Viking poo

The photo below is an exact replica of a 1000-year-old Viking poo found beneath the city of York, or Jorvik as the Vikings called it.


This poo and real ones (not replicas) can be sampled (held rather than eaten) at the Archaeological Museum in York, called Dig. We took the children there today and it’s an amazing place. The museum is very much hands-on with staged archaeological digs representing different periods in history.



The museum is housed in this quite magnificent church:



How is it that I’ve only just discovered this place? If you come to York with kids, then Dig is an absolute must-see museum.

I am also, right now, for the first time in my life, sampling some mead. Mead is wine made with honey rather than fruit. People who know me know that I’m a teetotaller. Well, I’m a teetotaller except when I’m not and not is right now because I absolutely had to try the stuff from Robin Hood tales. It’s actually quite disgusting. Or at least it was before I ended up pissed on my small glass which is nearing the end and starting to taste palatable. My first impressions were that it tasted like honey which has gone off and this is fairly accurate given than it is essentially fermented honey. But now that my senses are impaired and my inhibitions floating away, it’s very soft and sweet with a viscous texture and actually rather nice.


10 responses to “Viking poo”

  1. At the risk of stirring up passionate debate about Richard III (who seems to be having a nice quiet media Christmas) I do so hope that he is reintered at York Minster.

    Nobody is qualified to say where he would have liked to be laid to rest but it seems pretty logical to me that this Yorkist King of England would at the very least be impressed to be suitably honoured in this way, there being not an inch to spare in Westminster Abbey. Apparently.

    Having been unjustly vilified for centuries, I feel strongly that we owe it to him to think of his wishes and certainly he would not be at all displeased with York as his final destination.

    All good wishes, Rachel. I signed up because I love your posts from York. I live in Epsom, by the way, so have no geographic bias other than loving the City of York. I plan to visit as soon as possible, holding fire only until I know if I have a special grave to visit whilst I’m there.

    PS – the link in my head is York – not poo!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Mary. Kind Richard’s final resting place has been discussed a couple of times on my blog. Perhaps you have already seen? In case not, here and here.

    It is true that there is some rivalry between Leicester and York over which city should be his final home. Leicester has the claim that his body was found there through the hard work of the University; while York argues that this is where he would have wanted to be. I don’t really have strong views either way and don’t feel that I have the right to have them.

    York is a wonderful city. I’m sure I will cry when we leave next month. It has been 6 months I will never forget. I’m sure you will love it too when you eventually make your trip.

  3. Very impressive posts and apparently written by a pissed teetotaller to boot! Did they sell replicas of the Viking poo as souvenirs?

    • No, there were no poo souvenirs but that is a very good idea. I think they are missing a sales opportunity.

      I made the wise decision to have Ben proof read my post before publishing it last night and let me tell you it was riddled with mistakes 🙂 More than usual that is.

      • Thank goodness for smart husbands! 🙂 I agree that the museum is missing a sales opportunity. I bet the poos would sell like hotcakes … in a manner of speaking. 😦

  4. As a died in the wool sceptic, I don’t believe the Vikings have got anything to do with the emergence of poo. It’s just alarmist talk, fabricated by alchemists, intended to make Saxons nervous. Mind you, if you drink mead then you’ll believe anyhing. 🙂

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