Amateur hnefatafl board fragment from Toftanes, Faroe Islands


A broken plank of oak found at Toftanes in the Faroe Islands represents a surviving fragment of a game board hastily fashioned from an old serving plate. One side of the board bears a portion of a nine men morris court showing poor symmetry; the other side bears seven rows of an incised lattice measuring fourteen rows across, marked with a cross in the cell which would have been the center, assuming a square lattice of thirteen by thirteen rows was intended (meaning one too many lines produced an accidental fourteenth row on one side). Again, the meandering lines and poor overall symmetry strongly suggest a hasty or amateurish effort. Photos of this board fragment may be found here or in From Viking to Crusader, Ed. Else Roesdahl and David Wilson. New York: Rizzoli, 1992. ISBN 0-8478-1625-7. The Toftanes board is entry #321 in the catalog, appearing on p. 311.

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