Damian Walker

Personal Web Pages

A Hnefatafl Game

Hnefatafl reconstruction

Friday, 4th October 2013

Birka was a Viking trading settlement on the island of Björkö in Sweden. It's famous for its archaeological riches. A huge cemetery was excavated which yielded a wealth of grave goods. In grave no. 886 was found a set of gaming pieces and the remains of a wooden board.

The pieces form a complete set: 25 pieces, one a slightly different shape from the rest, would have comprised a king and his eight defenders on one side, and sixteen attackers on the other. Of the board, only the metal rim remained, the wood having rotted away.

This model completes the board, but the textures are in a rough condition. A speculative pigment has been quickly added to some of the pieces, and a hasty wood textures has been applied to the board itself, but more work needs to be done for this to be a convincing reconstruction of the game.

Due to its unfinished state, this model has not yet been featured on the site Hnefatafl: the Game of the Vikings.