Archaeologists find bones of children and adults in tombs from the Viking era


Swedish archaeologists have discovered seven Viking-era tombs in the ancient town of Sigtuna.

According to the official Swedish website, although the Viking Age, which began around 800 AD and ended around 1050 AD, is relatively short, it has cast a long shadow over European history. Scandinavian warriors are known for their ability to sail, voyages looking for countries to attack, and in the process won an incredibly ruthless reputation. However, according to the website, by the 11th century, most Swedish Vikings had abandoned traditional pagan beliefs and turned to Christianity.

According to the Nine News report, believed to date back to the 900s, these tombs were constructed approximately at the same time that Sigtuna, about 23 miles northwest of Stockholm, was built. According to Live Science, they contain the skeletal remains of eight people, four adults and four children. Project manager John Luna said that two of the children were suspected to be twin babies who died at or shortly after birth. Runer is employed by Uppdrag arkeologi, a company that oversees the excavation.

According to Live Science, Luna and his colleagues pointed out that these babies were “very young” and “appeared to be exactly the same age,” and they assumed that they were “tragic results of late miscarriage.” They will analyze it further in the fall.

Luna pointed out several features of the tombs and speculated that they represented “some of the oldest Christian tombs in the city,” he told the Nine News. On the one hand, these bones were buried in the ground, rather than cremated according to the habits of the locals at the time. However, archaeologists also found charcoal deposits and several coffins with evidence of fire-a phenomenon “common in Christian Viking tombs, but was rarely seen in Sigtuna before,” Lu Na told Live Science.

The fact that provides additional credibility to Runer’s theory is the fact that the stone structures in some tombs are characteristic of Viking-era Christian tombs. According to Live Science reports, four of them were overwhelmed by stone pillars and one of them was also surrounded by rocks or square stones. Many tombs also contain contemporary artifacts. For example, one box contained what Runer called a “gorgeous bone comb”; he said the other contained a “leather belt containing iron and silver-plated copper alloy accessories.” The occupants of the latter had “silver coins” in their mouths when they were found. Runer said, “This is a fairly common practice in Viking Christian tombs in central Sweden.”

According to Live Science reports, these tombs were discovered in April and excavated in May.

People deal with the rebuilt Viking long ship. Swedish archaeologists recently discovered seven Viking-era tombs in the ancient town of Sigtuna.
MADS CLAUS RASMUSSEN/AFP/Getty Images

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