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Lewis - Viking Ivory Chessmen - Scotland

The sand dunes of Uig in the west of Lewis are well-known as the burial site of an amazing hoard of chessmen. Crafted out of walrus ivory and whale teeth, the exquisitely carved chess pieces were discovered in 1831.

The chessmen were probably carved at Trondheim in Norway in the 12th centrury and may have been buried at Uig when the Western Isles were under Norse rule. Some 93 pieces from 4 or 5 sets here survived. You can see them at the Museum of Scotland (11 pieces) and the British Museum (82 pieces). See the Lewis Chessmen at the Museum of Scotland and British Museum.