New details revealed about ancient mystery grave in Oslo

Skeletons - OsloTone Bergland / NIKU

In 2020, the archaeologists at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) announced an exciting discovery in Oslo – an ancient grave containing three skeletons. Now, they have gathered additional information on the mystery grave.

The grave was discovered close to the medieval ruin of St. Hallvard’s Cathedral. It contained three skeletons, buried on top of each other and with weapon cuts to the head and neck.

At the time, it was clear that the skeletons were positioned unusually and that the bodies had – at first glance – not been afforded the respect normally associated with Christian burials.

Two years after the discovery was made, excavation project manager Michael Derrick shared new information on the project with The Viking Herald.

Skeletons likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century

Derrick told The Viking Herald that, at this stage of his work, he believes that the skeletons are likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century.

“I’ve actually started working on this project now. I’m at a very early stage in the process but what I can tell you is that the skeletons are likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century – possibly during the reign of Inge Krokrygg.

“As you know, the skeletons show signs of violent death, probably in battle. If we look at the battles that occur around this time, the one that sticks out is Inge’s battle against Håkon Herdebrei, where Inge meets his death on the ice of Oslo fjord,” Derrick stated.

New questions

“I must stress that we are at an early stage in the analysis of the skeletons, and things can change. The individuals themselves provide very contradictory but interesting information. On the one hand, the way their bodies are treated is quite disrespectful.

“They appear to have been thrown into a grave and buried together. However, they seem to have been given a Christian burial and are buried in the best place in the town – the cathedral grounds. This throws up more questions than answers,” Derrick concluded.

Source: The Viking Herald / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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1 Comment on "New details revealed about ancient mystery grave in Oslo"

  1. I may have said this before, but when I inquired about being buried in Norway at the church down the road, I was told in the office that my grave would have to be re-rented every 20 years. Shocked, I asked what they did to the bodies in the graves which weren’t renewe and was primly told they disappear by then. When I questioned that – look at this 1000 year old grave – Auschwitz for the dead? – this virtuous Christian, right out of SNL church lady began to lose patience with me.

    I do want to be buried alongside (my) Ted E. Bear and a Viking sword. Maybe I can set up a burial renewal bank account?

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