9th Century Ring ‘To Allah’ Found in a Swedish Grave

9th century Arabic ring found at Scandinavian site. (Image: Twitter)
9th century Arabic ring found at Scandinavian site. (Image: Twitter)

A ring was dug up over 100 years ago from a 9th century Swedish grave. It is now suggested that Vikings may have traded with Islamic civilizations, in this case the Seljuks of Asia Minor.

The silver ring was found in a woman’s grave, which is dated about AD850, by excavators in Sweden.

The ring was found at the Viking Age trading center of Birka. It has a violet colored stone with the words “To Allah” or “For Allah” in Kufic Arabic.

Kufic script Image: Wikimedia Commons

Kufic Arabic script. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

There are ancient texts that do say Scandinavians and members of the Islamic civilization did have encounters, about 1,000 years ago. But it is rare to find supporting evidence.

Using networks, Scandinavians traded fancy glass objects from Egypt and Mesopotamia as early as 3,400 years ago.

9th-century ring

9th century Arabic ring found at Scandinavian site. (Image: Twitter)

It is possible that the sea-faring Vikings could have travelled to that region to access the goods themselves, rather than to wait for the goods to come from the north using the trade network, experts said.

Analysis of the ring also supports this theory, as it shows it was barely used.

Researchers have said that it proves the Arabic-crafted piece of jewelry had few or no owners before it was in the possession of the Viking woman.

A report in the scientific journal Scanning states: “The ring may therefore constitute material evidence for direct interactions between Viking Age Scandinavia and the Islamic world. Being the only ring with an Arabic inscription found at a Scandinavian archaeological site, it is a unique object among Swedish Viking Age material.”

It will be interesting to see what else they find at this dig site.

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