From a new Birka-type Viking Age crucifix found on the Danish island of Funen, to a new translation of newly discovered fragment of an account of a Gothic invasion of Greece, to the implications of a curious belt buckle found in a Viking Age grave in Jutland, and finally to new images of a Viking Age hoard found in Scotland, there's plenty to talk about here.
New Birka-type Crucifix Discovery in Denmark
The item causing the biggest media splash this month is a recently discovered Viking Age (10th century BCE) crucifix. The object was discovered by an amateur archaeologist on Funen, a large island in central Denmark. Some media reports have included claims about item "changing history" (see for example reports here, here, and here—and this one called "Discovery of viking crucifix may rewrite history of Christianity in Denmark").
However, that's all a bit misleading. As detailed on Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist's blog, Aardvarchaeology, the item is in fact the third—if not the fourth—known of its type.
New Translation of Recently Discovered Fragment Regarding the Gothic Invasion
A new Ancient Greek-to-English translation by Christopher Mallan (University of Oxford) and Caillan Davenport (University of Queensland) of a recently discovered fragment of an account by Dexippus of the Gothic Wars has been published in the Journal of Roman Studies. Here's the abstract:
This article presents an English translation and analysis of a new historical fragment, probably from Dexippus’ Scythica, published by Gunther Martin and Jana Grusková in 2014. The fragment, preserved in a palimpsest in the Austrian National Library, describes a Gothic attack on Thessalonica and the subsequent preparations of the Greeks to repel the barbarian force as it moved south into Achaia. The new text provides several important details of historical, prosopographical and historiographical significance, which challenge both our existing understanding of the events in Greece during the reign of Gallienus and the reading of the main literary sources for this period. In this article we look to secure the Dexippan authorship of the fragment, identify the individuals named in the text, and date the events described in the text to the early 260s a.d.
While the article itself is unfortunately behind a paywall, more about the translation and the fragment can be read at Live Science article here.
Rare Belt Buckle Type Found in Viking Age Female's Grave
A belt buckle thought to originate from Ireland or Scotland was recently found in a Viking Age female's grave in the Jutland region of Denmark. The gilt bronze buckle is about 6 centimeters in diameter. From a ScienceNordic article covering the find:
How the buckle ended up in west Denmark is anyone’s guess. But Stidsing speculates that it could have passed through Norway on its way.
"It’s not really common in Norway--but there are some examples. It could have been [brought by] a Norwegian woman who came to Denmark with her jewellery, and lived and died there," says Stidsing.
He now hopes that strontium isotope analysis of the woman’s teeth could clear up where she came from.
"I'm pretty excited about the outcome of the analysis,” says Stidsing. “Especially as the Norwegian Vikings were often on expeditions to the north of England. It's exciting that a woman may have come from Norway and have lived part of her life in Jutland [west Denmark]."
Images Released of Galloway Hoard
Back in September of 2014, an amateur archaeologist discovered a Viking Age hoard in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The hoard consisted of a number of gold, silver, crystal, and silk items tucked away in acpot. For images of some of these items and more information, see the BBC's feature on the hoard here.