Spearhead, buckle and comb

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from Lyking, Orkney

Postcard of Spearhead, buckle and comb.
© National Museums Scotland

Spearhead, buckle and comb

This iron spearhead, iron buckle and bone comb were found in a mound at Lyking in Orkney. They are from a Scandinavian burial, but were found with burnt bones, suggesting a cremation rather than the more normal inhumation burial.

The round-backed comb was not burnt on the pyre, but added to the grave at the time of burial. It is broken and incomplete. Similarly, the spearhead is in poor condition, but the buckle is well preserved, and not dissimilar to modern examples.

Viking men were often buried with their weapons, together with a range of objects to accompany them after death. This represents a very simple grave with only the barest of necessities for the afterlife.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-672-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0036: Kiloran Bay Viking Burial (multimedia essay)
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 213
Date: Between 900 and 1000
Material: Bone; round backed comb
Iron; imperfect
Dimensions: 2.25" L
What: Buckle
Comb / portion
Where: Scotland, Orkney
Scotland, Orkney
Scotland, Orkney, Sandwick, Lyking
Description: Spearhead
Comb / portion
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 59, 144, 150. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, p 80. 
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