Viking-Era Sword Hilt Discovered in Norway

Norway Sword HiltSTAVANGER, NORWAY—According to a statement released by the University of Stavanger, two metal detectorists working independently of each other discovered three pieces of the hilt of a Viking-era sword in the Jåttå/Gausel area of western Norway, where the grave of the so-called Gausel queen, which contained artifacts from the British Isles, was discovered in 1883. Conservator Cora Oschmann said that it is still difficult to see all of the details of the hilt, but so far gilded images of animals and geometric figures in silver and black have been revealed as the artifact undergoes cleaning and restoration. Both ends of the cross guard, she added, are in the shape of animal heads. Similar swords have been found in eastern and western Europe, added archaeologist Zanette Glørstad, and it is likely that this sword was imported from France or England in the early 800s, although it is possible that a swordsmith in Norway could have copied a foreign style. To read about a Viking sword unearthed in southern Norway, go to “Artifact.”


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