These were discovered during excavations at Cloghermore Cave, a long, narrow underground system 6kms east of Tralee, which yielded evidence of a Viking burial. Among the grave goods were a number of domestic items such as gaming pieces, weaving tools, beads and combs. The gaming pieces are from a Viking board game called Hnefetafl. The game was played on a wooden board, and it centred on a king and his defenders trying to escape from a larger force. Holes on the board accommodated pegged pieces such as the one here, allowing the game to be played on the move.

Chosen by:
Sarah O’Farrell,
Collections and Documentation Officer

On view:
Main Gallery

Listen to County Archaeologist Dr Michael Connolly, excavator of Cloghermore Cave here

This podcast was part of Ceiliuradh Chiarrai – Celebrating County Kerry’s Heritage and aired on Radio Kerry in 2003.

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gaming pieces