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Evidence for the Vikings in Scotland


Brief description of the evidence:

This is a detail from one end of the equal-armed brooch it shows the platforms, which held silver "bosses" and the triangular animal masks and is typical of early Viking period ornament. It has been dated to have been made somewhere between 875- 950 AD and is made of a copper alloy, with mercury and silver gilding.



Equal armed brooch
Orkney Islands Council
SCRAN ID No 000-000-144-233-C


Source of reference for the evidence:

Found on the SCRAN ( database after having performed a search for 'Vikings and 'Scotland', the exact record number was 191. (26/2/2003)

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Search for: '000-000-144-233-C'.


Significance of the evidence:

It is clear evidence of the Vikings in Scotland, as was found from a boat burial at Scar, Sanday, in Orkney. The fact that it was part of a boat burial also suggests that the Vikings actually settled in this area, and that were of a high social standing.

Equal-armed brooches such as the one in the picture are one of the types of brooch used by Viking women to fasten an outer garment. This may also suggest the presence of Viking Women in Scotland and in turn whole families.

It also gives us insight into the fashions of the Viking Age and whether or not they were similar through the vast territory that they occupied.


Further reading:

Owen, Olwyn & Dalland, Magnar, Scar: A Viking Boat Burial on Sanday, Orkney. East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 1999.