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Evidence for Hnefatafl

22 pieces of evidence found.

Id DLP.Evidence.821
Type Artistic depiction
Location 60°53'14.59"N, 16°42'56.61"E
Date 1080-01-01 - 1099-12-31
Rules Square board with central and four corner squares marked, two players.
Content Gs 19 Ockelbo Runestone, depicting two men holding drinking horns sitting across from each other on opposite sides of a square board with the central space and the corner spaces marked. Schulte 2017: 13–16. Date: Berger 1998: 279
Confidence 100
Ages Adult
Genders Male
Source Berger, F. 1998. 'Das Spielbrett auf dem Stein von Ockelbo.' Archäologische Informationen 21(2): 279–281., Schulte, M. 2017. Board games of the Vikings— from hnefatafl to chess. Maal og Minne. 1–42.

Id DLP.Evidence.1107
Type Artifact
Location 59° 8'6.20"N, 3°19'23.84"W
Date 0800-01-01 - 0825-12-31
Rules 7x7 board, marked central space.
Content Hnefatafl game board from Bucquoy point, Orkney. Found in a settlement, in a context dated to the early ninth century. 7x7 grid, central intersection of the board marked with a circle. Steckx 1973: 677, fig. 1, pl. 1.
Confidence 100
Source Sterckx, C. 1973. 'Les trois damiers de Buckquoy (Orcades).' Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest 80:675–689

Id DLP.Evidence.1108
Type Artifact
Location 59° 8'6.20"N, 3°19'23.84"W
Date 0825-01-01 - 0925-12-31
Rules 7x7 board, central space marked.
Content Hnefatafl stone game board from settlement at Buckquoy, Orkney. 7x7 grid of with the central intersection of lines marked with a circle. Sterckx 1973: 682, pl. 2.
Confidence 100
Source Sterckx, C. 1973. 'Les trois damiers de Buckquoy (Orcades).' Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest 80:675–689

Id DLP.Evidence.1109
Type Artifact
Location 59° 8'6.20"N, 3°19'23.84"W
Date 0825-01-01 - 0925-12-31
Rules 7x7 board, central space marked.
Content Hnefatafl stone game board from a settlement at Buckquoy point, Orkney. 7x7 grid with central intersection of lines marked with a circle. Other circles and lines on the object may be an earlier or later addition and likely not related to the game. Sterckx 1973: 682, fig. 2, pl. 3.
Confidence 100
Source Sterckx, C. 1973. 'Les trois damiers de Buckquoy (Orcades).' Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest 80:675–689

Id DLP.Evidence.1110
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules One player with 8 pieces plus king piece, other player with 17 (16? 18?) pieces.
Content Set of glass Hnefatafl game pieces from grave 750 at Björkö. Eight dark green pieces with a dark green king, seventeen of light blue-green. Found with the fittings for a wooden board which did not survive. Arbman 1943: 268-271, fig.218.49; Arbman 1940: pl. 147.1 Date from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 85.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag.

Id DLP.Evidence.1111
Type Contemporary text
Location Iceland
Date 1000-01-01 - 1270-12-31
Rules Tafl name.
Content "Hittosk Æsir á Iða-velli, þeir -es haorg ok hof há-timbroðo; afla laogðo, auð smíðoðo; tangir skópo ok tól goerðo. Teflðo í túni teitir váro; vas þeim vettugis vant or golli: Unz þriar kvómo Þursa meyjar amatkar miaok or Iaotun-heimom.´Translation: The Anses met on Ida-plain, and raised high places and temples, setting forges, and fashioning treasures, shaping tongs and making tools. They played at tables in the court and were happy, they lacked not gold till there came three most loathsome Tittan maids from Giant-land." Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 194.
Confidence 100
Source Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1112
Type Contemporary text
Location Iceland
Date 1000-01-01 - 1270-12-31
Rules Tafl name.
Content "Þar numo eptir undrsamligar gollnar taoflor í grasi finnask þærs í ár-daga áttar haofðo." Translation: There shall be found in the grass wonderful tables (Murray 1951: 60 translates as 'table-men'; I.e., playing pieces), their own in days of yore." Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 201.
Confidence 100
Source Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press., Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1113
Type Contemporary text
Location 58°58'45.93"N, 3° 0'2.88"W
Date 1100-01-01 - 1225-12-31
Rules Tafl name.
Content "Tafl em-ek aorr at efla." Translation: I am strong at tafl play." Text from Orkneyinga Saga: Vigfusson and Powell 1883a: 276.
Confidence 100
Social status Nobility
Genders Male
Source Vigfusson, G. and F. Powell. 1883a. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume II. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1114
Type Contemporary text
Location Iceland
Date 0900-01-01 - 1100-12-31
Rules Tafl name.
Content Text from Rígsþula: "sund ok tafl" Translation: "[They learned] swimming and tafl. Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 241.
Confidence 100
Ages Child
Genders Male
Source Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1115
Type Contemporary text
Location 59°21'17.77"N, 5°16'42.94"E
Date 0800-01-01 - 0899-12-31
Rules Pieces called hunns.
Content Text from Hrafnsmál by Þorbjörn Hornklofi: "Hrafn: Miaoko ero reyfðir róg-birtingar þeirs í Haraldz túni húnom verpa" Translation: "Raven: They are well cared for, the warriors who move the hunns in Harald's court (Murray 1951 translates as "move the hunns," Vigfusson and Powell translate as "cast the dice.") Murray 1951: 60; Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 257.
Confidence 100
Source Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press., Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1116
Type Artifact
Location Viking Greenland
Date 1100-01-01 - 1199-12-31
Rules King piece, allied with other pieces, pieces can be taken.
Content Text from Atlamál: "Í kné gengr hnefi, ef húnar þverra." Translation "The king is mated if the pawns are taken." Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 342. Murray (1951: 60) interprets this as in the sense of "the hnefi is often beaten when the hunns are taken."
Confidence 100
Source Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press., Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1117
Type Contemporary text
Location Iceland
Date 790-01-01 - 1413-12-31
Rules Game name, king piece, allied pieces, other pieces attacking king and allies, brown and white pieces
Content Text from Riddles of Gestumblindi, askedof King Heidrek: "Hverjar ro drósir es um sínn dróttinn vápn-lausar vega: enar iaorpo hlífa alla daga, enn enar fegri fara? Hneftafl" Translation: " whoa re the maids that fight weaponless around their lord; the brown ever sheltering, the fair ever attacking him? hneftafl." Vigfusson and Powell 1883: 90.
Confidence 100
Social status Royalty
Source Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1118
Type Contemporary text
Location Iceland
Date 790-01-01 - 1413-12-31
Rules King piece, name of game.
Content Text from Riddles of gestumblindi, asked of King Heidrek: "Hvat es þat dyra es drepr fé manna, ok es iarni kringt: horn hefir átta en haofuðekki ok...?" Translation: "What is that beat, all girded with iron, which kills the flocks, it has eight horns, but no head, and... The húnn (bear) or head piece in the game of hneftafl (fox and geese)." Murray (1951: 61) gives the answer as "the hnefi or head-piece in hnefatafl.
Confidence 100
Social status Royalty
Source Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press., Vigfusson, G and F. Powell. 1883. Corpus Poeticum Boreale. The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. Volume I. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Id DLP.Evidence.1119
Type Artifact
Location 60°23'27.89"N, 5°19'20.86"E
Date 1332-01-01 - 1413-12-31
Rules 13x13 board, center space marked, markings in three central squares of fourth and tenth columns, marking in central square of fourth row.
Content Hnefatafl board from Bergen, Period 6 (1332-1413). Wooden board, broken in half but both pieces remain. 13x13 grid, central square is marked alon with the central three squares in the fourth and tenth columns and the central square in the fourth row. Lund 2010: 27, fig. 4.3.
Confidence 100
Source Lund, G. 2010. Spill I middelalderens bysamfunn. En arkeologisk analyse av spillmateriale fra Bergen. Våren: Universitetet I Bergen.

Id DLP.Evidence.1120
Type Artifact
Location 60°23'27.89"N, 5°19'20.86"E
Date 1198-01-01 - 1248-12-31
Rules 13x13 board.
Content Wooden Hnefatafl board from Bergen, Period 4 (1198-1248). Broken roughly in half, 13x6 preserved, portion of merels pattern on opposite side is consistent with a 13x13 board. No indication of markings in the squares. Lund 2010: 26-27, fig. 4.2.
Confidence 100
Source Lund, G. 2010. Spill I middelalderens bysamfunn. En arkeologisk analyse av spillmateriale fra Bergen. Våren: Universitetet I Bergen.

Id DLP.Evidence.1121
Type Artifact
Location 59° 8'26.88"N, 10°15'11.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0900-12-31
Rules 13x13 board, markings in second, fifth, ninth, and twelfth squares in second and fourth rows.
Content Wooden Hnefatafl game board from the Gokstad Viking ship burial. Broken; four complete rows of 13 squares with markings in second, fifth, ninth, and twelfth squares in second and fourth rows. The portion of the Merels board on the opposite side that is preserved suggests that it was originally a 13x13 board. Nicolaysen 1882: pl. 8.1
Confidence 100
Source Nicolaysen, N. 1882. Langskibet fra Gokstad. Christiania: Alb. Cammermeyer.

Id DLP.Evidence.1122
Type Artifact
Location 58°31'15.10"N, 16°31'21.65"E
Date 0790-01-01 - 0900-12-31
Rules King piece.
Content Set of amber gaming pieces from a boat grave at Skamby. 23 amber gaming pieces, one is larger than the others. Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 93–97, fig. 11. Authors claim it is an undifferentiated set meant to be used by one player, but differences in color among the pieces could suggest they are differentiated.
Confidence 100
Source Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Id DLP.Evidence.1123
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules King piece, uneven sides, one with at least fourteen the other with at least four.
Content Set of glass game pieces from grave 523 at Björkö. One king piece and fourteen others which are blue glass with dark purple spirals, the other four are dark purple. Arbman 1943: 158; Arbman 1940: pl. 148.1; dates from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 85.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag., Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Id DLP.Evidence.1124
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules King piece.
Content Set of game pieces from grave 644 at Björkö. Two king pieces and nineteen smaller pieces. Arbman 1943: 225; Arbman 1940: pl. 148.2, date from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 86.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag., Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Id DLP.Evidence.1125
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules King piece, at least 26 other pieces.
Content Game piece set made from bone from grave 624 at Björkö. One king piece with 26 other pieces. Pieces may have once been painted to distinguish between them. Arbman 1943: 206; Arbman 1940: pl. 149.3; date from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 86.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag., Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Id DLP.Evidence.1126
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules King piece, at least fourteen other pieces.
Content Set of amber gaming pieces from grave 524 at Björkö. King piece, with fourteen other pieces, not differentiated. Arbman 1943: 161; Arbman 1940: pl. 149.1; date from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 86.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag., Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

Id DLP.Evidence.1127
Type Artifact
Location 59°19'52.69"N, 17°33'10.06"E
Date 0900-01-01 - 0970-12-31
Rules King piece, at least six pieces on the king's side, at least ten on the attacker's side.
Content Set of elk horn game pieces from grave 986 at Björkö. King piece, six other pieces with engraved lines like the king. Ten other pieces not engraved. Arbman 1943: 413; Arbman 1940: pl. 150.2; date from Rundkvist and Williams 2008: 85.
Confidence 100
Source Arbman, H. 1940. Birka I. Die Gräber. Tafeln. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-Aktiebolag., Arbman, H. 1943. Birka I. Die Gräber. Text. Uppsala: Almquist & Wiksells Boktryckeri Aktiebolag., Rundkvist, M. and H. Williams. 2008. 'A Viking Boat Grave with Amber Gaming Pieces Excavated at Skamby, Östergötland, Sweden.' Medieval Archeology 52: 69–102.

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