Lilleberge Viking Burial

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Lilleberge Viking Burial
Lilleberge Plaque (BM).JPG Whalebone plaque from the Lilleberge grave group as displayed in the British Museum
SizeHt 23 cm, Width 20 cm
Created9th-10th Centuries AD
Period/cultureViking
Present locationBritish Museum
Identification1891,1021.67

The Lilleberge Viking Burial or Lilleberge Ship Burial is a major hoard of Viking objects found in a barrow at Lilleberge in Namdalen, central Norway in the late nineteenth century. Since 1891, it has been an important part of the British Museum's early medieval collection.[1]

Discovery[edit]

Viking jewellery and other objects from the grave group.

Lilleberge is located in Nord-Trøndelag county in the district of Namdalen. A large ship barrow in the vicinity of Lilleberge was excavated in the 1886 by the British archaeologist, Alfred Heneage Cocks. The barrow was over 40 metres in length and contained a ship that was 10 metres long. Cocks later took all the finds to England and sold them to the British Museum in 1891.

Description[edit]

The grave group from Lilleberge represents an important assemblage of Viking jewellery and other artefacts that belonged to a prominent female dignitary from the local tribe. Probably the most significant object from the burial is the almost intact whalebone plaque [2] which may have served as a cutting board for food or as a surface to smooth items of clothing.

Other objects from Lilleberge include a pair of copper alloy oval brooches, necklaces made of coloured glass beads, a spindle-whorl, a gilded Celtic mount (that was only recently discovered in the British Museum's stores[3]), an iron pot stand, rivets from a Viking boat and skeletal remains from the deceased.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Marzinzik S, "Masterpieces: Early Medieval Art", (London, British Museum Press, 2013)
  • Graham-Campbell J, Viking Artefacts: A Select Catalogue, (London, British Museum Press, 1980)
  • Graham-Campbell J, Viking Art, Thames & Hudson, 2013
  • Williams, G., Pentz, P. and Wemhoff, M. (eds), Vikings: Life and Legend, (London, British Museum Press, 2014)