Wednesday, September 20, 2023



Excavations have found five tiny pieces of rectangular sheet gold decorated with motifs and stamped imagery depicting a man and a woman. The objects were discovered in the remains of a pagan temple, where previous excavations have uncovered thirty similar stamped gold objects in the vicinity over the past three decades.

The building measures around fifteen metres in length and was likely used for ritual drinking, however, it is unlikely that any feasting took place due to the lack of domestic archaeological evidence.

The latest objects were found beneath the structure in the wall runs and in adjacent postholes, suggesting that they were ritually placed as votive offerings in the form of a sacrifice or a religious act to protect the building before it was constructed.

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1400-year-old gold foil figures found in pagan temple

Archaeologists have discovered a votive gold hoard during road development works in Vingrom, south of Lillehammer on the shores of Lake Mjøsa Norway.

The 5 gold pieces are tiny, about the size of a fingernail. They are flat and thin as paper, often square, and stamped with a motif. Usually, they depict a man and a woman in various types of clothing, jewelry, and hairstyles.

The objects were discovered in the remains of a pagan temple, where previous excavations have uncovered thirty similar stamped gold objects in the vicinity over the past three decades.

Archaeologist Kathrine Stene was the project leader for the excavation, which has been ongoing along the road here all summer and into autumn, due to the upgrade of the E6 highway between Mjøsa Bridge and Lillehammer.

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Untouched 1,300-Year-Old Grave Of Merovingian Warrior With Complete Armor Found In Ingelheim, Germany

The grave of a Merovingian warrior richly equipped with swords, knives, spears, and a shield.
Credit: Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim

Jan Bartek - - An intriguing 1,300-year-old grave belonging to a Merovingian warrior has been discovered during an archaeological survey of an early Medieval cemetery in Ingelheim, Germany.

It is an exceptional and surprising find because the grave remains intact despite being between two looted graves. Somehow, looters must have missed this one. When archaeologists opened the grave, they found the remains of a Frankish warrior from the 7th century with complete armor.

Excavations at the site have been carried out by the Kaiserpfalz research team since 2015; this year is the last season. Numerous graves were already plundered in the Middle Ages, so finding an untouched burial as old as this one was naturally a wonderful surprise to all involved in the project.

According to a press statement issued by Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim, Merovingian graves on Rotweinstraße can usually be easily recognized by the darker filling of the burial pit. In this case, no color change was evident, and the entire area was heavily disturbed by adjacent graves and difficult to interpret.

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The warrior's grave was found at an early medieval cemetery in the German town of Ingelheim, which was later the site of one of Charlemagne's palaces.
(Image credit: Kaiserpfalz Research Center, Ingelheim)

Archaeologists in Germany have discovered the grave of a Frankish warrior who was buried with his weapons and shield more than 1,300 years ago.

The weapons include a spatha, a long sword based on cavalry swords of the late Roman Empire.

The deceased appears to be a man who died between the ages of 30 and 40, probably in the seventh century, the archaeologists found.

The warrior was also buried with a short sword for slashing, called a seax, with an iron blade and a bronze handle; a heavy iron knife; and a spear, of which only the iron point survived. The remains of a shield made mainly of wood were also found; only the metal "boss" at the center survived.

The team found the grave in June during a dig at an early medieval cemetery that archaeologists have been excavating since March. The site is in the town of Ingelheim, which lies beside the Rhine River and about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Frankfurt.

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Friday, September 01, 2023

Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers

The 2013 Michaelmas Term of the University of Oxford online course “Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers” will begin on Wednesday, 27 September.

You can find further details of this course here…

What Viking Funerary Flatbread Teaches Archeologists About Ancient Baking

When most people think of the Vikings, they probably envision what the Vikings did way before picturing what they ate. But if food is fuel, then it's safe to say that the nomadic and infamously chaotic lifestyle of the Vikings needed lots of it. Most of what culinary archaeologists know about the Viking diet has been compiled from a combination of dig sites, the foods eaten by heroes in Norse sagas, and even a limited selection of ancient cookbooks. The Vikings as a people left behind precious few records and accounts. But one momentous archeological dig site uncovered a historical gem: Viking Funerary flatbread.

The loaves were uncovered in graves at Birka — a large, formerly hopping Viking trading post near Stockholm — earning this flatbread the name "Birka bread". Miraculously, the loaves were charred and therefore remained preserved through time. Whether the loaves were intentionally charred as a culinary choice or if they were burned in funeral pyres remains unclear.

The flatbread loaves found at Birka were made from a simple combination of salt, eggs, and flour, specifically barley and wheat. Other types of Viking bread used oats or spelt flour. For closest replication, curious home cooks should make their Birka bread over a campfire. But today's foodies don't value the loaves just for their recipe; the bread tells a much larger story than the sum of its parts.

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