Viking Stone Ship: Not Only for the Deceased
A sea-loving culture made the Vikings directions in both life and afterlife. The Viking life would not full of achievement without the ships and the ocean. When the Vikings departed their life, they believed they would join the afterlife. Probably, the majority of the Vikings wanted a ship to carry them into their afterlife. Besides the real ship, the Vikings constructed the Stone Ship for the deceased. But scholars believed that the Viking Stone Ship was not merely for the deceased.
The first discovery of the Viking Stone Ship construction was seen as a grave mound. The archaeologists agreed that the construction of Viking Stone Ship was for the cremation burials. A number of stones would surround the grave burial. And for unknown reasons, the stones would be shaped like a ship.
The Viking Stone Ship construction came with different sizes. Some of them were as large as the grave burial while others were smaller. The largest Viking stone ship was allegedly in Denmark. Its name is Jelling Stone Ship. However, this Jelling stone ship could not stand the test of time but the archaeologists can see that the construction was as long as 170m (560ft). The Jelling stone ship was associated with Thyra Queen of Denmark, wife of King Gorm the Old, and mother of King Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson who unified Denmark as one kingdom.
The archaeologists also found out other types of artifact in the Viking Stone ship construction. Beside the remains of the cremated skeletons, the archaeologists found out the clay pot and some other artifacts dating back to the Viking Age. There were artifacts that dated back to an earlier time, some in the 3rd and 4th century.
Viking burial stone ships in Lindholm Høje, Denmark dating back to1000-1200 AD
Ale's Stones in Denmark. This is one of the famous Viking ship stones and is allegedly the Swedish Stonehenge
This suggests that the Viking Stone Ship was also a place for religious and social activities.
But many Viking Stone ship constructions were no longer intact. When people finally realized the importance of preserving sites like this, their ancestors had reused the stones in the construction to build houses, bridges, and castles.
A study by Joakim Wehlin of the University of Gothenburg and Gotland University showed results that the some of the stone ships just didn't have the graves in them. This showed that some activities must have been carried out there. Because "with the absence of the dead, the traces of the survivors tend to appear.''
This study was backed up by many discoveries in the Viking stone ship sites. Beside the remains and typical items for burial, the archaeologists found tools, fireplace, needles, charcoals, and other artifacts.