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1,000-year-old Viking sword discovered in Cork city

Archaeologists have found a Viking weaver’s sword that is 1,000 years old at the ancient Beamish and Crawford brewery site in Cork.

A little over 30 centimeters in length, constructed completely of yew, and decorated with human faces carved in the Ringerike style of Viking art, the well preserved wooden sword may be generally dated to the late 11th century.

It was one of several artifacts of “exceptional significance” discovered during recent excavations at the South Main Street site, according to consultant archaeologist Dr. Maurice Hurley. Other discoveries included the bedding material, intact ground plans for 19 Viking houses, and remnants of central hearths.

The complete range of data demonstrates that Cork was in the same cultural realm as Dublin and Waterford, and that its growth was very comparable, he added. “For a very long time, it was thought that the biggest Viking effect was on Dublin and Waterford.

In Wood Quay [IN DUBLIN], a few items resembling the weaver’s sword have been discovered, but none have the same level of craftsmanship and preservation as this one, according to Dr. Hurley, who also remarked that it was “quite miraculous” how the various wooden objects had survived underground in such pristine condition.

The pointed end of the sword is used to pick up the threads for pattern-making; it was most likely employed by women to pound threads into position on a loom. It’s beautifully ornamented; the Vikings ornamented even practical objects, he added.