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from Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, Inner Hebrides

Postcard of Weight.
© National Museums Scotland


This lead weight with a gilt bronze cap is one of seven weights found in a man's grave at Kiloran Bay on Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides. He was buried with a range of Scandinavian weapons and tools. He was probably a trader as well as a warrior.

The mount is from a piece of Irish metalwork, probably a brooch with a curved hoop, which has dictated the shape of this weight. The ornament consists of interlaced animals. The weight is the third lightest in the set, and weighs 37.1 grams.

Anyone involved in trading and selling in Viking Age Scotland would have needed a portable set of scales and a set of weights. Precious metal would have been placed in one pan, and various combinations of weights in the other.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-703-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 779
Date: 9th century
Between 875 and 925
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Colonsay, Kiloran Bay
Description: Lead weight with zoomorphic ornamented Celtic style plate on upper surface from a Viking grave found at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, Argyll, 9th century
  • Graham-Campbell, J. Viking artefacts. A select catalogue. London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1980, no. 307. 
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 118-22. 
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, pp 48-61, esp. p 56. 
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