Free the Ocean Blog
Discovering Scandinavia's Earliest Viking Ship Burial
Archaeologists have made a thrilling discovery on Leka, a beautiful Norwegian island. They’ve found what seems to be the oldest Viking ship grave in Scandinavia at a place called Herlaugshaugen. This isn’t just another dig site; it’s changing how we think about the Viking Age.
Herlaugshaugen's Rich Past
This site has been of interest since the 1700s. Earlier digs uncovered cool things like a bronze pot and a skeleton with a sword, pointing to the mound’s importance in Viking stories.
What’s really exciting is that the burial site is from around 700 CE, which is earlier than the start of the Viking Age as we know it. This makes historians and archaeologists think differently about when Viking history began.
Why the Ship Matters
Recently, a team of archaeologists and a metal detector expert, working with Norwegian cultural authorities and local groups, found out the site was a ship grave. This is a big deal for understanding how Vikings buried their dead.
The ship at Herlaugshaugen is special because it’s big and well-made. It shows that Vikings had great shipbuilding skills even before the Viking Age. This means they were probably better at sea travel and trade earlier than we thought.
Also, this find challenges the idea that Vikings were only raiders. It suggests they might have been traders and sailors much earlier, possibly during the Merovingian Period.
A New Look at Viking Times
The Herlaugshaugen discovery is more than just an old find; it’s a window into history. It shows that Vikings were sailing and trading long before we used to think.
Finding Scandinavia’s oldest Viking ship grave opens new doors to our past, giving us a deeper and more varied story of the Viking Age. As we keep finding treasures like this, our understanding of Viking history and culture grows. This discovery reminds us that history is always revealing new secrets and exciting stories.