Isle of Man Viking brooches go on display for first time

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Two intricately decorated Viking age bronze brooches found by metal detectorists on the Isle of Man have gone on display for the first time.

The 1,000-year-old pieces, which are about 10cm in length, date back to about AD 950.

The ornate oval brooches feature silver wire decorations and depictions of birds.

Manx National Heritage said the items filled in a “missing piece” of the island’s Viking history.

After being discovered in 2018, the items were sent to York Archaeological Trust for specialist conservation work before being returned to the island earlier this year.

Although brooches known to have been worn by Scandinavian men from the period have been found on the island, until now no brooches associated with women had been discovered.

Belt buckle and decorative bead alongside the brooches
Image caption,A belt buckle and decorative bead were also found alongside the brooches

Curator of archaeology Allison Fox said the find filled in that gap in the island’s recording of the era.

She said: “These type of brooches have really been a bit of a missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle for Viking age history and archaeology in the Isle of Man.

“When there’s been a map of the Viking world that shows treasure or travel or trade or legacy the Isle of Man always has dots on it.

“But when there’s a map to show these brooches, there’s been no dots on the Isle of Man, which has been really odd.”

The items were found by Craig Evans and John Crowe in December 2018 and declared treasure at an inquest in July the following year.

Mr Evans said the pair “knew straight away that our discovery was very special”.

It was “very rewarding” that the items were now on display “for everyone to see and enjoy”, Mr Crowe added.

The brooches have been put on display in the Viking Gallery at the Manx Museum in Douglas.

This article was originally published in BBC News on December 18, 2021.

Published by Jules William Press

Jules William Press is a small press devoted to publishing the best about the Viking Age, Old Norse, and the Atlantic and Northern European regions. Jules William Press was founded in 2013 to address the needs of modern students, teachers, and self-learners for accessible and affordable Old Norse texts. JWP began by publishing our Viking Language Series, which provides a modern course in Old Norse, with exercises and grammar that anyone can understand. This spirit motivates all of our publications, as we expand our catalogue to include Viking archaeology and history, as well as Scandinavian historical fiction and our Saga Series.

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