Thursday, July 19, 2007

Didn't the Vikings explore America?

Maybe stayed a bit... buried some treasure...

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The most important Viking treasure find in Britain for 150 years has been unearthed by a father and son while metal detecting in Yorkshire.
David and Andrew Whelan uncovered the hoard, which dates back to the 10th Century, in Harrogate in January.

The pair kept their find intact and it was transferred to the British Museum to be examined by experts, who said the discovery was "phenomenal".
Metal detectorists David and Andrew Whelan, who uncovered the treasures, said the find was a "thing of dreams".
The pair, from Leeds, said the hoard was worth about £750,000 as a conservative estimate.
The ancient objects come from as far afield as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe.

The hoard contains 617 silver coins and 65 other objects, including a gold arm-ring and a gilt silver vessel.

Dr Jonathan Williams, keeper of prehistory in Europe at the British Museum, said: "[The cup] is beautifully decorated and was made in France or Germany at around AD900.

"It is fantastically rare - there are only a handful of others known around the world. It will be stunning when it is fully conserved."
Betcha the earth around in Yorkshire gets a good shoveling....


Sorghum Crow said...

Wow, and double wow. For a really interesting account of (possible) really early vikings in the so-called new world, read Farfarers by Farley Mowat.

ellroon said...

I will look for the book, thanks.

Steve Bates said...

IIRC, "viking" was originally an activity, not a name for a people. I can see how the transition came about: imagine someone, seeing an onslaught of berserkers headed their way, shouting, "Gaaah! Lookit all them viking warriors!" Or something like that.

ellroon said...

'Viking' is a verb? Could it be kinda like going 'commando'?

Steve Bates said...

"'Viking' is a verb?" - ellroon

A few years back, they had a Viking exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, and from something in that exhibit, I got the distinct impression that, yes, "viking" was a verb. Going viking was like going hunting, except that you directed the violence toward, y'know, humans.