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A Complete Hnefatafl Set

Update 16 September 2020

Sometimes news flies under the radar, even for several years. Only now it has come to light that a complete hnefatafl set was among the discoveries metal detectorists found near Torksey, Lincolnshire.

Since the 1980s, they have been in search of clues of the Viking camp that was set up along the river Trent in 872. They found many objects, that scholars published about in The Antiquaries Journal.

Recently though, one of the metal detector enthusiasts visited the museum in Oslo and realised that the pieces he believed were ingots, are actually a complete set of hnefatafl gaming pieces. This has been confimed by curators at the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge.

Hnefatafl pieces from the Viking winter camp at Torksey (Source: © Dix Noonan Webb, used with kind permission)..

The set was sold at auction on Tuesday 15 September 2020 for GPB2,600 (See Dix Noonan Webb website (note that the board shown in the picture is not an original).

Read more:

About this story: the fine article in the Science Times.
About the Torksey camp: D. Hadley, J. Richards et al, ‘The Winter Camp of the Viking Great Army, AD 872-3, Torksey, Lincolnshire,’ in: The Antiquaries Journal, Volume 96 (2016), pp. 23-67. doi:10.1017/S0003581516000718.
View on river at TorkseyAbout the Torksey camp: ‘Virtual Reality and the Viking Winter Camp at Torksey,’ The Viking Age Archive (2017).
Re-enactors hnefataflAbout the hnefatafl games: ‘A Hnefatafl in Scotland,’ The Viking Age Archive (2018).

Featured image for this article is © Dix Noonan Webb, used with kind permission.

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