Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fascinating Danish Viking Era Find

I just read a short article on Science Nordic about a Viking Era find in Naesby on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, courtesy of a link provided by Loden Myklebust on Yahoo's Norsefolk_2 site.  A Danish-language video embedded in the article (added below) shows work being done on the excavation and pictures of what I assume are artifacts found at the site.

The grave, presently believed to date from about 950 CE, is a burial mound of an aristocratic horseman. Apparently it was originally found and partly excavated in the 1950s, excavation was discontinued, only to resume 50 years later.

Near the grave, which appears to have been surrounded by a "high, square" decorated fence, there were other graves deduced to have been relatives, including female relatives, of the noble horselord. The article gives some tantalizing information about some costume-related aspects of the find:
• "The women’s clothes differ in appearance from those found elsewhere in the country at about the same time. Among other items, they have beautiful armhole ornaments, seen on Frankish-Byzantine costumes but not on woollen Nordic clothes."
• "The women’s jewellery is much more modest than usual. They wore only a few glass beads and a simple piece of jewellery around their necks, unlike in earlier times, when they had large breast jewellery with heavy hanging chains."
I'm not sure what the article means about "beautiful armhole ornaments", though I have read that some Viking finds have metal brocaded tablet woven trim placed on the armhole seam of garments; it may be a reference to that practice. At any rate, this is another find I want to keep track of and learn more about.


  1. FYI:

  2. Peter: Thanks for the pointer.

    I'm aware of the Austrian underwear finds. Professor Beatrix Nutz of Innsbruck University has reported on them at the eleventh Northern European Symposium on Archaeological Textiles ("NESAT"), The conference reports for NESAT XI are being published in a single volume later this year, and I'm really looking forward to seeing it!