Viking Burials Surveyed on Danish Island

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by Flinders University, a team of researchers from Flinders University and Wessex Archaeology surveyed Kalvestene, a Viking burial site on the Danish island of Hjarnø, and compared their findings with a map made in the seventeenth century by the antiquarian Ole Worm. Erin Sebo of Flinders University said the lidar and aerial photogrammetric data collected at the site suggest it more closely resembles Viking burial sites in southern Sweden than those in Denmark. The team members also found two ship settings that align with Ole Worm’s 1650 map. Scandinavian folklore indicates that these stone slabs arranged in the shape of a ship commemorate King Hiarni, who had written a poem about a previous king defeated in battle on the island. Medieval ships would have frequently passed the island, which was situated along a trade route, contributing to its fame. The ship-shaped monuments are thought to represent tribute to the Norse god Njord, who controlled the wind and weather, and whose symbol was a ship.

This article was originally published on Archaeology.org on May 24, 2021.

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