Old Norse word víking means ‘expedition overseas.’ In the sagas ‘to go viking’ (fara í víking) implies raiding or piracy. During the Viking Age, warriors from Scandinavia looted coastal cities all across Europe. Their booty included coins, silver and golden items. Norsemen often tore away precious ornaments from church books, reliquaries and garments and then chopped them up with their axes in order to divide the treasure between the warriors. Vikings often hid the spoil to keep it safe. Several such hiding-places were never recovered by those who originally buried the hoards. Amateur metal detectorists endeavor to recover them. In UK, The British Museum runs the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which helps to report the finds as required by the Treasure Act.
Photo: Viking hoard, 10th century. Courtesy Mararie. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike 2.0 Generic Licence.