Bodies from Viking ships to be exhumed

Jun 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: Researchers create methylation maps of Neanderthals and Denisovans, compare them to modern humans

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exxon Valdez Runs Aground in 1989

Mar 24, 2014

Early on March 24, 1989, Dean Fosdick, the Alaska bureau chief of The Associated Press, was awakened around 5:30 a.m. by a phone call. The caller had a tip that a tanker had run aground outside Valdez.

DNA testing solves mystery of Titanic survivor claim

Jan 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —DNA testing has proven that Helen Kramer was not Loraine Allison, a two year old child who was believed to have died when the infamous ocean liner Titanic sank April 15, 1912. Ms. Kramer died ...

Green groups concerned over Ghana whale deaths mystery

Nov 06, 2013

Decomposed whale carcasses have been washing up on beaches in Ghana's oil-producing west, raising the ire of environmental groups worried the country's growing petroleum industry may be killing marine life.

Recommended for you

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

Apr 17, 2014

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

Apr 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Study finds law dramatically curbing need for speed

Almost seven years have passed since Ontario's street-racing legislation hit the books and, according to one Western researcher, it has succeeded in putting the brakes on the number of convictions and, more importantly, injuries ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...