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Viking Objects

Reproduction Glass Kingpiece

This glass kingpiece is a reproduction based on a set found in grave 750 at the Viking Age settlement of Birka, Sweden. This piece would have been used to play hnefatafl, a board game which is known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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Viking Objects

Cast Lead-Alloy Gaming Piece (DENO-646EE0)

A complete cast lead-alloy early medieval gaming piece. This and similar pieces have also been interpreted as weights although the gaming piece interpretation is more secure. Pieces like this would have been used to play hnefatafl and/or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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Viking Objects

Copper-Alloy Gaming Piece (CM.652-2010)

A ninth-tenth century copper-alloy castle gaming piece with four thin protrusions, one in each corner, that give the piece its castle shape. This and similar pieces have also been interpreted as weights although the gaming-piece interpretation is more secure. Pieces like this would have been used to play hnefatafl and/or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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Viking Objects

Lead Gaming Piece (CM.574-2010)

A 9th- to 10th-century solid sub-circular based lead gaming piece with three projections on the top. This and similar pieces have also been interpreted as weights although the gaming piece interpretation is more secure. Pieces like this would have been used to play hnefatafl and/or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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Viking Objects

Reproduction Bone Dice

A pair of reproduction bone dice. Viking Age dice were usually rectangular rather than cubes, making it harder to roll the numbers on the ends of the dice. They do not follow the modern convention of having the numbers on opposite faces add up to seven. We do not know what games the people played with dice in this period, but it has been suggested that dice might have been used as part of playing board games like hnefatafl.

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Viking Objects

Lead-Alloy Gaming Piece (DENO-7DABAC)

Lead gaming pieces like this one are a common find throughout the East Midlands, including the Torksey Viking camp. Gaming pieces would have been used to play games such as hnefatafl or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played by Scandinavians throughout the Viking diaspora.

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Viking Objects

Glass Gaming Piece (LIN-C31CD7)

There are different possible interpretations of this Lincolnshire find from 2012. It could be a playing-piece as interpreted in the reproductions. Anglo-Saxon playing-pieces of shaped animal tooth are of similar dimensions, while glass counters were used both in the Roman period and taller glass playing men in the Viking period. This find is however considered by some archaeologists more likely to be a decorative setting from fine metalwork. The rather muddy glass colours suggest that the glasses used had already been recycled, and the clay core indicates careful use of a precious resource as well as a means of moulding on a decorated sheet of glass. The best parallels for this find, though none matches the form, are the oval cabochon pieces of dark blue and opaque white glass from the Anglo-Saxon monastery at Monkwearmouth, County Durham. Prominent coloured glass inlays are a part of the Insular tradition with its roots in Ireland. In Irish work the emphasis is on contrasting coloured zones and inlays, technically more complex and in a diverging tradition from this new find, though imitated elsewhere in English work.

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Viking Objects

Reproduction Glass Gaming Pieces

These are reproductions of a conical glass stud found in Lincolnshire, interpreted here as gaming pieces. However analysis of the original on which they are modelled suggests that it could also have been a glass fitting on decorative metalwork.

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Viking Objects

Lead-Alloy Gaming Piece (LEIC-F39697)

This and similar pieces have also been interpreted as weights although the gaming-piece interpretation is more secure. Pieces like this would have been used to play hnefatafl and/or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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Viking Objects

Reproduction Lead Gaming Pieces

Reproduction lead gaming pieces of a type commonly found across the East Midlands, including at the Torksey Viking camp. The reproductions are tin alloy while the originals were made of lead. These gaming pieces would have been used to play hnefatafl or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are games known to have been played by Scandinavians throughout the Viking diaspora. It has also been suggested that these might have been weights.

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Viking Objects

Lead Gaming Piece (PUBLIC-67DBE3)

This and similar pieces have also been interpreted as weights although the gaming-piece interpretation is more secure. Pieces like this would have been used to play hnefatafl and/or Nine Men’s Morris, both of which are known to have been played in Scandinavia in the Viking Age.

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