A Viking Ship Graffito from Kilclief, County Down, Ireland

Finbar McCormick, Ole Kastholm

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Abstract

Deep ploughing near Kilclief, County Down, near the site of an early monastery, disturbed a large quantity of buried stones. One of these displayed a Viking-type ship with a furled sail. Decorative artwork on the stone suggests an 11th-century date. The ship displays close similarities to Viking ship graffiti in Viking Dublin and in the Scandinavian homelands. This article describes the decorated stone and suggests that it represents an Irish ship constructed in the Viking style. Documentary sources indicate that ships were being granted by an Irish over-king to a local king of this area at this time.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalThe International Journal of Nautical Archaeology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Dec 2016

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