Reflections on Dead Viking Women

Image result for vestfold viking ship

Archaeologists recently exhumed the bodies of two Viking women in Vestfold County, Norway. They had been buried with a sixty-five foot Viking longboat in the year 834 A.D. It is assumed that the older of the two was some sort of royalty; either that or she just happened to be sleeping on deck while the boat was being buried and no one noticed her. Or maybe the boat was never buried…perhaps the Vikings had created some sort of tunneling vehicle and the two women had been on board when it ran out of fuel.

Regardless of how the boat and the women got there, the three of them were found in 1904 by archaeologists who were looking for just that sort of thing. The burial spot was located under a gigantic mound. They used mounds; because, who wants to dig a hole for a sixty-five foot boat? The women and the boat were buried together so that the women could take the boat to wherever the afterlife is. Apparently, the afterlife is in Vestfold County, Norway because that is where the boat and the two Vikings ended up.

Image result for dead viking woman
What a dead Viking woman might’ve looked like

The boat was cleaned, restored and ultimately sent to the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. The two Viking women were held somewhere, possibly entering civil service. They were re-interred in 1948 and buried in the same mound, the same sarcophagus, but in a shiny new aluminum casket. (This might seem odd, but it is part of the retirement package for citizens of Norway) There was hope that the two would be exhumed again when science had advanced beyond poking at bodies with a stick and saying, “Ewwww!”…

Well, it is 2007 and science has advanced to the point where DNA can be used to determine a relationship between the two dead Vikings. And, that is what archaeologists have been waiting for. If the two are related to one another, they might EACH be of royal blood. If no relationship is found, perhaps the DNA can be used to solve a few of the unsolved murders in the Vestfold County area. Certainly they know that the women had been buried in 834; however, they could’ve climbed out at any time, knocked off a few farmers and then burrowed back to the boat. Also, scientists hope to check the diets of the deceased for more clues as to their social standing. A diet of fish would indicate a lower social standing; which is why you don’t see sea lions or sharks in most of the nicer neighborhoods. A diet of land animals would either indicate royalty…or, that archaeologists had confused a woman’s skeleton with that of a lion.

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What a dead Viking slave might’ve looked like before she died

The theory is that, if the younger Viking was of a lower social class than the older, she was probably a servant buried with her master; however, this does not take into account the possibility that the younger woman’s family threw her onto the longboat when no one was looking, to save the expense of burying her. Burying a slave to serve a master in the afterlife seems like the kind of idea that wouldn’t hold up to logical inspection: A slave was kept in line by the fear of being killed. What would keep a slave obedient in the afterlife? Frankly, if I was a slave and I woke up next to my boss in the afterlife, my first words to her would be, “See ya!”…

Some archaeologists think that the two might be mother and daughter. If they died at the same time, I can certainly see both of them using the same boat. With only one on board it would be very difficult to control such a large craft. DNA tests should show how closely the two are related and if one or both of them were lions

Archaeologists placed a new Norwegian 20 crown coin in the grave to show future generations that they had been there and when; moreover, after the effort a future archaeologist will go through to unearth the sarcophagus, a few extra bucks will be a nice consolation. I think that a better token to leave in the former grave of the two would be a couple of dead archeologists, one much older than the other. I wonder what conclusions future scientists would come up with about them…

13 thoughts on “Reflections on Dead Viking Women

      1. For bonus lolls, I don’t supposed you have a picture of what those dried apricots may have looked like if vikings might have dried their own apricots back in the day 🤣

        Liked by 2 people

  1. That is the best Viking tale I have ever heard! Hilariously funny and I love that the afterlife is in Norway (is the booze free?). Did you know that most Icelanders have Irish DNA because the Irish make very good slaves and potatoes? I have a mysterious amount of Scandinavian DNA that is obvious in my face but can’t find in our genealogy. Just call me Lagertha…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did an article on St. Patrick where the Irish were the ones doing the enslaving (St. Patrick was a Roman settler in the British Isles when he was taken by raiders).

      I’m wondering how the hell I’m going to remember Lagertha. Couldn’t I just call you Brunhilde?

      Liked by 1 person

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