Viking Hnefatafl King circa 710-760 A.D.

 
     
     
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I have been fortunate to be able to acquire enough original Viking Hnefatafl gaming pieces to construct an entire playing set!

The piece shown above:  A Viking Embedded 'Sceattas' Gaming Piece made of lead, 13.29 grams; 17.93 x 11.19 mm., the rare 'king' piece for Hnefatafl. A circular weight with edges, with a mid 8th Century embedded silver Secondary Sceattas coin - Series J, Type 85. Large head right. R. Bird on cross between two annulets., M 293-5; S 791; circa 710-760 A.D. Found Lincolnshire 2005.  Extremely rare.

Thanks to Time Line Originals at www.time-lines.co.uk for the following description of Hnefatafl:

"Hnefatafl" translates into English as "The King's Chequered Table".  The game was played between two players on a wooden board marked out into 121 equal squares, arranged in 11 horizontal and 11 vertical rows.  In the centre of the board sits the King on a special square signifying a royal castle.  Around him are placed 12 defensive pieces.  The attacking pieces are arranged around the edges of the board in formations of six on each side making a total of 24.  The purpose of the game for the defence is to place the King in one of the corner squares, which are also designated as castles.  The purpose of the game for the attacker is to surround the King on all four sides, preventing him from moving.

 

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