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Archaeologists uncover ‘sensational,’ rare Viking burial boats in Sweden

The remains of a man were discovered in a Viking burial boat in Sweden, archaeologists announced July 4. (Arkeologerna Statens Historika Museer) (Arkeologerna Statens historiska museer)
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The remains of a man, a dog and a horse were found during a rare discovery of two Viking burial boats in Sweden, archaeologists announced July 4.

Archaeologists discovered the boats, which could be more than 1,400 years old, in Gamla Uppsala, north of Stockholm, according to the Archaeologists, part of the National Historical Museums in Sweden.

Such boat graves were where important members of Viking society were laid to rest, probably between 550 to 800 AD and 800 to 1500 AD. Customarily, they were buried alongside jewelry and other riches or gifts.

In these graves, the archaeologists also found “a sword, spear, shield, and an ornate comb.”

The burial boats were the first in nearly 50 years to be excavated from the Uppsala area. Before this discovery, only 10 other boats had been uncovered in Sweden.

“It is extremely exciting for us since boat burials are so rarely excavated,” archaeologist Anton Seiler said in a statement.

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The findings are unusual because such graves remained “well preserved.” It was more common to cremate the dead in Viking society, according to the statement.

The archaeologists noted that since this grave stayed immune to plundering, it offers great insight for research and study of the rare Viking burial practices.

“We can now use modern science and methods that will generate new results, hypotheses and answers,” Seiler said.

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