The south English county of Dorset is noted for being home to Thomas Hardy, the famed writer who used bucolic descriptions of the region in many of his novels, including Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Return of the Native.
It’s also the site of a mass burial ground for dozens of Viking mercenaries, decapitated en masse and placed in shallow graves a millennia ago.
The burial site features the bodies of 54 men who were decapitated and their heads piled to one side. It was discovered in 2009.
Carbon dating and isotope tests revealed the bodies were Scandinavian and dated from the 11th century, according to the BBC.
This coincides with the period in which Vikings were constantly attacking Anglo-Saxons on the English south coast. It is believed the men were captured during an attempted raid into the area.
The skeletons are all of males, with almost all aged from their late teens to around 25 years old, with a handful of older individuals.
The British Library is undertaking a multimillion-dollar campaign to purchase the St. Cuthbert Gospel, the earliest surviving intact European book known.
The work was created on the island of Lindisfarne, off the Northumberland coast, in the late 7th century and lay buried in the coffin of St. Cuthbert until it was moved to Durham Cathedral in England hundreds of years later.
“It is currently owned by the British Province of the Society of Jesus, which has offered the British Library first option to acquire the work,”according to the BBC, which added that the relic is valued at 9 million pounds, or $14.3 million.
The British Library wants to save the book for the nation.
One of just eight known examples of a silver penny made during the 10-month reign of Anglo-Saxon King Harold II – who would lose the pivotal Battle of Hastings in 1066 along with his life – was sold Thursday for nearly $3,000.
The 944-year-old coin was made by a so-called moneyer named Aelfwig during the 10-month reign (Jan. 5, 1066- Oct. 14 1066) of King Harold II, according to the Oxford Mail.
Harold, also known as Harold Godwinson, was killed after being shot in the eye with an arrow at the Battle of Hastings, won by William the Conqueror on Oct. 14,1066.
A rare penny made in England in 1066 – the same year as the pivotal Battle of Hastings – is scheduled to go on the auction block next month.
Made in Oxford, the silver coin is set to fetch up to £1,500, or about $2,400, during the Dec. 2 sale in London.