These axes were found together in 2013 in a boat in Lough Corrib, and date to the 11th or early 12th century. These classic ‘Viking’ axes almost certainly belonged to Irish warriors, showing how widely the Irish adopted them.
Nearly all warriors at the Battle of Clontarf would have used spears – large spears (such as those shown here) for hand-to-hand fighting, and smaller spears for throwing at the beginning of the battle.
3. Killaloe Brooch
This silver penannular brooch is based on a traditional Irish form, which was later adopted and influenced by the Vikings. This example, although earlier than Brian Boru, is from Killaloe, Co. Clare, site of Brian’s main residence.
This iron slave chain and collar was found in a dugout canoe near a crannóg in Ardakillen Lake, Co. Roscommon in the mid-19th century. Slavery existed in most early medieval societies, including Ireland. In Dublin, however, it was a very profitable commercial venture.
5. The Lough Derg Sword
Recovered from Lough Derg, near Curraghmore in Co. Tipperary in 1988, this sword comes from the heart of Brian Boru’s powerbase. Although it is slightly later than Brian’s time, the Lough Derg Sword is a very fine example of an 11th century sword. It is made of iron and decorated with silver niello and copper alloy.
The Shrine of the Stowe Missal dates mainly to the mid-11th century and is believed to have held an eighth century Latin mass-book. This image from the side of the shrine shows a warrior figure holding a Viking type sword, with an animal on either side.
9. Arrowheads Excavated in Dublin
This selection of arrowheads is from excavations carried out by the National Museum of Ireland at various sites in former Viking Dublin. Arrowheads such as these would have been used by Sitric’s forces at the Battle of Clontarf.