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from Langhills, Westerseat, Wick, Caithness

Postcard of Brooches.
© National Museums Scotland


These two brass oval brooches were found in a stone cist at the top of a mound at Langhills at Westerseat near Wick in Caithness. They are a type worn by Scandinavian women between 900 and 1000, and may be from a poorly recorded grave.

This picture shows the back of the brooches. They preserve faint textile impressions around the pin fastener. Both brooches are damaged on the edges.

Oval brooches are a very distinctive form of Viking ornament, worn by women in pairs on their shoulders to hold up a pinafore. They were mass produced in Scandinavia and widely copied.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-000-099-741-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 218
Date: 10th century
Between 900 and 1000
Material: Oval; bowl-shaped
Oval; bowl-shaped
What: Brooch
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Wick, Langhills
Scotland, Caithness, Wick, Langhills
Description: Oval tortoise brooch with faint textile remains around pin fastener, from Langhills, 10th century
Oval tortoise brooch from Langhills
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, p 68. 
  • 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 24-5. 
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