Norwegian archaeologists have discovered a 1100-year-old Viking tomb. The unusual location of the sword puzzled scientists – the weapon lay on the left side of the body.
During life, warriors attached swords to the left so that the right hand could quickly access them. But often during the burial of the Vikings, weapons were placed on the right side. This arrangement of the sword was explained by the fact that the warriors considered the afterlife as a mirror image of the real world. According to archaeologist and excavation leader Raymond Sauvage, it was not only the Vikings who believed in the “mirror-like” afterlife. Many peoples, regardless of time and territory, performed such rituals.
According to Sauvage’s theory, the found warrior was left-handed and wore a sword on his right thigh – therefore, when buried, the weapon was placed on the left.
Now the Viking sword is in the laboratory. Scientists analyze it with an X-ray machine. They hope to see unusual ornaments or other clues behind the rust.
The grave of the “left-handed” and several other Viking burials were found during excavations of the farm associated with the expansion of the European road E39. The unusual burial was partially in contact with the graves of other Vikings. This method of burial may seem strange, but repeated burial in the same graves for the soldiers was considered an honor.
During excavations, archaeologists also discovered another unusual burial. The deceased was a woman – scientists determined the gender on the basis of burial gifts (scissors, beads and a brooch). The woman was cremated.
The peculiarity of this burial is that more bones were found in the grave than usually remain after cremation. So far, archaeologists have identified only bird bones among them.