Hundreds of years ago, on Norwegian territory, lived thousands of Scandinavian seamen, who are today known as the Vikings. Their world views and traditions differed greatly from other cultures — for example, they did not fear death and believed that after death their souls will go to the so-called Valhalla, and have fun together with the gods. The rulers and other distinguished men were buried and sent to the “heavenly Palace” on a special funerary boats, which were decorated with swords, axes and jewelry. Such a vehicle recently found by the Swedish archaeologists — it has also been found perfectly preserved skeletons of Viking and two animals.
Found there were two ships, but researchers interested in only one — along with the remains of the ship, they found well-preserved skeletons of a Viking, dogs and horses. Next to them lay a sword, spear and shield — probably the ancient sailors thought these items will be useful to the dead in the heavenly realm. Also, archaeologists found a handful of nails, but they do not play any role in the burial, and left after the burned ship.
Funeral of a Viking ship
As they buried the Vikings?
Similar findings are commonly found in the Scandinavian countries, but they are extremely rare. This means that the burial with the use of ships was intended only for the most respected warriors, and ordinary people were not worthy of such an honor. In recent times archaeologists have unearthed burial ship 50 years ago, and in history they managed to find only a dozen such ships.
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The new finding is considered unique because scientists have not been able to find such a well preserved skeleton of a Viking. To dig it up, archaeologists took a full month. According to their calculations, during the burial, the human body was put into the back of the ship, and sacrificed a dog and a horse was located in the bow.
Researchers are very lucky that they found the body just now. Thanks to existing technologies, they can easily determine the age of the Viking and the cause of his death. Perhaps the ancient warrior was killed during battle, but also there is a possibility that it ruined a terrible disease. Archaeologists also hope to learn biographical data about the person: where he was born, where he lived and what he did.
The skeleton of a horse
The skeletons of men and animals are likely to be sent for laboratory examination. Other discoveries, like the sword, axe and decorations will be exhibits in the Swedish history Museum in Stockholm.
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