From around A.D. 800 to the 11th century, a large number of Scandinavians Vikings left their homelands to seek their fortunes on the east coast of England. These seafaring warriors ransacked different coastal sites from Northembria to East Anglia. In 866, they invaded the city of York which, after being renamed Jorvik, became their capital.
Most of their constructions was made of wood, hence there are not so many vestiges left of their occupation. Vikings invaded the East coast of England after crossing the North Sea on long wooden ships. One of their traditions was to bury these ships in the ground to create a burial site for their dead.
While excavating a site under the Cathedral of York, a team of archaeologists have recently found a complex system of 12 locking compartments, carved directly in stone. They believe each compartment contains a Viking shield and that each shield has a symbol engraved on it. By accessing these 12 symbols, they believe they could reveal the location of a ship burial site where Ragnar Lothbrok, one of the most famous Viking warrior, is buried alongside his undiscovered treasure of inestimable value.
Each locking mechanism consists of two sliders. For each mechanism, a diagram has also been carved in the stone which, we believe, provides the key to unlock the compartment. It is essential to open these compartments by finding the correct position of the sliders, as trying to break the mechanism itself to open the compartment would damage its content and would prevent the archaeologists from revealing the code engraved on each shield.