Seminar Template

Evidence for the Vikings in Scotland


Brief description of the evidence:

The Lewis Chess pieces which were found on the Island of Lewis, off the Outer Hebrides in 1831. There are 5 pieces known to have been made in Scandinavia and they are the earliest chess pieces ever found. They were carved form ivory and they are very well known as pieces of evidence.



Five chesspieces of walrus ivory
National Museums of Scotland
SCRAN ID No 000-190-001-117-C


Source of reference for the evidence:

Use your ATHENS account to log in.

Search for: '000-190-001-117-C'


Significance of the evidence:

The fact that these are so old makes them very important. They are known to have been made in Scandinavia so are good evidence for the existence of Vikings in Scotland, They are also rather beautiful and show that games, such as chess were being played as early as the Viking era. It is always interesting to find evidence relating to recreational activity. They are in very good condition and depict Scandinavian kings and warriors. The detail on them is incredible.