March has been pretty fruitful for news in ancient Germanic studies. 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.Read More
The Langeid Sword, a unique Late Viking Age sword discovered in 2011 in Langeid, Norway is on display to the public for the first time at the Historical Museum in Oslo, Norway. The sword is dated to the end of the Viking Age and bears a variety of curious symbols: a mixture of Latin (or Latin-inspired) characters, spirals, and cross-like ornaments. A battle-ax and a variety of coins, including a coin from England, were found at the burial site.
The burial site in which the sword and axe were found is also notable, both of which may have their origin in England. Post holes make it clear that the grave was sheltered with a roof, a construction apparently displaying status. While the grave is evidently pagan due to the presence of grave goods, the oldest runestone known in Norway to refer to Christianity was discovered relatively nearby. (which, notably, refers to Cnut, who ruled over England and much of Scandinavia). As a result, the grave may present an archaeological snapshot of pagan burial practices directly before Christianization in the region.