Skeleton provides evidence that confirms historical events mentioned in the Norwegian Viking Sagas

by Amish Shah

 

Norway2

Image credit: The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research

The location and contents of the well are mentioned in Sverre’s Saga, a chronicle of one of the kings of Norway, and one of very few historical manuscripts describing events in the Norwegian Viking age and medieval period.

Scholars have questioned the chronicle’s trustworthiness as a historical document. But now, at least one part of the saga seems to hold truth – down to the tiniest detail.

This is truly astonishing. As far as I know there is no known example of the discovery of an individual historically connected with an act of war as far back as the year 1197. And the fact that this actually corroborates an event described in Sverre’s saga is simply amazing, says lead archaeologist at the site, Anna Petersén.

Man left in castle well for 800 years
In 1197, King Sverre Sigurdsson and his Birkebeiner-mercenaries, were attacked and defeated in his castle stronghold, Norway-king-sverreSverresborg, by his rivals, the Baglers. According to the Saga, the Baglers burned down buildings and destroyed the castle’s fresh water supply by throwing one of King Sverre’s dead men into the well, and then filling it with stones.

Now, following a trial excavation in the well, archaeologists can confirm this dramatic story. Archaeologists managed to retrieve part of the skeleton they found in the well in 2014. A fragment of bone produced a radiocarbon date that confirmed that the individual lived and died at the end of the 12th century, the same time as the incident described in the Saga.

Skeleton and well structure
The archaeologists from The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research have returned this year to conduct a full excavation of the well with the goal of removing the layers of dumped stone and ultimately the whole skeleton. Well-Dig-Norway

Image: The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research

The excavation of the stone debris down to the very first stone that hit the Birkebeiner’s body has given the archaeologists additional insight into the nature of events in 1197. In addition, it exposed the timber posts and lining for the large castle well.

This is a unique glimpse of an important historical event. You can almost feel it. Its almost as if you were there – enthuses Petersén.

ancient-skeleton-Norway

Photo: NIKU / NTB scanpix. Skull from a birkebeiner

The archaeologists at Sverresborg are being supported by a forensic specialist from the Trondheim police district, which adds to the feeling that we are witnesses to the result of a brutal crime.

Source:  Heritagedaily.com

The excavation is funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.

 

Amish Shah



Also in Project Yourself

The Vinyasa Of Gratitude & Abundance
The Vinyasa Of Gratitude & Abundance

by Puja Shah

The holidays are here. Full of gratitude and warmth. As we focus on the ways we can give this holiday season, consider the idea of giving gratitude. The more energy you create in your heart around joy for others, the more joy and abundance fills you and your life as well.
Read More
Can We Be Grateful For 2020
Can We Be Grateful For 2020

by Puja Shah

The holidays are a time of gratitude.

And even in a year of pandemics, natural disasters, and political and economic uncertainty - there is still much to be grateful for.

The fact that you’re now here reading these words is already a cause for gratitude. Not to mention all the loved ones, blessings, opportunities, and natural wonders that still surround us.
Read More
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most

by Puja Shah

Love heals: and the world needs healing now more than ever.


But how does one tap into the vibration of love - particularly during times of disruption and uncertainty?

Read More