What Inside the Oseberg Ship One of The Greatest Viking Ships?

Posted by Ms Elly on

What Inside the Oseberg Ship One of The Greatest Viking Ships?

On a day in August 1903, a farmer in Norway dug up a large burial mound on his land. Excitingly, he came across the remains of an ancient ship. The ship was called the Oseberg. This Viking Oseberg ship not only makes us curious about the origin of the ship but also amazes us to the core with the goods buried alongside the ship. 

The journey to excavate the ship

Knowing there was an ancient burial site, professors set out their investigations. They found many Viking patterns on the ship and assumed it belonged to a Viking man. The excavation of this ship attracted so much attention that they decided to secure it with fence and guard. 

Image of oseberg ship artifacts

Oseberg ship

It took the investigators nearly 3 months to clean what they have been doing. But the most time-consuming part was yet to come. We spent 21 years to prepare and well preserve the ship. The ship then was displayed in the museum. 

The burial artifacts 

Inside the Oseberg burial sites, there were both skeletons and awesome artifacts. The four animal heads were found from the burial site. They were not the real animal heads. The decorations on the heads were very subtle and it is believed that even the modern artists couldn't handmade the carvings like that. The cart in the Oseberg burial was also famous for its awesome carvings. The back of the cart appeared cats which remind us of Freya goddess of love, war, and beauty. 

Image of Oseberg cart

Oseberg cart artifacts 

Image of oseberg ship excavation

Oseberg ship excavation 

The skeletons in the burial site

There was a pair of skeletons in the grave sites. One skeleton belonged to a woman in her forties or fifties. Meanwhile, the older woman was around 70 - 80 years old. The pair was buried with ma goods: clothes, ship equipment, kitchen utensils, farming tools, sleigh, cart, five animal heads, beds tents, dogs, and horses. 

Image of Oseberg ship excavation viking ships

The excavation of Oseberg ship

After examining those artifacts, many assumptions have been drawn out. From the position and the burial goods, it presented that one or both of the women once were the people of high social status. There was also an assumption that the young woman was a slave that made sacrifice when her mistress died. Because there was not a conclusion about why the young woman died apart from her broken collarbone. Meanwhile, the old woman presumingly suffered many diseases especially cancer. In her last days, she must be in great pain. 

Image of Oseberg burial women skeletons

Oseberg burial women skeletons  

This finding even attested that the Viking women had the rights to reach the high social status. In other words, the burial mound depicted that the Viking women were of importance. Because if they hadn't been so, they wouldn't have had the chance to get buried with such valuable things. 

 


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