Bodies from Viking ships to be exhumed

June 11, 2007

Scientists in Norway plan to exhume three bodies found in the country's most famous Viking ship burials because they fear the remains may be disintegrating.

The remains of a man found in the Gokstad ship were re-interred in 1928 after examination with the technology available at the time. The bodies of two women found 20 years later in the Oseberg ship were also re-buried.

Metal containers were used.

"Now we fear that condensation caused by temperature swings in both metal caskets may have made the textile damp," Terje Gansum of the Midgard Historical Center in Vestfold told Aftenposten. "This could in turn have destroyed the remains, or at least damaged them."

The grave openings are scheduled for September. Scientists said they hope they will be able to analyze the DNA in the bodies, including determining whether the two women in the Oseberg mound were related.

The ships and furniture, weapons and other objects buried with the occupants are in an Oslo museum. Both mounds were plundered by robbers centuries ago.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Solving a 48 year old mystery: Scientists succeed at growing noroviruses in human intestinal cell cultures in the lab

Related Stories

Researcher measures earthquakes in the oceans

August 1, 2016

On a ship off the coast of Bermuda, Frederik Simons, an associate professor of geosciences at Princeton University, fastens a rope around a six-foot-tall white cylinder affixed with solar panels and various wires suspended ...

High-power acoustic sensor developed to detect stowaways

July 13, 2015

New technology has been developed to address the illegal movement across borders of people hidden in containers. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in comments about today's technology efforts, said ...

Recommended for you

New species of pterosaur discovered in Patagonia

August 30, 2016

Scientists today announced the discovery of a new species of pterosaur from the Patagonia region of South America. The cranial remains were in an excellent state of preservation and belonged to a new species of pterosaur ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.