Late 10th Century Danish Horse Harness
 
In 2012 a Viking Age tomb was discovered in Fregerslev near Hørning in Jutland, Denmark. Read more here. Excavation ended in May this year. The most spectacular find that has come to light is a magnificent horse harness, that must have belonged to a person of notable wealth and rank. 

A small number of comparable finds are known, like e.g. from Thumby-Bienebek near the former Viking settlement of Hedeby, close to Schleswig, northern Germany. Scroll down this page to see replicas thereof. 

As in Thumby-Bienebek, remains of the original straps were found at the Fregerslev site, too, facilitating the harness’ reconstruction as seen in the image above. The straps from Thumby-Bienebek were of double thickness: The leather was folded lengthwise with the edges joining at the back. A seam carried out in a simple running stitch along each edge secured this arrangement and created a simple but appealing decorative effect. See a replica of one of the Thumby-Bienebek harnesses with authentic leather straps here and here.

If you are interested in this topic and Viking equipment in general, you want to get your hands on these antique books, part II in particular:

Michael Müller-Wille: Das wikingerzeitliche Gräberfeld von Thumby-Bienebek 

Teil I, Neumünster 1976 

Teil II, Neumünster 1987 

Both volumes contain hundreds of scale drawings and photos of all sorts of finds, ranging from board games to lockable containers, buckets, jewelry and, of course, horse harnesses. Below you can see the fold-out from volume II showing no less than three reconstructed Viking bridles. Note that the cross-shaped mounts on the middle one are almost identical to the ones from Fregerslev seen above. At the bottom right you see a reconstruction of a stir-up (from volume I), with the lavish inlaid decoration shown in red.