Image:A well-preserved Viking shield
Morten Pedersen  /  AP
Danish archaeologist Peter Mandrup removes the cover of what is believed to be a well-preserved Viking shield from the 10th century which they found during excavations near Viking-age castles, some 62 mileswest of Copenhagen.
updated 9/18/2008 10:09:57 AM ET 2008-09-18T14:09:57

Danish archaeologists say they have found a well-preserved Viking shield that is more than 1,000 years old.

Archaeologist Kirsten Christensen says the wooden shield has a diameter of 32 inches. It was found Tuesday during excavations near Viking-age castles, some 60 miles west of Copenhagen.

Christensen said Thursday it is the first time such a shield has been found in Denmark. She said the moist soil in the area is "ideal to preserve wood."

The fir shield is believed to date from the late 10th century.

Danish Vikings launched bloody raids along the coasts of Western Europe about 1,000 years ago and even occupied parts of England.

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