Iceland

Archaeologists dig at the site of the first ship burial, where the human and dog bones, the ship and sword were found. You can see how close the waters of the fjord are in the background.

Three Boat Burials of Viking-era Chiefs Found in as Many Days at Icelandic Site

Archaeologists have announced that they found three Viking-age boat burials in quick succession on a fjord along Iceland’s northern coast this week. They believe they may find more Viking burials in...
Reconstruction of a Viking meeting by Jonathan Hart

Vikings Used Sherwood Forest Long Before It Was Known as the Hideout of Robin Hood

A team of archaeologists has made a significant discovery at an ancient monument which served as a Viking meeting point in Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, England. Archaeologists stated that the...
Depiction of Surtr – a powerful fire giant mentioned in the Viking age.

A Viking Flame Reborn: Myths and History Hidden in the Depths of Blackener's Cave

Forged by the mythological fires of Muspell, the Blackener's Cave lives up to its name as a cavern of fiery mystique. The volcano to which the cave is attached has long been silent, but Blackener...
Drinking Horn by Brynjólfur Jónsson of Skarð, South Iceland – 1598

Icelandic Drinking Horn Changes Our Historic Understanding of Saint Olav

After the Reformation, Norway's Olav Haraldsson was no longer supposed to be worshipped as a saint. An Icelandic drinking horn offers some clues on how the saint's status changed over time. Drinking...
Highland along Kjolur, Iceland

The Kjolur Route: Haunted Highway and Ancient Viking Shortcut in Iceland

Positioned on a desert upland in the highlands of Iceland, the Ancient Kjolur Trail gives a new meaning to the word “desolation.” This lengthy, winding thoroughfare, that leads visitors across an...
"Alchemist Sędziwój" by Jan Matejko: alchemist, and pioneer chemis.

Icelandic Magic, Witchcraft, and Sorcery and the Tragic Case of Jón Rögnvaldsson

Traditions relating to the dark and fascinating practices of witchcraft in Iceland are as old as the first human settlements on the island. Countless people paid for these practices with their lives...
The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Viking Discovery of Iceland

The Vikings’ next step out into the Atlantic – the discovery and settlement of Iceland – is one of the best documented events of the Viking Age. Medieval Icelanders were fascinated by genealogy, not...
The 1,000-year-old Viking sword discovered in Iceland.

1,000-Year-Old Viking Sword Discovered in Iceland by Men Hunting Geese

A group of hunters tracking geese in Skaftárhreppur, South Iceland, brought back more than just birds on their latest trip – they found a 1,000-year-old Viking sword lying completely exposed in the...
A scene of a Viking on a horse from New Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

How the Vikings Started the Worldwide Distribution of Gaited Horses

Some horses have special gaits, which are more comfortable for the rider than walk, trot or gallop. Now, a study by an international research team under the direction of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo...
Sverd I Fjell, Hafrsfjord

Bronze Swords of Hafrsfjord Tell a Legendary Tale of a Powerful King and a Great Battle

Long ago, the inhabitants of Norway lived in warring tribes and villages. It was not until the 872 Battle of Hafrsfjord that the fractious clans of habitable Norway were united under a single ruler...
Haunting and beautiful Middle-Earth-like elves by artist

Lessons from the Hidden World: Icelanders believed in elves, but it is probably not what you think

Icelanders believe in elves. They refuse to begin major construction projects unless they consult with elves first. They lobby their politicians on behalf of elf colonies. They run “elf schools” and...
The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

The Icelandic Kvöldvaka: Cultural Phenomenon in the Twilight Hours

Iceland’s strong love of literature is a source of amazement to many people. In an era of declining book sales around the world, this small North Atlantic island continues to publish and sell more...
Huldufolk: Supernatural Creatures Hiding in Iceland

Huldufolk: Supernatural Creatures Hiding in Iceland

In Icelandic folklore, the Huldufólk (meaning hidden people ) are like elves. These beings are also said to be very similar to human beings, and live in little houses in the rocks. Although the...
Two Viking-era brooches found in the grave with the Woman in Blue.

Was the Woman in Blue One of the First Settlers of Iceland?

A recent analysis of the remains of a woman who lived in the Viking era sheds light on the earliest settlers of Iceland. Her short life hadn't been recorded by any written resource, but her bones...
‘Leif Eriksson Discovers America’ by Christian Krohg (1893).

Years Before Columbus: Leif Erikson, His Life and His Voyage of Adventure to the New World

Many people still believe that the person who “discovered” America was Christopher Columbus, forgetting the fact that there were already indigenous people living there. An additional fact that is...

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