Any archaeologist or historian can tell you the tools we use say a lot about our culture and the roles of the individuals who use them. I mean, why do you think mustachioed millennials are so particular about those new-fashioned Macintosh computers? So archaeologists digging up their corpses will know they had the best taste in personal computing devices, duh. Hopefully, the owners of some newly discovered artifacts in Denmark will likewise be pleased with the results archaeologists have drawn from their prized possessions.
Archaeologists excavating a site at one of Denmark’s (totally awesome) Viking ring fortresses unearthed an artifact that has revealed an unknown glimpse into the daily lives of Vikings and shows that Viking culture might have been more sophisticated than previously known.
The archaeologists were investigating the remains of the fortress gate at the massive ring-shaped Borgring fortress on the Danish island of Zealand when they came across an odd lump of soil that contained several hand-sized objects.
After analysis, the objects were revealed to be a set of sophisticated wooden and stone hand tools in a wooden case – a bona fide Viking toolbox. According to archaeologist Nanna Holm, the discovery of the tools confirms theories that the Borgring fortress was inhabited full-time:
The toolbox is the first direct indication of life that we’ve found around the fortress. I’m very excited to get a closer look at these objects and get a better understanding of what type of craftsman we’re dealing with.
The nature of the tools found at the site suggests that the Vikings were skilled craftsmen and jewelers and might have even had specialized tradesmen:
The CT-scans revealed that the toolbox probably contained some spoon drills and a drawplate, which the Vikings used to produce thin wire bracelets. Spoon drills were used to drill holes in wood. My first thought is that this looks like something belonging to a carpenter.
Those Viking craftsmen and jewelers were no doubt no less able to bash your head in with their seriously wicked Viking war shields, which were recently discovered to have been used in a much more offensive fashion than was previously estimated. The discovery of this toolbox confirms other recent discoveries that suggest Vikings weren’t merely bloodthirsty head-bashers and village pillagers, but were also quite technologically advanced for their time.