Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Viking Gift That Keeps On Giving

These are Swedish scientists at Chalmers in Göteborg. You'll have to imagine British ones. Photo by: Jan-Olof Yxell/

Have you heard about the Viking artifact they found in Britain many years ago?

It is, in fact, a Viking turd.
Here's what went down. (Yes, these jokes just write themselves...)

During excavation prior to construction of bank vaults at Lloyd's Bank in York, England in 1972, archaeologists found a mineralized Viking Age human stool or “coprolite.”

Analysis of the find produced knowledge about what they euphemistically refer to as “the producer of the stool” on the Archaeology of York website. Scientists discovered that the Viking had eaten “cereal bran and other unidentified organic matter. ..[that]confirms other forms of evidence which suggest that diet at this time included meat, fish, shellfish, cereals, fruit and nuts.” 

On a more “ooh, gross!” note, they could also see that the individual had a good amount of intestinal parasites. You can find out more using the links below.

Here’s a list (in pictures) of significant finds in York.

Here's more information about the coprolite.

But wait, the story gets even better! 

The coprolite (don’t say I never taught you a new word) was accidentally dropped and broken into pieces during a school visit to York's Archaeological Resource Centre. Read about this titillating event on The Guardian Newspaper’s website.

Still with me? All humor aside, check out the tiny writing tablets they also found in York. Very cool!


  1. First off I have say oh so very gross!! :o) But hey they did the same thing in Rome where they dug out the poop to be examined. Just glad it is not my job!! :o)

    1. I guess there's nothing stinky after 1100+ years but it kind of makes you think what you're, um, leaving behind...(I'm telling you, these jokes really do write themselves!)