How Many Viking Artifacts Have Been Found?

Viking Artifacts

Viking history is full of mystery, adventure, and tales of warriors who have left their mark on the world. One way we learn about their civilization is through the discovery of Viking artifacts. From weapons and armor to jewelry and ships, these ancient treasures give us a glimpse into the life and times of the Vikings. But just how many Viking artifacts have been found? Let’s explore the answer to this question and more in the following sections.

Key Takeaways:

What are Viking Artifacts?

Viking artifacts are objects that were made or used by the Vikings during the Viking Age, which spanned from the late 8th to the mid-11th century. These artifacts provide valuable insights into the Viking culture, their way of life, and their beliefs.

The Vikings were known for their impressive craftsmanship and the quality of their work, as can be seen in the intricate details and designs of their artifacts. Viking artifacts come in various shapes and sizes, including weapons, jewelry, household items, and even burial goods. These artifacts are made of different materials ranging from precious metals like gold and silver to simple materials like wood, bone, and stone.

Viking artifacts hold great historical significance and cultural relevance. They provide a glimpse into the daily lives of the Vikings, their social structure, and their cultural practices. By studying these artifacts, historians and archaeologists have been able to piece together a more comprehensive understanding of the Viking era.

Some of the most common Viking artifacts include swords, helmets, shields, and other weapons used in battle. These artifacts showcase the impressive metalworking skills of the Vikings, as well as their advanced warfare tactics. Vikings also crafted a wide variety of jewelry and adornments, including brooches, pendants, and arm rings, which were often worn by both men and women.

Other Viking artifacts that have been discovered include tools and household items, shipwrecks, runestones and inscriptions, and burial goods. These artifacts reveal the Vikings’ maritime expertise, their language and writing system, and their unique burial customs.

Today, Viking artifacts can be found in museums all over the world, providing a tangible link to the Viking past. These artifacts serve as a testament to the creativity, skill, and ingenuity of the Vikings and their lasting impact on history.

Famous Viking Artifacts

The Vikings left an indelible mark on history, and their artifacts continue to fascinate us to this day. Here are some of the most famous Viking artifacts that have captivated historians and archaeologists:

Name Description
The Oseberg Ship An incredibly well-preserved Viking ship discovered in Norway in 1903. It dates back to 820 AD and was used as a burial ship for two wealthy women.
The Lewis Chessmen A set of intricately carved walrus ivory chess pieces found on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland in the 19th century. They date back to the 12th century and are believed to be of Norwegian origin.
The Mjölnir Pendant A small silver pendant in the shape of Thor’s hammer. It was discovered in Denmark and is believed to have been worn as a symbol of strength and protection.
The Sutton Hoo Helmet A unique helmet discovered in England in 1939. It dates back to the 7th century and is believed to have belonged to a high-ranking Anglo-Saxon warrior.
The Viking Swords of Ulfberht A series of swords found across Europe with the inscription “Ulfberht” on the blade. The swords were made with higher-quality steel than other swords at the time, and their origins remain a mystery.

These artifacts provide us with a glimpse into the lives of the Vikings and their culture. Their craftsmanship and design continue to inspire us today, and their historical significance cannot be overstated.

Viking Weapons and Armor

When it comes to Viking history, one cannot overlook the impressive weaponry and armor used by these fierce warriors. From axes to swords, the Vikings were known for their deadly weapons, and their armor was designed to protect them in battle.

The Viking axe was a versatile weapon, used for both chopping wood and hacking at enemies. The broadsword was another popular choice, featuring a sharp, straight blade that could easily slice through armor. The Viking spear was a simple yet effective weapon, providing the warrior with both reach and thrusting power.

Viking armor was designed to be lightweight and flexible, giving the warrior maximum mobility in battle. Chainmail was a common choice, consisting of interlocking metal rings that provided protection from blades and arrows. Leather was also used, often reinforced with metal studs for added protection.


No discussion of Viking weapons and armor would be complete without mentioning the shield. The Viking shield was typically made of wood, with a rounded shape that provided ample protection from attack. The front of the shield was often decorated with intricate designs, showcasing the warrior’s skill as a craftsman.

Viking shields were not just defensive tools, however. They could also be used as weapons, with the warrior striking his opponent with the shield’s edge to stun or knock them off balance.

In conclusion, the Vikings were a formidable force on the battlefield, thanks in large part to their skilled use of weaponry and armor. From axes to shields, these artifacts provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of the Viking warrior.

Viking Jewelry and Adornments

Viking culture is known for its exquisite craftsmanship, and this is no more evident than in their jewelry and adornments. Vikings used jewelry to indicate social status, wealth, and power, and many pieces often held symbolic importance.

Brooches, rings, and necklaces were popular among both men and women, and were often adorned with intricate designs and gemstones. The design of these pieces often drew inspiration from the natural world, with many featuring animal motifs such as snakes and dragons.

One of the most iconic pieces of Viking jewelry is the arm ring, worn by both men and women. These rings were often made of silver or gold, and functioned as a form of currency, signifying the wearer’s wealth and status. The rings were also used in Viking religious rituals, and were sometimes offered as sacrifices to the gods.

Viking Beard Rings

Another unique form of Viking jewelry is the beard ring. These rings were worn by Viking men to hold their beards in place and were often made of silver or bronze. The rings were decorated with intricate designs and were a symbol of virility and masculinity.

Aside from jewelry, the Vikings also adorned their clothing with decorative items such as belt buckles and clasps. These items were also highly decorated, often featuring intricate depictions of animals and mythical creatures.

Overall, Viking jewelry and adornments were a reflection of the culture’s skill and creativity. These pieces continue to inspire and captivate people today, with many examples on display in museums around the world.

Viking ships and shipwrecks

The Vikings were known for their impressive maritime skills and shipbuilding abilities. Their ships, known as longships, were designed for both speed and strength with the ability to navigate through shallow waters and withstand rough seas. These vessels were vital to the Vikings, allowing them to explore, trade, and raid faraway lands.

Viking ships were made primarily of timber, with overlapping planks forming the hull. They were built using a clinker technique, where the planks were lapped and riveted together. This design made the ships flexible, allowing them to adjust to the movements of the waves.

The most famous Viking ship is undoubtedly the Oseberg ship, which was discovered in 1903 in Norway. The ship was remarkably well-preserved, with intricate carvings and detailed decorations. It is believed to have been built in the 9th century and used as a burial ship for a wealthy Viking woman.

Another notable discovery is the Gokstad ship, which was unearthed in Norway in 1880. The ship was also well-preserved and is believed to have been built in the 9th century. It had 16 pairs of oars and could accommodate up to 32 people.

Shipwrecks have also provided archaeologists with valuable insights into Viking culture. In 1962, the remains of a Viking ship were discovered in the Roskilde Fjord in Denmark. The ship, which is believed to have sunk in the 11th century, was salvaged and reconstructed, becoming the centerpiece of the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.

More recently, in 2018, a Viking ship burial was discovered in Norway. The ship was buried along with the remains of a high-ranking Viking warrior, as well as several other valuable grave goods. The discovery sheds new light on Viking burial rituals and offers a glimpse into the status and wealth of Viking society.

The discovery of Viking ships and shipwrecks continues to provide invaluable insights into Viking culture and history. These remarkable vessels, along with their skilled crews, played a crucial role in shaping the course of Viking civilization.

Viking tools and household items

The Vikings were skilled craftsmen who produced a range of domestic tools, utensils, and household items. These artifacts provide valuable insights into their daily life, their customs, and their technological prowess. Let’s explore some of the most essential tools and household items used by the Vikings.

Viking Axes

The Vikings were renowned for their ferociousness in battle, and they wielded a variety of weapons to overpower their enemies. One of their most iconic weapons was the axe. Viking axes were versatile tools used for felling trees, chopping wood, and cleaving through armor. They were also a lethal weapon on the battlefield.

Viking Knives

The Vikings knives were small, but effective tools that were used for various household tasks, including food preparation and carving. Viking knives often had elaborately decorated handles, and they were considered valuable items that could be passed down from generation to generation.

Viking Grindstones

The Vikings used grindstones to sharpen their tools and weapons. These stones were typically made of sandstone and were operated manually. The Vikings preferred grindstones with a rough surface, as they believed they were more effective at sharpening their weapons and tools.

Viking Spinning Wheel

The Vikings were skilled weavers, and they used spinning wheels to create textiles and garments. The spinning wheel was a significant innovation that enabled them to produce yarn quickly and efficiently. By the 12th century, spinning wheels were widely used in Scandinavia and had become an essential part of Viking textile production.

Viking Drinking Horn

The Vikings were known for their love of mead and ale, and they often drank from drinking horns. These horns were made from animal horns and were often elaborately decorated with intricate designs. Drinking horns were a treasured possession, and some were even buried with their owners as part of their burial rituals.

Viking Combs

Viking combs were essential grooming tools used to keep their hair and beards in check. These combs were made from bone, wood, and antler and often had elaborate decorations carved into them. Viking combs were considered a status symbol, and some were even inscribed with runic inscriptions.

The artifacts mentioned above are just a few examples of the many tools and household items that the Vikings used in their daily lives. These artifacts are a testament to the Vikings’ innovative spirit, craftsmanship, and cultural identity. They offer us a glimpse into a bygone era and a culture that continues to fascinate us to this day.

Viking Burial Rituals and Grave Goods

The Vikings had a unique way of honoring their deceased. They believed that the afterlife was a continuation of this life, which meant that they buried their dead with items that were important and useful in their lifetime. This section will delve into the burial rituals practiced by the Vikings and the grave goods that accompanied their dead to the afterlife.

Viking burial practices varied depending on the location, status, and beliefs of the deceased. The most common form of burial was inhumation, where the body of the deceased was placed in a grave. The grave was often lined with rocks or wood, and the body was laid on a bed of straw or fabric. Sometimes the body was cremated, and the ashes were placed in the grave.

The grave goods that accompanied the deceased to the afterlife were carefully chosen and placed in the grave. The rich and powerful were buried with more goods than the poor. The goods included weapons, tools, jewelry, clothing, food, and even furniture. These items not only honored the deceased, but they also provided comfort and security in the afterlife.

The weapons buried with the deceased were often a symbol of their status and occupation. Warriors were buried with their swords, shields, and spears, while farmers were buried with their axes and plows. The jewelry buried with the deceased was not only decorative but also served as a form of currency in the afterlife.

The most famous examples of Viking grave goods are found in the Oseberg ship burial in Norway. The burial contained a well-preserved ship, which was filled with a vast array of goods, including textiles, furniture, weapons, and even a cart. The Gokstad ship burial in Norway is another famous example, which contained a ship, weapons, and tools.

The importance of grave goods to the Vikings is evident in the intricate and detailed craftsmanship of the items. The jewelry, in particular, is renowned for its intricate designs and expert metalwork. The artifacts discovered in Viking graves provide valuable insights into the culture, beliefs, and way of life of the Vikings.

Viking Runestones and Inscriptions

The Vikings were known for their unique writing system, which involved the use of runes. These runes were used to write inscriptions on a variety of surfaces, including stone monuments, weapons, and jewelry. The inscriptions often contained messages of love, death, and war, and provided valuable insights into the daily life and beliefs of the Vikings.

Viking runestones are large stone monuments that feature runic inscriptions. They were erected throughout Scandinavia during the Viking Age and were often used to commemorate deceased family members. Many of these runestones provide details about the deceased and their life, as well as the specific reason for the monument’s creation.

Example of Viking runestones Location Description
Denmark The Jelling stones are well-known Viking Age runestones erected in honor of King Harald Bluetooth’s parents, Gorm the Old and Thyra.
Norway The Tune stone is a runestone that tells the story of a man named Orm who went on a journey to the east and returned with great wealth.

In addition to runestones, the Vikings also used runes to create inscriptions on other objects. One of the most famous examples of this is the Rök runestone, which features the longest known runic inscription in stone. The inscription tells the story of a warrior named Varin, who fell in battle, and his journey to the afterlife.

“I, Varin, have run carved [these runes]. Father of Ingifast, the chieftain who was foremost in all the land. Sibbe, the priest, wrote them in memory of his kinsman; he was the most excellent scribe in Östergötland, when it was cut and engraved in the days of Harald Hilditonnar.”

Runestones and inscriptions provide a valuable insight into the Viking Age and are an important part of the cultural heritage of Scandinavia. They offer a glimpse into the daily life, beliefs, and traditions of the Vikings and continue to fascinate historians and archaeologists today.

Viking artifacts in museums

Viking artifacts have found their way into museums all around the world. These treasures offer a glimpse into the rich Viking culture and provide valuable insights into their way of life. So, which museums should you put on your bucket list to see these artifacts up close and personal?

Museum Name Location
The Viking Ship Museum Oslo, Norway
The National Museum of Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
The British Museum London, UK
The Swedish History Museum Stockholm, Sweden
The National Museum of Scotland Edinburgh, Scotland

Each of these museums boasts an impressive collection of Viking artifacts such as jewelry, weapons, and household items. And with new discoveries being made every year, there’s always something new to see.

Visiting a museum is not only a fun way to spend an afternoon, but it’s also a great way to learn about history and culture. So, whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a fun day out, be sure to check out these museums and the incredible Viking artifacts they hold.

Recent discoveries of Viking artifacts

The ongoing exploration of Viking history has led to some fascinating discoveries of Viking artifacts in recent years. These discoveries continue to shed light on the cultural practices and daily life of the Vikings.

1. The Gjellestad Viking Ship

In 2019, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Viking ship in Gjellestad, Norway. The ship was found buried in a burial mound and is believed to date back to the 8th or 9th century. This discovery is particularly significant as it is the first time a Viking ship has been found in Norway in over a century.

2. The Viking Silver Hoard

In 2020, a metal detectorist in Scotland stumbled upon a hoard of Viking silver jewelry and coins. The hoard is believed to date back to the 9th or 10th century and includes over 100 items. This discovery provides new insights into the Viking presence in Scotland during the Middle Ages.

3. The Tissø Sword

In 2018, a metal detectorist in Denmark discovered a Viking sword believed to be from the 10th century. The sword was found in a grave along with other burial items, including a battle axe and a shield. The discovery of the sword adds to our understanding of Viking weaponry and the role of swords in Viking society.

These recent discoveries highlight the ongoing importance of archaeological exploration and the potential for new discoveries in the future. As technology and techniques continue to evolve, we may uncover even more Viking artifacts that deepen our understanding of this fascinating culture.


Throughout history, the Vikings have captured our imagination with their remarkable achievements, from their seafaring prowess to their intricate craftsmanship. Their artifacts provide us with a glimpse into their daily lives, customs, and beliefs.

The importance of Viking artifacts

The discovery and preservation of Viking artifacts are critical in broadening our knowledge of this fascinating civilization. They offer valuable insights into everything from their military tactics to their agricultural practices.

The enduring fascination with Viking artifacts

The allure of Viking artifacts continues to captivate historians, archaeologists, and enthusiasts worldwide. From their weaponry and armor to their exquisite jewelry and adornments, these items reflect a society that was both skilled and artistic.

The ongoing exploration of Viking history

Despite the many artifacts that have been discovered, much of Viking history still remains a mystery. However, the ongoing excavation of Viking sites and recent discoveries provide hope that we will continue to gain a greater understanding of this remarkable society.

In conclusion, Viking artifacts are not just relics of the past. They are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the Vikings and offer us a unique glimpse into their rich culture and history.


How many Viking artifacts have been found?

The exact number of Viking artifacts that have been found is constantly evolving as new discoveries are made. However, thousands of artifacts have been unearthed so far, providing valuable insights into the lives and culture of the Vikings.

What are Viking artifacts?

Viking artifacts are objects and items that were created, used, or left behind by the Vikings during the Viking Age (approximately 793 to 1066 AD). These artifacts encompass a wide range of items, including weapons, jewelry, tools, household items, and even structures.

What are some famous Viking artifacts?

Some famous Viking artifacts include the Oseberg ship, the Lewis Chessmen, the Gotland Picture Stones, the Viking Age silver hoards, and the Treasures of Sutton Hoo. These artifacts have captivated scholars and the public alike with their historical significance and artistic beauty.

What weapons and armor did the Vikings use?

The Vikings used a variety of weapons and armor, including swords, axes, spears, shields, and chainmail. These weapons and armor were skillfully crafted and designed to provide both protection and offensive capabilities in battle.

What kind of jewelry and adornments did the Vikings create?

Vikings were known for their intricate and beautifully crafted jewelry and adornments. They created brooches, necklaces, arm rings, pendants, and elaborate pieces such as the famous Viking hoards found across Scandinavia and other Viking settlements.

What do we know about Viking ships and shipwrecks?

Viking ships were crucial to the Vikings’ maritime endeavors, such as exploration, trade, and warfare. The most famous Viking ship, the Oseberg ship, was discovered in a burial mound in Norway. Numerous other Viking shipwrecks have been found, shedding light on their advanced shipbuilding techniques.

What tools and household items did the Vikings use?

Vikings used a wide range of tools and household items for various purposes. These included farming tools, cooking utensils, weaving equipment, pottery, and everyday items like combs, spoons, and brooms. These artifacts provide insights into the daily lives and skills of the Vikings.

What can we learn from Viking burial rituals and grave goods?

Viking burial rituals were rich in symbolism and often accompanied by valuable grave goods. Through the study of these burials, archaeologists have gained insights into Viking religious beliefs, social hierarchy, and cultural practices associated with death and the afterlife.

What do Viking runestones and inscriptions reveal?

Viking runestones and inscriptions are an important source of information about Viking culture, history, and language. These inscriptions provide details about important events, warriors, rulers, and religious beliefs, allowing us to piece together a clearer picture of the Viking era.

Where can I see Viking artifacts in museums?

Viking artifacts can be found in numerous museums around the world. Notable collections include those found in the National Museum of Denmark, the British Museum, the Viking Ship Museum in Norway, the National Museum of Iceland, and the Swedish History Museum.

What are some recent discoveries of Viking artifacts?

Recent years have seen exciting new discoveries of Viking artifacts, expanding our understanding of the Viking era. These discoveries include the Gjellestad Viking ship burial, the Vale of York Hoard, the Jelling Dragon Stone, and the discovery of a Viking-age gaming board in Norway.