Object of the Month: August 2015

The Viking Gold

On long term loan from Argyll & Bute Museums

gold with script large best

Found near Lochan Treshtil, Kilcheran, Lismore.  Awarded by the Treasure Trove Panel to Argyll & Bute Council in 2004.

This Viking Age Link Plate, 2cm in length, in high-quality 22-carat gold with traces of copper and silver, formed part of an Arm Ring, worn as a display of wealth.  In its clipped form, it may have been used as currency.

It is housed in a special armoured display case funded by a grant from Museums Galleries Scotland.

Viking Gold 001

This is the only Viking Age (800-1000 AD) artefact to have been discovered on Lismore, but their presence on the island, possibly as settlers, is attested by several Norse place names (Frackersaig, Birgidil, Ramsay, Bernera, Pladda, Musdile) and one Gaelic/Norse placename (Baligrundle).  The fact that Gaelic names (which preceded the Norse) predominate on Lismore suggests that the number of Viking settlers may have been limited, although they may have controlled the island by force.