Archeologists perplexed by mysterious grave of Viking woman

Hestnes excavation NTNUThe excavation area at Hestnes. Photo: Kristoffer Rantala, NTNU University Museum (CC By- SA 4.0.)

The Viking woman was buried in an elite grave in the countryside of central Norway.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) field manager Eystein Østmo and a team of archaeologists have made a unique discovery.

Their find has puzzled archeologists across the country.

The only burial of its kind

Soil that was visibly black and greasy initially gave away the gravesite. This also gave away the site’s longevity. It pointed to the fact that a person had been buried underground here a long time ago.

Archeologists from the NTNU at the site. Photo: Eystein Østmoe / NTNU University Museum (CC BY- SA 4.0)

The grave has, in fact, been dated to around 1,000 years ago.

Archeological finds of Viking graves aren’t necessarily unusual. This particular site, however, gave researchers a surprise.

Graves are usually found in groups, but this was the only burial site for miles around.

But that’s not all.

An urban grave, a countryside location

Remains of a square encasement showed that this no ordinary grave. It was a burial chamber.

Such chambers were usually reserved for city folk and elite members of Viking society. But Hestnes in Trøndelag was a countryside location since the Viking Age, far from larger settlements.

Grave items give clues on the Viking woman

Grave items indicate that the woman was buried about a thousand years ago.

Bone and teeth remains have been discovered in the grave. Once they’re analyzed further, they might give key clues as to who the Viking woman was.

Green and purple-colored beads are also among found artifacts. So far, researchers have counted over 300.

Some of the grave beads found. FOTO: Åge Hojem / NTNU University Museum (CC BY- SA 4.0)

Various brooches and combs were retrieved, too.

Given the elaborate nature of the grave and items within, scientists believe the woman was among the more powerful members of the local community.

As of now, the mystery lady’s identity remains to be unraveled.

Source: Norway Today

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