The mystery of the missing viking helmets

K. Wester, D. A. Edge, T. P.D. Blackburn, C. B.T. Adams, F. Gjerris, J. T. Goodrich, I. A. Langmoen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BASED ON ARCHAEOLOGICAL finds and old Norse literature, this study describes the Scandinavian helmet tradition from the Bronze Age to the Viking Age, as well as the Viking culture, with special emphasis on weaponry and head protection. Contrary to what is commonly believed, the study shows that metal helmets must have been used very infrequently by the Vikings. In fact, only one Viking helmet has been retrieved in Scandinavia. Possible reasons for the widespread misconception that the Vikings wore helmets are discussed, and the responsibility for not correcting this misunderstanding is placed with the archaeological profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1216-1229
Number of pages14
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Archaeology
  • Head injury
  • Head protection
  • Viking Age
  • Weapons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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