Vikings

Viking burial mound at Heath Wood being excavated

Vikings Brought Horses and Dogs to England, Study Finds

Cremated bone fragments suggest these animals were companions to the Vikings

An old Viking ship under the Northern Lights in Iceland

Ancient DNA Reveals a Genetic History of the Viking Age

Nearly 300 ancient genomes shed light on how people migrated and genes flowed in Scandinavia

Archaeologists have only unearthed half of the Viking hall so far and plan to continue their dig later in 2023.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth Viking Hall in Denmark

The structure may have been used for political meetings or other community gatherings

All of the jewelry archaeologists unearthed from a Viking Age site north of Stockholm

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth Trove of Viking Age Jewelry in Sweden

The 1,000-year-old neck rings, finger rings, pearls and coins were in near-pristine condition

The centuries-old tradition involves sorting these woolly creatures after a summer of free-grazing on mountain grasses and berries in the highlands.

Iceland's Annual Tradition of Counting Sheep Is Far From Sleepy

Every fall, across the country, farmers and their friends and family gather to sort the ewes and rams that spent the summer free-grazing

Alexander Skarsgård stars as Amleth, a Viking prince who seeks to avenge the murder of his father.

Based on a True Story

The History Behind Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

The revenge saga blends traditional accounts with the supernatural to convey the lived experience of the Viking age

Ruins of a Norse church in Greenland.

New Research

Why Did the Vikings Abandon Their Most Successful Settlement in Greenland?

A new study argues that an extended drought, and not cold temperatures, drove the Norse settlers from the region

St. Wystan’s church in Repton. In 873-874, a Viking army is believed to have entrenched in the garden. Right, Viking burial mounds in Heath Wood.

Digging Up the Rich Viking History of Britain

A massive 1,100-year-old graveyard leads to a surprising new view of the Nordic legacy in Britain

The new Netflix series imagines what would have happened if Harald Hardrada (played by Leo Suter) were best buddies with Norse explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and the lover of Leif’s sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Vikings: Valhalla'

A spin-off of the long-running series "Vikings," the show follows a fictionalized version of Norwegian king Harald Hardrada

The new research dates the helmets to around 900 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

The Horned Helmets Falsely Attributed to Vikings Are Actually Nearly 3,000 Years Old

The helmets’ similarities to art from southern Europe shows how goods and ideas traveled during the Nordic Bronze Age

Archaeologists search for artifacts at a dig in Rendlesham, where local craftsmen may have made the items found at the Sutton Hoo burial site.

Cool Finds

Sutton Hoo's Treasures Were Likely Crafted at This 1,400-Year-Old Workshop

Archaeologists found evidence of metalworking near the famed English burial ground

Smithsonian's most-read stories of 2021 included an explainer on crocodile evolution, a profile of a teen inventor and a feature on Viking explorer Gudrid the Far Traveler.

Our Top Ten Stories of 2021

From archaeological finds to an invasive weed to Roman bathrooms, these were our most-read articles of the year

New research suggests Celtic people—and their sheep—arrived on the Faroe Islands more than 300 years before the Vikings.

Ancient Sheep Poop Tells the Tale of the Faroe Islands' First Inhabitants

New analysis suggests the Celts arrived on the archipelago hundreds of years before the Vikings

Unearthed in Norway, this crowned figure with a falcon on its right arm dates to the 13th century, and may be the oldest depiction of falconry discovered in Scandinavia.

Cool Finds

One of the Oldest Depictions of Falconry in Scandinavia Is Discovered

The 800-year-old carved figure holding a falcon was found at a dig site in Norway

Archaeologists have identified a rare ninth-century Viking sword discovered at a burial site on one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Cool Finds

Rare Viking Sword Discovered in Grave on Scottish Island

The weapon is covered in rust and dirt, but a new X-ray analysis suggests it once boasted rich decorations

An aerial shot shows of the site where the Viking longhouse was discovered.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Uncover One of the Largest Viking Longhouses in Scandinavia

Using ground-penetrating radar, scientists were able to find the Iron Age settlement and learn more about its place in Viking culture

In each of the extant nine accounts, the victim is captured in battle and has an eagle of some sort carved into their back.

New Research

Did the Vikings Actually Torture Victims With the Brutal 'Blood Eagle'?

New research reveals the feasibility of the infamous execution method

A recreation of Viking structures at L’Anse aux Meadows

New Dating Method Shows Vikings Occupied Newfoundland in 1021 C.E.

Tree ring evidence of an ancient solar storm enables scientists to pinpoint the exact year of Norse settlement

In the modern era, the European discovery of North American became a proxy for conflicts between American Protestants and Catholics, as well as northern Europeans who claimed Vikings like Leif Eriksson (left) as their ancestors and southern Europeans who touted links to Columbus (right) and the monarchs of Spain.

Viking Map of North America Identified as 20th-Century Forgery

New technical analysis dates Yale's Vinland Map to the 1920s or later, not the 1440s as previously suggested

Experts say the cache is one of the largest and most significant of its kind ever found in Denmark.

Cool Finds

Amateur Treasure Hunter Discovers Trove of Sixth-Century Gold Jewelry

Found in Denmark, most of the 22 objects are bracteates, or medallions inscribed with mystical symbols

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