at gulli ok austarla ærni gafu, dou sunnarla a Særklandi.
"Tóla had this stone raised in memory of her son Haraldr, Ingvarr’s brother. They travelled valiantly far for gold, and in the east gave (food) to the eagle. (They) died in the south in Serkland.”
There is an interesting connection between the eagle figurine on the chape, and the expression on the Gripsholm Rune stone because “gave food for the eagle” is a metaphor for killing your enemy. We can’t say if the chape and sword were ever used but the find is a nice example of how written texts and archaeological finds complement each other.
Image © Arendus
So guys, again sorry for not posting that much. I’m mainly enjoying life out of the internet (it’s really good and I highly recommend it hehe). But on other news I can tell you that I am now starting the third week of the Gotland Archeological Field School and it’s been amazing.
We are excavating a viking age port called Paviken on the western shore of Gotland and we’ve been finding lots of stuff; mainly bone and clay, but also some really nice glass beads, whetstones, iron objects like blades, nails, rivets, etc, and other cool stuff.
I’ll share some photos of a few of these finds, but only the one’s that Arendus (the host organization of the course) has already shared. This is for protection and intellectual copyright reasons.
Also, if you want to find out more about Paviken and what we are doing you can check out the Paviken research project 2013-2016. Investigation of a Viking Age trading and manufacturing site on Gotland, Sweden, written by the head professor of the course, Dan Carlsson.
Cheers and I hope I’ll have more time to keep you updated.
I love her clothes!
Something I love about Norway is how you’re never far from nature even in the most urbane locations. This path leads to a lake just up the road from where I live. #norway #nature #hiking #personal
So nice :)
Dypt Inne I Skogen | faroeway: | via Tumblr on We Heart It.
Oh, Mr. Weinersmith, thank you for this.