:: The Vikings of Bjornstad ::
National Museum of Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland - 2012
The Museum's Web site
These photos are courtesy of Bjornstad members Kay Tracy and Tory Parker. The introduction and captions are theirs as well:

"Our trip this summer (2012) included several sites in Iceland, including museums, both in large fancy buildings, and open air. The National Museum of Iceland houses many items from the history of this country. The wing we spent the most time in was, of course, the Viking age. There are a couple of images from the transitional time into the medieval time window, (1200’s onward).  They kindly allow photography as long as you do not use flash.  Some museums allow it, some do not; asking first keeps you from getting thrown out… Apologies for some of the cheesy camera work; the automatic camera has fits with cases and odd lighting.  Consider that a heads up for practice time before your museum trips!   All items shown are housed in the early era part of the museum, AKA the Viking age, unless otherwise indicated."


Thor - or Christ?  The small bronze (about 2.5 inches tall) statue thought to be from around the year 1000. Found in the early 1800’s in the northern town of Eyjafjordur. See the text at right.

The accompanying sign.

A folding knife.

Fish hooks, and stone net or line weights. The hooks appear to be iron.

Fishing gear.

A closer view.  Fishing spear or small harpoon, this item tapers for apparent insertion into a handle The small item in the lower corner is the top and eye of a fish hook.

A trefoil brooch, two turtle brooches, a necklace and a pin.

A description of the grave goods

An array of personal grave goods: bone comb fragments, loom weights, sharpening stone, needle blanks in bone on the left, and beads, arm rings, small ornaments in metal/bronze on the right.

Close up of the “turtle brooches”, some belt mounts, and a twisted wire neck ring in bronze.

A badly focused image of coins found in Iceland

Detail of bone comb fragments, beads, silver bracelet.  The small item behind the bracelet is a humidity device in the case. Note the cut marks in the body of the comb indicating the teeth being cut after assembly.

Candle spikes in iron, and small bowl lamps, one in stone, one in metal with a possible spike for mounting on the wall.

Farm implements, shovels with wood and iron tips, possibly for use in cutting turf.

A selection of household items: loom weights, shears, whale bone weaving beater, a set of “ice skates” and whetstones.

A selection of bronze trefoil and round brooches, round and triangle pendants, and a solid round short pin brooch.

A reproduced in situ layout of a man’s grave, buried with his horse, and the grave goods he was placed with.

The horse's skeleton.

Woman’s grave with her items.

An infant’s grave, found not far from the woman’s grave.

More turtle brooches, Urnes style filigree beast pins, crystal stone ball ornaments.

Hack silver, bits and scraps.

Trade scales and weights (small stone and metal items in the foreground).  The museum scales are held with linen fiber cords - there was apparently no chain found for hanging the scales. They are hinged for folding.

Weapons and iron items, spear points, shield boss, axe head.

Box brooches.

Beads, and a spear point below. Unidentified items above.

Views of a warp-weighted loom.

The description and a closer view of the loom.

Weights from the warp weighted loom.

Another view of the loom.

A mitten made from wool fabric sewed together.

Mittens and sock made from woolen fabric cut and sewn into the garment as needed.

Some designs have been around awhile.  The connected mittens are a long tradition!  Both the mittens and sock are again made of cut and pieced woolen cloth, the sting appears to be plaited.

The woven “shaggy cloak” of the sagas.

More bits of fabric, possibly sock bits. The line of the weave is very clear.

Identified as gaming pieces.  (This museum also holds the Bobby Fisher/Boris Spassky table)

Carved wood from a church, NOT VIKING AGE, included for transitional reference in the art.

Viking age axe heads and sword in the background

Nålebinding sock fragment.

Nålebinding mitten.  To the left of the mitten is a needle holder, needles.

NOT VIKING AGE  halberds, daggers and scabbard chapes from the Middle Ages.

The accompanying text.
  ©   For information contact Jack Garrett at info@vikingsofbjornstad.com