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: How we can make super-fast hyperloop travel a reality

Related Stories

How we can make super-fast hyperloop travel a reality

January 11, 2017

Across Europe and parts of Asia, travellers can enjoy some of the fastest rail services in the world. From Málaga to Madrid, Tokyo to Osaka, high-speed electric trains condense the travel times between major hubs by racing ...

Recommended for you

Major Viking Age manor discovered at Birka, Sweden

January 19, 2017

During spring of 2016 a number of large presumed house terraces were identified by the authors at Korshamn. As a consequence high resolution geophysical surveys using ground-penetrating radar were carried out in September ...

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.