Thousands of years ago, in the territory of present-day Norway, thousands of Scandinavian navigators lived, which today are known as Vikings. Their views on the world and traditions were very different from the culture of other nations – for example, they were not afraid of death and believed that after the death of their souls they would fall into the so-called valhalla and would have fun with the gods. The rulers, and other respected men, were buried and sent to the “heavenly palace” in special funeral boats, which were decorated with swords, axes and jewels. Such a ship was recently found by Swedish archaeologists – well-preserved skeletons of Viking and two animals were also found in it.
There were two found ships, but only one interested researchers – along with the remains of the ship, they found well-preserved Viking skeletons, dogs and horses. Next to them lay the sword, spear and shield – probably the ancient sailors thought that these objects would be useful to the dead in the kingdom of heaven. Also, archaeologists found a handful of nails, but they did not play any role in the burial, but remained after the burned ship.
Such finds are commonly found in Scandinavian countries, but they are extremely rare. This means that the burial with the use of ships was intended only for especially respected warriors, and ordinary people were not worthy of such honor. The last time archaeologists excavated a burial ship 50 years ago, and in the entire history they managed to find only a dozen of such ships.
The new find is considered unique, because scientists have not yet managed to find such a well-preserved Viking skeleton. It took archaeologists a whole month to dig it out. According to their calculations, during the burial, the human body was laid in the back of the ship, and the sacrificed dog and horse were located in the bow.
The researchers are very lucky that they found the body just now. Thanks to the existing technology today, they can easily determine the age of the Viking and the cause of his death. Perhaps the ancient warrior died during the battle, but there is also the possibility that a terrible disease killed him. Archaeologists also hope to find out biographical information about the person: where he was born, where he lived and what he did.
Skeletons of men and animals, most likely, will be sent for laboratory examination. The rest of the finds, like a sword, an ax and jewelery, will become exhibits in the Swedish Historical Museum in Stockholm.