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from Reay, Caithness

Postcard of Buckle.
© National Museums Scotland


This tinned bronze buckle was found, along with some human bones, and a number of other grave goods, eroding from the sand dunes at Reay in Caithness in 1912. It is from a Scandinavian woman's burial dating to between 900 and 1000.

The rectangular buckle has a bent metal plate attached, showing remains of tinning on one face. The plate has several rivet holes, probably for attaching it to leather.

Leather does not survive unless conditions are favourable, but metal fittings like belt buckles and strap ends are often found. Belts were mainly worn by Viking men but are known from a few women's graves.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-043-821-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 337
Date: Between 900 and 1000
Material: Bronze; rectangular; bent metal plate attached; showing remains of tinning on one face
Dimensions: 1.13" x 0.88"
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Reay
Description: Rectangular bronze buckle with bent metal plate attached, showing remains of tinning on one face, from Reay, Caithness
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 125-6. 
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