Viking Silver Bracelet Found in Reykjavík

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Viking Silver Bracelet Found in Reykjavík

By Benedikt Jóhannesson
Viking ship

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Last summer archaeological research took place at the so-called Althingi-spot, thought to be the area where the first settlers in Iceland built their houses. In the mud, a silver bracelet was found. The piece was quite delicate, besides being surrounded by very hard soil.

Archaeologists contacted the conservator at the National Museum of Iceland and rather than digging the bracelet out, it was decided to take out a whole chunk of earth, with the ring inside. The lump was x-rayed to check the condition of the metal. The photos were used when the mud was cleared from the bracelet.

The mud was then carefully cleared off the bracelet and then the object was much clearer than the x-ray showed. Some decorations became visible, a line on the surface and some pattern that looks a bit like small faces or masks in Barro-style, a Viking age style from the 10th century.

The bracelet is made from silver, approximately 6 cm high and 1.5 cm wide. It is only about 0.5 mm thick. The bracelet will now be preserved as best possible, so that it will not corrode further, but corrosion is much faster in the atmosphere than buried in the ground.

Some photos of the bracelet can be found here.

A very nice photo is here.

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