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: Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

Jul 31, 2014

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Nature's strongest glue comes unstuck

Jul 18, 2014

Over a 150 years since it was first described by Darwin, scientists are finally uncovering the secrets behind the super strength of barnacle glue.

The science that stumped Einstein

Jul 01, 2014

In 1908, the physics world woke up to a puzzle whose layers have continued to stump the greatest scientists of the century ever since. That year, Dutch physicist Kamerlingh Onnes cooled mercury down to -450° ...

Skin with high rust protection factor

Jun 04, 2014

In industrialized countries, corrosion guzzles up to 4 percent of economic performance annually. Substances that protect metals effectively from its ravages are often damaging to the environment or have other ...

Affordable precision 3-D printing for pros

Jun 03, 2014

Against the backdrop of today's burgeoning 3-D printing landscape—with an ever-increasing number of machines popping up—MIT Media Lab spinout Formlabs has carved out a precise niche.

Recommended for you

Dinosaur footprints set for public display in Utah

Aug 22, 2014

A dry wash full of 112-million-year-old dinosaur tracks that include an ankylosaurus, dromaeosaurus and a menacing ancestor of the Tyrannosaurus rex, is set to open to the public this fall in Utah.

Fossil arthropod went on the hunt for its prey

Aug 22, 2014

A new species of carnivorous crustacean has been identified, which roamed the seas 435 million years ago, grasping its prey with spiny limbs before devouring it. The fossil is described and details of its lifestyle are published ...

User comments : 0