Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Vikings ‘ransacked Church gold for jewellery’

Pagan Vikings, who ransacked early Irish churches, melted and transformed sacred objects into jewellery.

Research by a University College Cork scholar has made new discoveries about the “Viking loot” from Ireland. 

He traced how sacred objects were turned into jewellery by Vikings in Norway, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. 

There are no plans, however, to seek to have returned to Ireland the crosiers that were turned into brooches and chalices that became jewellery boxes, ransacked over two centuries from the “soft targets” of the churches. 

However Dr Griffin Murray of the Department of Archaeology at UCC will tell an international Viking Conference in Shetland this week that he would like to see Irish treasures “taken by the armful” returned in the form of a temporary exhibition. 

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