Archaeologists announce discovery of ancient Viking board game piece

by Daniel Payne · Feb 6th, 2020 5:10 pm

Archeologists on the island of Lindisfarne in the United Kingdom recently announced an exciting find after unearthing what they said was a 1,300-year-old gaming piece from an ancient Viking board game.

The artifact is associated with the game of hnefatafl, or "king's table," which was played by Vikings up until around the 11th century. The game's popularity is well-documented, but the rules for playing it have been lost to time.

The "sheer quality" of the piece, one researcher said, indicates that its owner was living an "elite lifestyle" on Lindisfarne. The isle, also called "Holy Island," has historically been known as an important outpost of Celtic Christianity. The gaming piece has been dated to the time of the first Viking raid on England and Ireland, around 800 AD.


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