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Gaming board and playing pieces (reconstruction)

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original from Balnakeil, Durness, Sutherland

Gaming board and playing pieces (reconstruction)
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This picture shows a reconstruction of the bone playing pieces and gaming board buried in a Viking boy's grave at Balnakeil near Durness in Sutherland. He was buried with adult weapons and various objects, sometime between 850 and 900.

A number of playing pieces with flat bases and conical tops survived. Bone pegs pass vertically through them, and probably originally extended beyond the bottom in order to slot into holes in a gaming board, as pictured here.

The pieces were found in a cluster, suggesting that they were originally held in a bag which has rotted away. No obvious gaming board survived, but examples are known from other Viking burials and settlement finds.

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