Helgö Treasure

Date: Fifth to eighth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Sweden
Medium: Bronze
Description: In the 1950s, archaeological excavations on the island of Helgö (Sweden) uncovered three bronze objects: a scoop from Egypt (ca. 400–550), a seventh-century Buddha statue from northern India, and a crozier from Ireland (ca. 700–800; possibly with an abstracted representation of the biblical Jonah in the whale). When it was discovered, the Buddha had a leather strap attached to its neck and left arm, suggesting that its Viking owner had carried it as a talisman. The scoop may originally have been used during baptismal rituals among Coptic Christian communities.

It is uncertain which items came into Viking possession through trade and which through raiding, but they nevertheless stand as important evidence of the great distances the Vikings travelled.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 3, 4, 5
Image Credits: Historiska museet, Wikimedia Commons

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