JORVIK Viking Centre has welcomed the York Helmet, the best-preserved Anglo-Saxon helmet ever discovered, as part of a temporary display open to the public until 10 March.
The stunning artefact was unearthed in 1982 – just a few metres away from where it will be exhibited – following an excavation at the Coppergate Centre construction site which now houses the JORVIK Viking Centre.
It was discovered in a wood-lined pit containing stone, glass, iron, and antler fragments, and is thought to have been buried sometime during Viking rule in York (from AD 866).
Commenting on the significance of the helmet, Christine McDonnell, head of collections and archives for The JORVIK Group, said: ‘We found no Viking weaponry or significant armour during the whole of the Coppergate dig, despite evidence of nearly two hundred years of settlement here, so to find a helmet that was made a century earlier, but deliberately buried around the time the Vikings arrived, is quite remarkable – and the quality of its preservation makes it the best example ever discovered in this country’.
She added: ‘We’re very happy to have the helmet returning to Coppergate for a little while – a place where it laid buried for over 1,000 years.’
It is on loan from the Yorkshire Museum whilst it undergoes essential repairs.
Visitors to JORVIK Viking Centre can also enjoy a temporary year-long display starring the Silverdale Hoard, on loan from Lancashire County Museum Service.
For more information, or to book a ticket, please visit www.jorvikvikingcentre.co.uk.
Other Viking encounters to check out: As part of That JORVIK Viking Thing, a free online festival running from 19 – 27 February 2022, JORVIK Viking Centre is hosting a livestreamed talk about the Silverdale Hoard by Gareth Williams of the British Museum. The JORVIK Viking Festival, an in-person event, is set to take place from 28 May until 1 June 2022.