Unacceptable items

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Some items are not acceptable at some or all of our events.

Guidance on this is given in the list of unacceptable and inauthentic items (.pdf), which should be followed at all times.

This list will be updated periodically, and just because something isn't on the list doesn't mean it's fine for you to use, whether a medieval halberd or a kalashnikov, so if in doubt ask one of the authenticity team for guidance.

Modern items

The following list details items which are considered entirely modern and anachronistic.

Unacceptable item Rationale Date for phaseout
Visible modern items Modern items (e.g. glasses, watches, cigarettes etc) should not be used while in kit and during show hours. If absolutely necessary (e.g. using biro and clipboard to fill in an expenses form), it should be done out of view. long-standing
Vikings Society awards Society awards are not accurate Viking period pieces.
Earrings or piercings All earrings and visible piercings should be removed or covered.
Dyed hair, tattoos & varnished nails Tattoos, obviously varnished nails and dyed hair should be covered.
Modern footwear Should not be worn with authentic costume.
Excessively bright colours Colours are restricted to those available in period with natural dyeing. If in doubt, contact the authenticity team for advice.
Chrome-tanned leather Period leather should be veg-tanned, and not dyed in bright colours or shiny in appearance.

Personal kit

The following list details items which are considered “personal kit” (worn, but not general wargear or LHE equipment) and which are not evidenced for the period and geographical regions the Vikings Society covers (i.e. the British Isles c.800-1100).

Unacceptable item Rationale Date for phaseout
Rough/unworked antler handles, including the “crown” Finds of antler handles are invariable finished and either left plain or decorated at least with ring-&-dot or cross hatching long-standing
Tall boots (i.e. higher than the sole is long) The majority of period footwear consists of low boots or ankle shoes. Taller boots are at most mid-calf height; but not higher than the sole length.
Two-hanger ‘kidney’ pouches There is no evidence for these items, they are modern re-enactorisms.
Plaid and tartan There is no evidence for combinations of wide checks and narrow lines which is characteristic of modern plaids.
Belt-worn holders for drinking horns There is no evidence for these items, they are modern re-enactorisms. Unacceptable since May 2015
Brooches worn for decoration
Trefoil brooches worn by men
Animals skins worn as mantle/cloak
Animal tails as decoration on belts, helmets etc
Large/multiple necklaces worn by men When found in graves, male necklaces usually consist of no more than 3 beads and a single pendant.
Men wearing animal teeth or antler tines as pendants

Non-pagan Saxon women wearing tooth pendants

Animal tooth pendants may only be worn by Early period (West Stow) pagan Saxon women or children, and should be a single tooth at a time – not matched pairs etc. Beaver teeth may be bound in gold, but otherwise NO precious metal (i.e. no silver mounts) – teeth are either fitted with a bronze mount or simply perforated.
Antler or Horn tip toggles on any item There is no evidence for these items, they are modern re-enactorisms. Unacceptable since Oct. 2015
Hats with wide fur trims Wide fur trim (2”/50mm or greater) on hats is a much later fashion and generally Mongolian.
All-metal ‘S’ knives This is an adoption of an Iron Age razor by modern smiths as a simple knife to make but with no evidence of use in our period.
“Troll Cross” pendant Invented in the late 1990s by Kari Erland and not a period Viking pendant. Immediate – from Jan. 2022
One piece horn combs without bone stiffeners These are modern items that would not be possible to make during the period. Horn combs should have bone side plates as stiffeners. to be phased out by?
Brooches as male neck closures No apparent evidence for this in graves or manuscripts. Closures appear to be a combination of “bead & loop” or a tied/drawstring fastening.


LHE equipment

Designs and patterns

Restricted period specific items

Period kit type restrictions