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Man was buried with a horse and a dog, shows rare Viking ship graves in Sweden

Viking ship grave

The skeleton of this Viking sees the light of day for the first time after he was buried on board a ship hundreds of years ago. (Photo: The Archaeologists)


During the past month, two ship graves from the Viking Age have been excavated in Gamla Uppsala off Uppsala in Sweden.

This is what the company Arkeologerna, which operates under the Swedish State Historical Museums, writes in a press release.

One of the two ship graves was damaged, most likely in connection with the construction of a basement back in the 16th century.

The second tomb, on the other hand, was very intact and contained, among other things, the remains of a man, a horse and a dog, as well as a number of weapons and an ornate comb.


The ship's burial was a form of burial in which the deceased was buried on board a ship - often together with various valuables. The ship graves most likely fell to only the tips of the Viking community, and they are therefore very rare.

To date, only about ten of these types of burial sites have been found in Sweden, and the two newly discovered ship graves therefore arouse the enthusiasm of archaeologist Anton Seiler, who is employed by the Archaeologists.

»It is a completely unique find. The latest find of this kind in Uppsala took place almost 50 years ago, "he explains, according to the press release.

Ship burials can be dated as far back as the Iron Age, but they also took place during the Viking Age, from which the two newly discovered tombs originate.


In Viking times, it was otherwise common practice to cremate the dead, but not when it came to ship burials, which are therefore very well preserved compared to other graves from this period.

Selected parts of the two tombs will be exhibited at Gamla Uppsala Museum and Statens Historiske Museum in Stockholm.

The article is published in videnskab.dk written by: Andre Skriver published 9 July 2019.

 

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