A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Viking Sword from Scotland X-Rayed
Friday, December 10, 2021
ORKNEY, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that an X-ray of a heavily corroded Viking sword discovered in a grave on the Orkney Island of Papa Westray in 2015 has revealed its highly decorated upper and lower handle guards made of contrasting metals. The excavation team, which included Andrew Morrison, Caroline Paterson, and Stephen Harrison of AOC Archaeology, lifted the weapon from the site in a block of soil in order to preserve as much evidence as possible. So far, the lab investigation has also detected traces of the sword’s scabbard, but the researchers have not yet seen the underside of the fragile weapon. Evidence of a Viking boat burial, perhaps constructed by settlers from Norway in the ninth century, was also found on the island. To read about the rediscovery of lost Viking waterways on the island of Orkney, go to "What's in a Norse Name?"
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