Famous Lewis chessmen originally from Iceland?

A chess piece recently discovered at Siglunes, Iceland could explain the origin of the mysterious Uig chessmen associated with the island of Lewis, off Scotland: they could originally have come from Iceland.

A chessman newly dug up at an archaeological dig at Siglunes is remarkably similar to the famous Lewis chessmen and could mean they came from Iceland instead of from Norway, as usually assumed.

The Lewis chessmen (or Uir chessmen) were found on the island of Lewis in 1830, RUV reported. They are thought to be from the 12th Century; and therefore the oldest modern-style chess pieces to have been found anywhere in the world. The Lewis chessmen are among the most prized exhibits at the British Museum. The piece found at Siglunes at the end of July looks extremely similar.

The chessman is believed to be from the same period and exhibits similar workmanship and personal likeness the Lewis carvings.

A conference is scheduled for the 19th August in Skalholt, South Iceland, where international delegates will discuss the Lewis chessmen and examine their newly-discovered Icelandic cousin.

(Photo: taken from RUV.is)

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