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In the early 1800's, on a Hebridean beach in Scotland, the sea exposed an ancient treasure cache: 93 chessmen carved from walrus ivory. Norse netsuke, each face individual, each full of quirks, the Lewis Chessmen are probably the most famous chess pieces in the world. Harry played Wizard's Chess with them in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Housed at the British Museum, they are among its most visited and beloved objects.Questions abounded: Who carved them? Where? Nancy Marie Brown's Ivory Vikings explores these mysteries by connecting medieval Icelandic sagas with modern archaeology, art history, forensics, and the history of board games. In the process, Ivory Vikings presents a vivid history of the 400 years when the Vikings ruled the North Atlantic, and the sea-road connected countries and islands we think of as far apart and culturally distinct: Norway and Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, and Greenland and North America.

About the Author

Nancy Marie Brown

I like extremes: Science and sagas. Science and faith. History and fantasy. The Dark Ages and modern times. Fire and ice. My books combine extremes. They ask, What have we overlooked? What have we forgotten? What knowledge must not be lost? For 21 years, I worked as a science writer at a university. Now I write from a farm in northern Vermont, where the days are quiet and cool. Four Icelandic horses graze outside my office window. Every few years I take an adventure--and write a book about it.

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