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News: Exhibition of Viking artefacts found in the far north

Exhibition of Viking artefacts found in the far north
Dec. 15, 2008
fascinating items go on show for the first time in far north at newly-opened visitor centre

A fascinating display of Viking artefacts which gave been found in Caithness has been put on show for the first time in the far north.

The items are showcased in Caithness Horizons, Thurso’s newly opened visitor centre, which is housed in the revamped town hall. Among the objects loaned from the National Museums of Scotland is a bronze Viking brooch found at Thurso Bay in the early 19th century.

The display also includes finds from a Viking burial at Reay, comprising an iron boss or centrepiece of a circular wooden shield, a sickle, a knife and an iron axe.

Discovered in 1926, the grave contained a Viking man lying with his head on a raised stone, surrounded by the possessions he would need in the afterlife.

It is based on a sketch made at the time of the discovery of the grave.

Also displayed is a bronze pin used to fasten a cloak, a whetstone and two flints. Curator Estelle Quick said: “We are really excited to have these local artefacts in the museum.

“The items from the grave are mainly made from iron, which means they have corroded and become very fragile.

“One item had to be returned to Edinburgh for further conservation before it could be displayed.”

She added: “The way they have been presented is extremely striking, as they are laid out exactly as they would have been found.

“The objects offer a real insight into the world of the Vikings and demonstrate their sophisticated craftsmanship.”

She said the finds displayed at the centre and at Dunbeath Heritage Centre offer a rare opportunity for people to see first-hand the evidence of the rich Viking heritage of Caithness.

Source: Press & Journal