Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Turf of a Viking Burial Mound


I've been reading up on Vikings. Nothing deep or scholarly on my part, just random bits about the social order of Vikings.
(n.b. This quoted passage is an example of why academic journals need editors.)


"Interestingly, the grass that was used to cover the mound was tested by Bersu and was found to have come from the dead individual’s farmstead, which consisted of about 500m2 of grass for the  purpose of covering the mound.

...  archaeologists found near the top, a layer of cremated animal bones that have been identified as cattle, horse, sheep and dog remains. Within the same layer the remains of a younger female, between twenty and thirty years old, was also found. 

... claims that there was a lack of regard for the burial that the woman received (no coffin and lack of items accompanying the body), testifies to her being a slave." 

The poor woman seems to have been killed by a sword chop through the head. Tough being a slave on the Isle of Man in the Viking Era, apparently.  

None of that comes as a great surprise.

Now I sit here wondering whether the grass on the mound was picked up and carried some distance to cover the grave or if the farmstead was just the nearest place to roll up some first-rate sod.


  1. I hope that sword chop through her head was the result of enemy action and not just to send her off with her owner.
    Actually, there's a story here. Not for me, but do you want it?

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  3. I fear this was a deliberate sacrifice.
    But such an awkward way to kill somebody.