Archaeologists discover 1,200 yr old Irish Viking trade center

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London, May 8 : Archaeologists have discovered one of the Vikings' most important trading centres in Ireland, which is estimated to be 1,200 years old.

According to a report in BBC News, a total of 6,000 artefacts and a Viking chieftain's grave has been discovered at the site, which is located at Woodstown in County Waterford.

It was discovered during archaeological excavations for a road by-pass for Waterford city, which was founded by the Vikings.

The Irish government has said that the settlement is one of the most important early Viking age trading centres discovered in the country.

Its working group, which includes archaeologists from Ireland's museum and monuments service, said that the newly discovered site was of international significance and showed the community was wealthy and sought to remain at Woodstown permanently.

Almost 6,000 artefacts and a Viking chieftain's grave have been discovered at the site, which was established by the year 860.

The grave contains a sword, shield and silver mark.

According to the working group's report, the discoveries of silver and lead weights showed it was apparent that Woodstown falls firmly into the Scandinavian tradition.

"There can be little doubt that many, if not all of the settlement's occupants were either Scandinavian, or had strong insular Scandinavian associations," the report said.

"The Woodstown site provides a rare opportunity to study a Scandinavian settlement of this period outside Scandinavia itself," it added.

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