A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Viking Grave in Norway Yields Full Set of Weapons
Monday, August 31, 2020
TRONDHEIM, NORWAY—According to a statement released by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), archaeologist Astrid Kviseth and her colleagues have discovered an ax, spear, shield, and sword in a 1,100-year-old grave in a burial ground near a Viking-era farm in central Norway. The grave partially overlapped three others placed in a ditch surrounding a large burial mound at the site. Archaeologist Raymond Sauvage of the NTNU University Museum said landowning farmers were required by law to own such weapons. But in most graves from the period, the sword is found on the right side of the body, even though a right-handed person would have worn a sword fastened to the left side of the body, in order to withdraw it from its scabbard with the right hand. “Why the swords are almost always placed on the right side is a bit mysterious,” Sauvage said. “One theory is that the underworlds you go to after death are the mirror image of the upper world.” In this burial, the sword was found on the left side of the body. “Maybe he was left-handed, and they took that into account for the afterlife?” Sauvage mused. The team members will X-ray the corroded sword to look for any ornamentation or pattern welding on its blade. To read about a Viking burial that was recently discovered under the floorboards of a family home, go to "Around the World: Norway."
Uncovering a new Easter Island statue, the first equestrians, a sphinx’s familiar smile, 14,000-year-old mastodon spearpoints, and an early Chinese toilet
Ancient inside joke