Ship burial

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Model of the Sutton Hoo ship's structure as it might have appeared, with chamber area outlined Sutton Hoo ship-burial model.jpg
Model of the Sutton Hoo ship's structure as it might have appeared, with chamber area outlined

A ship burial or boat grave is a burial in which a ship or boat is used either as a container for the dead and the grave goods, or as a part of the grave goods itself. If the ship is very small, it is called a boat grave. This style of burial was used among the Germanic peoples, particularly by Viking Age Norsemen. According to the Boxer Codex, ship burials were also practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Philippines.

Burial Ritual act of placing a dead person into the ground

Burial or interment is a method of final disposition wherein a dead person or animal is placed into the ground, sometimes with objects. This is usually accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over. A funeral is a ceremony that accompanies the final disposition. Humans have been burying their dead since shortly after the origin of the species. Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead. It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.

Grave goods objects placed intentionally in a grave

Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body.

Germanic peoples A group of northern European tribes in Roman times

The Germanic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by Roman-era authors as distinct from neighbouring Celtic peoples, and identified in modern scholarship as speakers, at least for the most part, of early Germanic languages.

Contents

A unique eyewitness account of a 10th-century ship burial among the Volga Vikings is given by Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan. [1] The largest Viking ship grave, 65 feet (20 m) long, was discovered in Norway by archeologists in 2018, and it is estimated to have been covered over 1000 years ago to be used as a boat grave for an emminent Viking king or queen. [2]

Viking Age ship burials

Scandinavia

Denmark
Ladby ship Norwegian ship burial

The Ladby ship is a major ship burial, of the type also represented by the boat chamber grave of Hedeby and the ship burials of Oseberg, Borre, Gokstad and Tune in South Norway, all of which date back to the 9th and 10th centuries. It is the only ship burial discovered in Denmark. It was discovered southwest of Kerteminde on the island of Funen.

Kerteminde Town in Southern Denmark, Denmark

Kerteminde, is a town in central Denmark, located in Kerteminde Municipality on the island of Funen. The town has a population of 5,855. It is a small harbor town surrounded by farms. Kerteminde contains a fish restaurant, Rudolf Mathis, the Viking museum Ladby, and the research and exhibition institution for fish and porpoises Fjord & Bælt.

Funen island in Denmark

Funen, with an area of 3,099.7 square kilometres (1,196.8 sq mi), is the third-largest island of Denmark, after Zealand and Vendsyssel-Thy. It is the 165th-largest island in the world. It is located in the central part of the country and has a population of 466,284 (2013). Funen's main city is Odense, which is connected to the sea by a seldom-used canal. The city's shipyard, Odense Steel Shipyard, has been relocated outside Odense proper.

Norway
Gokstad ship Preserved Viking ship

The Gokstad ship is a 9th-century Viking ship found in a burial mound at Gokstad in Sandar, Sandefjord, Vestfold, Norway. It is currently on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.

Vestfold County (fylke) of Norway

Vestfold[²vɛstfɔl](listen) is a county in Norway, on the western shore of the Oslofjord. It borders Buskerud and Telemark. The county administration is in Tønsberg, Norway's oldest city, and the largest city is Sandefjord. With the exception of the city-county of Oslo, Vestfold is the smallest county in Norway by area.

Tønsberg Municipality in Vestfold, Norway

Tønsberg[²tœnsbær(ɡ)](listen), historically Tunsberg, is a city and municipality in Vestfold county, southern Norway, located around 102 kilometres south-southwest of Oslo on the western coast of the Oslofjord near its mouth onto the Skagerrak. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Tønsberg. The municipality has a population of 41,239 and covers an area of 107 square kilometres.

Sweden
Valsgärde Farm and burial site

Valsgärde or Vallsgärde is a farm on the Fyris river, about three kilometres north of Gamla Uppsala, the ancient centre of the Swedish kings and of the pagan faith in Sweden. The present farm dates from the 16th century. The farm's notability derives from the presence of a burial site from the Swedish Vendel Age ; it was used for more than 300 years. The first ship burial is from the 6th century and the last graves are from the 11th century.

Fyris river in Sweden

Fyrisån is a river in the Swedish province of Uppland, which passes through the city of Uppsala and ends in Lake Mälaren.

Gamla Uppsala A village outside Uppsala in Sweden

Gamla Uppsala is a parish and a village outside Uppsala in Sweden. It had 17,973 inhabitants in 2016.

British Isles

Norse burial in British Isles

Isle of Man British Crown dependency

The Isle of Man, sometimes referred to simply as Mann, is a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. The head of state, Queen Elizabeth II, holds the title of Lord of Mann and is represented by a lieutenant governor. Defence is the responsibility of the United Kingdom.

Scar boat burial Viking boat burial site

The Scar boat burial is a Viking boat burial near the village of Scar, on Sanday, in Orkney, Scotland. The burial, which dates to between 875 and 950 AD, contained the remains of a man, an elderly woman, and a child, along with numerous grave goods. Although the site had to be excavated quickly because of the threat of coastal erosion owing to bad weather conditions, it yielded many important finds.

Sanday, Orkney island in the north of the Orkney Islands, Scotland

Sanday is one of the inhabited islands of Orkney that lies off the north coast of mainland Scotland. With an area of 50.43 square kilometres (19.5 sq mi), it is the third largest of the Orkney Islands. The main centres of population are Lady Village and Kettletoft. Sanday can be reached by Orkney Ferries or by plane from Kirkwall on the Orkney Mainland.

England

Northern Europe

Eastern Europe

See also

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Ship burials at Wikimedia Commons

Related Research Articles

Loppa Municipality in Finnmark, Norway

Loppa is a municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Øksfjord. Other villages in Loppa include Andsnes, Bergsfjord, Langfjordhamn, Loppa, Nuvsvåg, Øksfjordbotn, Sandland, and Sør-Tverrfjord.

Tumulus Mound of earth and stones raised over graves

A tumulus is a mound of earth and stones raised over a grave or graves. Tumuli are also known as barrows, burial mounds or kurgans, and may be found throughout much of the world. A cairn, which is a mound of stones built for various purposes, may also originally have been a tumulus.

Vendel Parish in the Swedish province of Uppland

Vendel is a parish in the Swedish province of Uppland. The village overlooks a long inland stretch of water, Vendelsjön, near which the Vendel river has its confluence with the river Fyris. The church was established in 1310. Vendel is the site of an ancient royal estate, part of Uppsala öd, a network of royal estates meant to provide income for the medieval Swedish kings.

Oseberg Ship Preserved Viking ship

The Oseberg ship is a well-preserved Viking ship discovered in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway. This ship is commonly acknowledged to be among the finer artifacts to have survived from the Viking Era. The ship and some of its contents are displayed at the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy on the western side of Oslo, Norway.

Stone ship type of megalithic monument

The stone ship or ship setting was an early burial custom in Scandinavia, Northern Germany and the Baltic states. The grave or cremation burial was surrounded by slabs or stones in the shape of a ship. The ships vary in size and were erected from c. 1000 BC to 1000 AD.

Vendel Period

In Swedish prehistory, the Vendel Period (550-790) comes between the Migration Period and the Viking Age. The migrations and upheaval in Central Europe had lessened somewhat, and two power regions had appeared in Europe: the Merovingian kingdom and the Slavic princedoms in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. A third power, the Catholic Church, had begun to expand its influence.

Norse funerals, or the burial customs of Viking Age North Germanic Norsemen, are known both from archaeology and from historical accounts such as the Icelandic sagas and Old Norse poetry.

Viking art Term for art of Scandinavia and Viking settlements of 8th-11th centuries CE

Viking art, also known commonly as Norse art, is a term widely accepted for the art of Scandinavian Norsemen and Viking settlements further afield—particularly in the British Isles and Iceland—during the Viking Age of the 8th-11th centuries CE. Viking art has many design elements in common with Celtic, Germanic, the later Romanesque and Eastern European art, sharing many influences with each of these traditions.

Viking Ship Museum (Oslo) museum in Oslo

The Viking Ship Museum is located on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo, Norway. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses three Viking era burial ships that were found as part of archaeological finds from Tune, Gokstad (Sandefjord), Oseberg (Tønsberg) and the Borre mound cemetery.

Borre mound cemetery Burial mound site in Norway

Borre mound cemetery forms part of the Borre National Park at Horten in Vestfold, Norway. It is the largest burial mound site in Northern Europe.

Haugen is a Norwegian surname and place name frequently used for farm homesteads. Haugen derives from the old Norse word haugr meaning tiny hill, small grassy knoll, or mound. Derivatives also include the Norwegian surnames Haugan and Hauge. Haugen can refer to:

Avaldsnes Village in Western Norway, Norway

Avaldsnes is a village in Karmøy municipality in Rogaland county, Norway. The village is located on the northeastern part of the island of Karmøy, along the Karmsundet strait, just south of the town of Haugesund. The village was an ancient centre of power on the west coast of Norway and is the site of one of Norway’s more important areas of cultural history. The trading port of Notow and the Avaldsnes Church are two notable historic sites in Avaldsnes.

Port an Eilean Mhòir boat burial Viking boat burial site

The Port an Eilean Mhòir ship burial is a Viking boat burial site in Ardnamurchan, Scotland, the most westerly point on the island of Great Britain. Dated to the 10th century, the burial consists of a Viking boat about 5 metres (16 ft) long by 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide in which a man was laid to rest with his shield, sword and spear as well as other grave goods.

Loppa (island) island in Finnmark, Norway

Loppa, is an island in Loppa Municipality in Finnmark county, Norway. The 12-square-kilometre (4.6 sq mi) island lies in the Lopphavet Sea in the western part of the municipality, west of the island of Silda. The small island has one village area on the southeastern coast. This village used to be the administrative centre of Loppa and an important fishing village for the municipality, but all of the administration of the village was moved to Øksfjord on the mainland. Today, Loppa Church is still located in this village, but there are only a few residents remaining on the island. In 1983, a seabird reserve was established along the western cliffs.

Gokstad Mound Burial mound in Norway

The Gokstad Mound is a large burial mound at Gokstad Farm in Sandefjord in Vestfold County, Norway. It is also known as the King's Mound (Kongshaugen) and is where the 9th century Gokstad Ship was found.

References

  1. Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North (Penguin Classics 2012, ISBN   9780140455076), Introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone, pp. xxiii–xxiv.
  2. "Enormous, rare Viking ship burial discovered by radar". National Geographic. October 15, 2018.
  3. The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde
  4. Gokstadhaugen – Artificial Mound in Norway
  5. Osebergskipet – The Oseberg Ship, Norway Archived 2007-02-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy Archived 2011-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  7. Anundshög, Stoneship
  8. Larsson, Gunilla (2007). Ship and society: maritime ideology in Late Iron Age Sweden. Uppsala Universitet, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. p. 415. ISBN   9789150619157.
  9. Incorporated, Walter De Gruyter (2002). Naualia – Ãstfold. Walter de Gruyter. p. 595. ISBN   9783110903515.
  10. Strömberg, Märta (1961). Untersuchungen zur jüngeren Eisenzeit in Schonen: Textband. Mit einem Beitrag von J. Lepiksaar. R. Habelt.
  11. Mikroficheupplaga av Tillväxten. Kungl. Vitterhets, historie och antikvitets akademien. 1946. p. xcix.
  12. Vikings on Mann
  13. "Viking boat burial site discovered in Scottish Highlands". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  14. The Scar Viking Boat Burial