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Thread: Islamic Ring Found in 9th Century Swedish Viking Grave

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    Islamic Ring Found in 9th Century Swedish Viking Grave

    Engraved Ring Suggests Viking, Islamic Contact

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—The recent examination of a ring excavated from a ninth-century grave in the Viking trading center of Birka, Sweden, more than 100 years ago suggests that Vikings had contact with Islamic civilization. The silver ring is adorned with a violet-colored piece of glass (long thought to have been an amethyst) engraved with an inscription that reads “To Allah” or “For Allah” in Arabic. A scanning electron microscope revealed little sign of wear on the ring, indicating that it had few owners before it was buried in the grave of a Viking woman. Ancient texts mention contact between Scandinavians and members of Islamic civilization, but such archaeological evidence is rare. “Being the only ring with an Arabic inscription found at a Scandinavian archaeological site, it is a unique object among Swedish Viking Age material,” the scientists, led by biophysicist Sebastian Wärmländer of Stockholm University, wrote in the journal Scanning, reported by Science News. To read more in-depth about the archaeology of Vikings, see "The Vikings in Ireland."
    [Source] (via Archaeology.org)





    I'm no archaeologist or an expert on Viking history, but there surely must be other reasons why such an item didn't receive much physical wear... Worn around the neck rather than on the fingers (thus less contact with variable surfaces)? Kept carefully as an ornament for trade rather than a personal item?

    It is a nice looking ring nonetheless.

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    Gilt copper alloy cross brooch: equal-armed; cast, chip-carved, Anglo-Carolingian style animal in profile in each arm; central, flat, oval black glass setting inscribed in two lines of early Arabic script, `sha'a allah', or 'tubna lillah' (or `bismillah'?); silver domed-head pseudo-rivet in a lobe at the inner and outer corners of each arm.
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    might be christian from Jerusalem. Tubnah lilah means that they "repented in the name of god". Bismillah translates into in "the name of god"
    Last edited by Arbogan; 03-18-2015 at 05:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    Engraved Ring Suggests Viking, Islamic Contact



    [Source] (via Archaeology.org)





    I'm no archaeologist or an expert on Viking history, but there surely must be other reasons why such an item didn't receive much physical wear... Worn around the neck rather than on the fingers (thus less contact with variable surfaces)? Kept carefully as an ornament for trade rather than a personal item?

    It is a nice looking ring nonetheless.
    Because Vikings traded as far as the black sea, ......many ( hundreds) an arabic coin or jewellery has been found in scandinavia


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    Quote Originally Posted by vettor View Post
    Because Vikings traded as far as the black sea, ......many ( hundreds) an arabic coin or jewellery has been found in scandinavia
    Yes, for example in the Traaen silver hoard found in 1906 in Rollag, there was a combination of jewelry and 128 silver coins. Of the silver coins most (103) were from Germany, but the second largest group were Arabic (11). These Arabic coins were from Kufa, Iraq. For an example of the jewelry see my avatar of a silver buckle.

    The oldest Arabic coin found in Norway was discovered in Hurum in 2011. It is a dirhem from Mohammadiyyah, Iran printed in 805.
    arabisk mynt.JPG

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    Interesting!

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