Vikings

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

The study's authors argue that the individual may have been highly regarded due to their nonbinary status or “because they already had a distinctive or secured position in the community for other reasons; for example, by belonging to a relatively wealthy and well-connected family.”

New Research

Mysterious Iron Age Burial May Hold Remains of Elite Nonbinary Person

The Finnish grave's occupant likely had Klinefelter syndrome, meaning they were born with an extra copy of the X chromosome

The trove included around silver coins, jewelry, and other artifacts.

Amateur Metal-Detectorist Finds Viking 'Piggy Bank' Filled With 1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins

Unearthed on the Isle of Man, experts suspect Vikings most likely added money to the stash over time

The older man, who died when he was in his 50s, succumbed to an injury likely sustained during a Viking raid. The second, who was in his 20s when he died, was targeted in the St. Brice's Day massacre of 1002.

Cool Finds

Viking-Era Relatives Who Died on Opposite Sides of the Sea Reunited at Last

Either half-brothers or a nephew and uncle, one died after taking part in a raid, while the other was the victim of an English massacre

Archaeologists unearthed this well-secured wooden box near the melting Lendbreen glacier in Norway.

Cool Finds

Melting Glacier in Norway Reveals Remnants of Centuries-Old Beeswax Candle

Carefully preserved in a pine box, the item would have provided light for farmers who traversed the icy alpine pass

Experts describe the Galloway Hoard as the “richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.”

Trove of Viking-Age Treasures Makes Its Long-Awaited Public Debut

The Galloway Hoard, a collection of 100 rare artifacts buried in Scotland around 900 A.D., is finally on view

Elite Vikings constructed a huge stone boat for use in rituals at the Surtshellir cave.

Cool Finds

Did Vikings Host Rituals Designed to Stop Ragnarök in This Volcanic Cave?

New findings at a cavern in Iceland point to decades of elite ceremonial activity aimed at preventing the apocalypse

The warriors were buried with several layers of feather bedding.

Cool Finds

These Iron Age Swedish Warriors Were Laid to Rest on Luxurious Feather Bedding

Researchers say the various types of bird feathers used may hold symbolic significance

As historian Nancy Marie Brown points out, “[A]sking not ‘Are the sagas true?’ but ‘Are they plausible?’” is a far better barometer for testing the Viking tales’ veracity.

Did a Viking Woman Named Gudrid Really Travel to North America in 1000 A.D.?

The sagas suggest she settled in Newfoundland and eventually made eight crossings of the North Atlantic Sea

The cache of jewelry likely dates to around 950 A.D.

Cool Finds

Amateur Treasure Hunter Finds Trove of 1,000-Year-Old Viking Jewelry

Buried on the Isle of Man around 950 A.D., the artifacts include a gold arm ring and a silver brooch

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