Three Norwegian Viking Ships: Real Midgard Serpents in Norway

Posted by Ms Elly on

Three Norwegian Viking Ships: Real Midgard Serpents in Norway

The Viking ships played so important a role that everyone believed that without ships, there would have been no glory to the Vikings. Indeed, Viking ships helped the Vikings travel not only for raid but also for trade. Viking ships were also dedicated to the funeral as a symbol of nobility and wealth for the deceased. 

Here are three Viking ships that have been detected in Norway.

Oseberg Ship: Dedicated to Viking women with a luxurious tomb

Oseberg burial grave must be the most luxurious grave in the list. It was a clinker-built ship entirely made from oak. The ship was decorated with the gripping beast style later recognized as the Viking Oseberg style. The ship dated back to 800 AD and was excavated in 1904.

This Oseberg ship was 21.58 metres (70.8 ft) in length and 5.10 metres (16.7 ft) in width. It could reach a speed of 10 knots and possibly there were 30 oarsmen when the ship set sail. 

Oseberg ship is among the best preserved Viking ships ever excavated

Viking Oseberg ship in the museum and the Oseberg animal head post one of the most beautiful carved Viking artifact found in Oseberg burial mound. 

Not only did the Oseberg ship astonish the archaeologists but also the whole Oseberg burial grave. Inside the burial chamber, the archaeologists found out remains of two women. One was around 60s and the other was much younger. The identities of both forever remain a mystery. But of course, scholars put forward theories about their identities, for example, the old woman was the high-rank figure in Viking community and the younger one was her servant who followed her mistress in her afterlife. 

The excavation of Oseberg ship Viking ship

Gokstad Ship: Burial of a great Viking warrior who met a brutal demise

The sons of the owner of Gokstand farmland were curious about the land that belonged to their family. They heard many legends about the farm site. And thoughts resulted in deeds. They were so curious that they decided to dig up the farm to check whether the legends were true. And the boys found a fragment from a ship which was later named Gokstad ship. 

A group of archaeologists showed up at the site and the excavation took place in 1880. 

When the project finished, they declared to the public that they had excavated a Viking ship dating back to 890 AD. 

This too was a clinker-built ship made from oak. It measured 23.80 metres (78.1 ft) in length and 5.10 m (16.7 ft) in width. There must have been about 32 oarsmen to row the ship and it could reach the speed of 12 knots at sea. 

Gokstad ship was among the best preserved Viking ship to be excavated.

Gokstad ship during excavation

The man buried with the Gokstad ship must be a Viking warrior who met his violent demise. The remains of the man showed that the executors wielded a very sharp weapon. And yes, there were at least two enemies fighting against this warrior. 

Tune Ship: First Viking Ship to be Excavated 

Although the Viking Tune Ship was made about one century after the Oseberg ship, around 900 AD, it was the first Viking ship to be excavated from the land. It was excavated in 1867. 

However, the earlier the ship was excavated, the more damage could be made to the artifact. The concept of archaeology was quite simple back to 1867 and technology was nowhere to be compared with the modern time. It was awesome to be the first one to be discovered but it was unfortunate as well. 

The remains of the Tune ship suggested that it could have measured 22 metres (72 ft) in length and 4.35 metres (14.3 ft) in width. 

Viking Tune ship was the first Viking ship to be excavated yet it was heavily damaged during its excavation

Viking Tune ship was heavily damaged during its excavation

The burial of Tune ship is also the largest Viking burial grave in Norway. The ship was dedicated to a Viking man who was of the high social rank to afford a ship in his funeral.

Prior to the excavation, someone managed to get inside the grave and looted. Many treasures were gone. Also, because the inside of the grave was exposed to the outside, many of the treasures were decomposed. 

Older Post Newer Post

Recent Articles


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published