Mammen Excavation: The Noble Man Buried with Luxurious Things

Posted by Ms Elly on

Mammen Excavation: The Noble Man Buried with Luxurious Things

For long, Viking excavation has been put in the public eye and received much attention. We might hear about the ship burial mound with the Viking remains. But the Viking ship burial is not everything we have. Two centuries ago witnessed an impressive excavation of the Viking burial mound of the noble with precious artifacts though without the majestic ships. 

The grave from Mammen

In 1868, a farmer was trying to dig his land in Bjerringhøj at Mammen near Viborg, Denmark when he came across a mound. With the knowledge and effort of the archaeologists, the mound turned out to be the Mammen grave. With the archaeological math, they guessed that the grave could date back to the winter of 970 AD. The skeleton that belonged to a  man was in a luxurious costume and buried with the stunning axe and a large wax candle. 

Image of the Mammen Excavation Mammen Viking

The man rested on the bed of cushions in a coffin. Two axes accompanied him at his feet. The man wore expensive clothing with red and purple silk. The careful embroideries were in the blue and red colors which were the trendy colors in the Viking age though not many could afford the material to dye the color. The luxurious furnishings inside the Mammen mound might have belonged to the time of King Herald Bluetooth. 

The hoard and the stunning axe 

The archaeologists found the hoard of Mammen. It contained two harness bows for horse chariots. The harness bows were made from wood and the decorations were in the layers of silver. The harness bows were not only for the guides of reins on the horse's back but also for showing the wealth and the social status of the owner. Several precious dishes, jewelry, and moulds to make jewelry were also found. 

Image of Viking Mammen artifact

Viking harness bow found in the excavation

Image of the Viking mammen artifact

The most famous and stunning artifact found in the Mammen mound was the Mammen axe. The edgy lines and curves of the axe was very impressive. After this discovery, the Mammen axe becomes the symbol for the Viking Mammen style. (See more: Viking Styles)

One side of the Mammen axe is the Tree which might have symbolized the Yggdrasil Tree of Life. The other side of the axe was one animal or bird. Some people think that it was Gullinkambi the rooster that would crow at the beginning of the Ragnarok. 

Image of the Viking Mammen axe artifact

The artifact of Viking Mammen Axe

Image of the Viking Mammen Viking axe pendant

Modern design of the Viking Mammen Axe Pendant

The costume of the noble man

The man to whom the luxurious grave was dedicated had his eternal sleep on the blue cushion with red lines of embroidery. The archaeologists concluded that the noble man wore the woollen tunic with the breeches of blue gauze materials. He also wore a woollen cape with fur. The tunic and the cape of his were decorated with leopards, animals with four foot, birds, and leaves. The majority of them were in red, blue, and yellow color. This excavation can help us realize that the life of the Vikings once was full of colors. They would love to wear the colorful clothes while the media has been showing that the life of the Vikings was so dull.

Image of Viking Mammen excavation

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