Record

Spearhead and knife

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from Balnakeil, Durness, Sutherland

Postcard of Spearhead and knife.
000-000-099-769-C
© National Museums Scotland

Spearhead and knife

This iron spearhead and knife were found in a Viking boy's burial at Balnakeil near Durness in Sutherland in 1991. He was buried with adult weapons and various objects on a bedding of feathers and straw, sometime between 850 and 900.

Both objects are very corroded. The spearhead was narrow with a lozenge cross section, and was probably for a light throwing spear. Fragments of the iron socket also survived in the find, together with traces of the wooden spear.

The shape of the knife is barely visible under the corrosion. A fragment of a finger bone survives in the corrosion diagonally across the area of the blade, suggesting that the knife was placed in the boy's hand. Knives are often found in children's burials.


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Online ID: 000-000-099-769-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  
Date: Between 850 and 900
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References:
  • Graham-Campbell, James and Batey, Colleen E. Vikings in Scotland. An Archaeological Survey. Edinburgh: University Press, 1998, pp 140-2. 
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