Ship burial

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Not to be confused with Burial at sea.
Model of the Sutton Hoo ship's structure as it might have appeared, with chamber area outlined

A ship burial or boat grave is a burial in which a ship or boat is used either as a container for the dead and the grave goods, or as a part of the grave goods itself. If the ship is very small, it is called a boat grave. This style of burial was used among the Germanic peoples, particularly by Viking Age Norsemen, but has been practised in Scandinavia since at last the earliest Iron Age, as evidenced by the Hjortspring boat grave and the Nydam Mose ships.

A unique eye-witness account of a 10th-century ship burial among the Volga Vikings is given by Arab traveller Ibn Fadlan.[1]

Viking Age ship burials[edit]


British Isles[edit]

Viking/Norse burial[edit]


Northern Europe[edit]

Eastern Europe[edit]

See also[edit]

Media related to Ship burials at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North (Penguin Classics 2012, ISBN 9780140455076), Introduction by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone, pp. xxiii-xxiv.
  2. ^ The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde
  3. ^ Gokstadhaugen - Artificial Mound in Norway
  4. ^ Osebergskipet - The Oseberg Ship, Norway
  5. ^ Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy
  6. ^ Anundshög, Stoneship
  7. ^ Larsson, Gunilla (2007). Ship and society: maritime ideology in Late Iron Age Sweden. Uppsala Universitet, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. p. 415. ISBN 9789150619157. 
  8. ^ Incorporated, Walter De Gruyter (2002). Naualia - Ãstfold. Walter de Gruyter. p. 595. ISBN 9783110903515. 
  9. ^ Strömberg, Märta (1961). Untersuchungen zur jüngeren Eisenzeit in Schonen: Textband. Mit einem Beitrag von J. Lepiksaar. R. Habelt. 
  10. ^ Mikroficheupplaga av Tillväxten. Kungl. Vitterhets, historie och antikvitets akademien. 1946. p. xcix. 
  11. ^ Vikings on Mann
  12. ^ "Viking boat burial site discovered in Scottish Highlands". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  13. ^ The Scar Viking Boat Burial