View Full Version : Viking treasure haul unearthed in Scotland

Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
10-12-2014, 05:46 PM

Viking treasure haul unearthed in Scotland

12 October 2014 Last updated at 08:20 ET
A haul of Viking treasure has been unearthed from a field in south west Scotland by an amateur using a metal detector.

Derek McLennan, a retired businessman from Ayrshire, made the find in Dumfriesshire in September.

In total, more than 100 items were recovered, including armbands, a cross and brooches.

Experts have said the discovery is one of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland.

Derek McLennan Derek McLennan made the find in Dumfriesshire in September
The items are believed to be worth a six-figure sum.

Mr McLennan last year uncovered Scotland's biggest haul of medieval silver coins.

Among the objects within the hoard is an early Christian cross thought to date from the 9th or 10th Century.

The solid silver cross has enamelled decorations which experts consider to be highly unusual.

The haul also includes possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered, with its lid still in place.

The pot is likely to have been around 100 years old when the hoard was buried in the mid 9th or 10th Centuries.

Stuart Campbell, National Museum of Scotland's head of Scotland's treasure trove unit, said: "This is a hugely significant find, nothing like this has been found in Scotland before in terms of the range of material this hoard represents.

"There's material from Ireland, from Scandinavia, from various places in central Europe and perhaps ranging over a couple of centuries.

Large Silver alloy Carolingian Lidded Vessel Large Silver alloy Carolingian Lidded Vessel
"So this has taken some effort for individuals to collect together."

Mr McLennan said he had dragged himself out of his sick bed to pursue his passion for metal detecting on the day he found the Viking treasure.

He had been given permission to search the site and after an hour he found a silver object, at first he thought it was a spoon but when he rubbed the surface he recognised the Viking decoration.

Further excavation unearthed more than a hundred items of silver and gold including a bird pen, metal vessel, armbands, cross and brooches. Experts say it's one of the most significant Viking hoards ever found in Scotland.

He said: "I dragged myself out of my sick bed because I had two friends that wanted to detect and I'm a bit of an obsessive.

"I unearthed the first piece, initially I didn't understand what I had found because I thought it was a silver spoon and then I turned it over and wiped my thumb across it and I saw the Saltire-type of design and knew instantly it was Viking.

"Then my senses exploded, I went into shock, endorphins flooded my system and away I went stumbling towards my colleagues waving it in the air."

Early Medieval cross Among the objects within the hoard is an early Christian cross thought to date from the 9th or 10th century
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs said: "The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind, with this wonderful addition to Scotland's cultural heritage.

"It's clear that these artifacts are of great value in themselves, but their greatest value will be in what they can contribute to our understanding of life in early medieval Scotland, and what they tell us about the interaction between the different peoples in these islands at that time.

"The Dumfries hoard opens a fascinating window on a formative period in the story of Scotland and just goes to show how important our

ALL things Viking interest me and saw this headline , then knew it would yield more information on those marauding warriors!
Proud to have that blood in my veins although they were also a barbaric and savage lot --so very unlike the calm, kind, and lovable me.. :laugh:--Tyr

10-13-2014, 05:01 AM
Have you been watching the Vikings series on the History Channel?

Ragnor is great.

Tyr-Ziu Saxnot
10-13-2014, 10:14 AM
Have you been watching the Vikings series on the History Channel?

Ragnor is great.
Yes, I have. That is the one show I never miss watching ....


Even my name here - Tyr-Ziu Saxnot



—“Tyr and Fenrir” by John Bauer (1911)

Tyr (pronounced like the English word “tear”; Old Norse Týr, Old English Tiw, Old High German *Ziu, Gothic Tyz, Proto-Germanic *Tiwaz, “god”[1][2]) is a relatively minor Aesir god in Viking Age Norse mythology. However, his name and attributes along with evidence from the study of comparative religion divulge to us that his Viking Age form is a severely diminished version of a divine figure who, in earlier ages, was the highest god of the Norse and other Germanic peoples. (By the Viking Age, this role had been usurped by Odin.)

Tyr in the Viking Age

While mentions of Tyr in Old Norse literature are few, he certainly seems to have been regarded as one of the principal war gods of the Norse, along with Odin and Thor. For example, in the Sigrdrífumál, one of the Eddic poems, the valkyrie Sigrdrífa instructs the human hero Sigurðr to invoke Tyr for victory in battle.[3] Another Eddic poem, the Lokasenna, corroborates this picture by having Loki taunt that Tyr could only stir people to strife, and could never reconcile them.[4]

The Lokasenna also mentions that Tyr lost one of his hands to the wolf Fenrir.[5] Indeed, Tyr’s one-handed-ness seems to be one of his defining attributes. The only full explanation of this handicap comes from the Prose Edda, which recounts how, when the gods endeavored to bind Fenrir for their own safety, the wolf refused to allow the suspiciously innocent-looking cord to be put around him unless one of the deities put his or her hand in his mouth as a pledge of good faith. Only Tyr was brave and honorable enough to comply with the beast’s request, and, when Fenrir found himself unable to break free of his fetters, he accordingly helped himself to the god’s hand.[6]

The tale of the loss of his hand suggests that Tyr was appealed to not only in matters of war but also in matters involving law, justice, honor, oaths, and upholding traditional sources of authority. As will be shown below, Tyr was certainly associated with these spheres of life before the Viking Age, and the nature of his handicap shows that he was still associated with these conceptions in the Viking Age, however much his importance had been lessened amongst the northern Germanic peoples who had not yet been Christianized by this time.

Tyr Before the Viking Age

Just as the Norse languages and religion are part of the larger Germanic family of languages and religious modes, so the Germanic languages and religions are part of the larger Indo-European family, which also includes Greek, Sanskrit, the Celtic and Romance languages, and several others besides, as well as the religious traditions practiced by the speakers of those languages. One can potentially learn much about an aspect of a religious tradition that’s an offshoot of the Proto-Indo-European parent tradition by studying the parent tradition itself.

Such is certainly the case with Tyr. Tyr is a continuation of the Proto-Germanic deity *Tiwaz, who is himself a continuation of the Proto-Indo-European god *Dyeus. Both the name *Dyeus and the basic Proto-Indo-European word for god, *deiwós, are variations of the root *dyeu-, “the daytime sky.”[7] *Dyeus was the archetypal “Sky Father” and likely the head of the Proto-Indo-European pantheon. After all, his name was effectively identical with the word for godhood itself. Other gods derived from him include the Greek Zeus and the Roman Jupiter (from *Dyeus Phater, “Sky Father”).[8] Fascinatingly, the modern English words “day” and “deity” both come from this same root.

The use of this same word to denote both the name of *Dyeus and “god” more generally survived into the Viking Age. As was noted above, Tyr’s name simply means “god,” and its use can be found in contexts that have nothing to do with Tyr with a capital “T.” For example, one of Odin’s bynames is Hangatýr, “God of the Hanged.”[9]

One of *Dyeus‘s roles was that of a guarantor of justice, one before whom oaths were sworn.[10] As we’ve seen, this role remained consistent up through the Viking Age.

Some of the spatiotemporal gaps between these two distant periods are filled in with evidence from the Germanic tribes of the first few centuries CE. In the Elder Futhark, the oldest runic alphabet, the T-rune, named *Tiwaz after Tyr’s name in the Proto-Germanic language that was spoken at the time, is in the shape of an arrow pointed upward toward the heavens, which is clearly emblematic of the god’s associations with both war and the diurnal sky. The Romans glossed *Tiwaz as “Mars” due to his military role, and a third century votive stone erected by a Germanic warrior in the Roman army features an inscription dedicated to a “Mars of the Þing” (the Germanic judicial/legislative assembly); surely this is addressed to Tyr.[11]

Also through his association with Mars, Tyr lent his name to the modern English “Tuesday,” from Old English “day of Tiw” (Tiwesdæg), which was in turn based on the Latin Dies Martis.[12]

Thus, however humble Tyr’s place in Viking Age religion and mythology, he was once as indispensable as daylight in the minds and hearts of the Germanic peoples.