The Viking Hoard from Moan, Orkney

Contributed by The Hunterian

The Viking Hoard from Moan, Orkney

This small hoard was found in Orkney in 1886. It contained glass and amber beads, a spoon and a Celtic harness mount recycled into a brooch by the Vikings, dating to the early 9th century. No traces of a body were found, so the person who owned these objects was probably cremated. We can't tell who it belonged to as it contains no oval brooches or "female" artefacts, but also no weapons, gaming pieces or "male" artefacts. It would have been quite a wealthy person as the brooch is from Ireland, the amber beads are from the Baltic and the spoon is a high status object as people mainly ate with their hands at this time.

The curator asked members of staff in the Hunterian Museum to nominate their favourite object for the BBC's "A History of the World" website. This object was picked by Jane Arden, a member of the Front of House team. Jane says "I picked this hoard because I love the rich colours and decorative detail. I have always had an interest in the Vikings and reading the Icelandic sagas. It is nice to see these objects from Orkney as evidence of the Vikings travelling around".

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Knowe of Moan, Orkney


9th century


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