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1,000-year-old Viking toolbox dicovered in mysterious fortress

Scientists have dicovered a 1,000-year-old Viking toolbox in a mysterious, ring-shaped fortress in Denmark, containing a set of extraordinary iron tools that may have been used to make ships, houses and jewellery.

The fortress is thought to have been constructed under orders of the 10th-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth.

Archaeologists excavated at least 14 iron tools from a gatehouse building of the fortress. Only traces remain of the wooden chest that once held the tools, researchers said.

The tools may have belonged to a craftsman who occupied a workroom in the gatehouse until it collapsed in the late 10th century, they said.

They identified several sophisticated hand tools and other metal items.

These include a set of ‘spoon drills’ used to make holes in timber; a pair of tweezers or small pliers; a ‘clink nail’ used to fasten wooden planks together; four chain links attached to an iron ring; and a drawplate to make metal wires that may have been used in jewellery.

This is the first time an entire set of tools has been discovered in a Viking workplace, said Nanna Holm, a curator at the Danish Castle Centre, who is leading the excavations of the ringed-shaped fort.

“Not many tools are found in Scandinavia, but the others found before this have all been left for the gods, by being put down in a swamp,” Holm told Live Science.

The newfound tools are special because they were found where the craftsman would have been working, she said.
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