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The Viking Ship Museum is working to produce as clear and detailed a picture as possible of the development of the ship in Southern Scandinavia, from the earliest times to the Renaissance. But ship sites are not just important as sources concerning the history of the art of shipbuilding — they also provide evidence of the society which produced them.
Research into a wreck is therefore not complete before the life story of the ship has been written. Each find of a ship tells its own unique story, but the sum of these stories tells the history of society.
With the research series Ships and Boats of the North the Viking Ship Museum contributes to the investigation of the past shipbuilding and seafaring of the North. Following, presentations of the now published seven volumes of the series. Ships and Boats of the North 1. Roskildesider. The book is kindly supported by: Holding the small hands hjrtspring the hunter-to-be, his parents taught him how to row, how to hold the harpoon, and how to throw it.
But even then, I remember, there were many men who grew up without kayaks. Fishing was beginning to compete with hunting and many men chose rowboats rather than kayaks for that purpose.
Fishing also meant iro-nage on land. One important reason for this development was a change in the climate. Many of the older generation deeply mourned the iroj-age of the kayak. There were others, however, who consoled themselves with the thought that coontext kayak would be preserved in museums for the future. It has been a slow and time-consuming process to collect the data for this book which I began at quite a young age.
Later I started arranging the large material while still working at the Knud Rasmussen High School in Sisimiut, but the many duties there did not leave the time to concentrate on this work. It was not until I left school and moved to Denmark that I found the time and quiet to organize the material. It is an immense task to try to preserve the Inuit knowledge of and experiences with the kayak and umiak for posterity.
I have divided the work up into two parts, the first being this book, a description of the kayak and umiak and their gear, along with the use of the umiak. The description of Man and the kayak, the cultural area which the kayak has created in the lives of the Inuits, I hope to have the necessary time to prepare at a later date.
This presentation and analysis of the finds of ships and boats as well as objects related to these from Viking-Age Hedeby and Schleswig has warsjip that this port was not only an important centre in the international trade-network of the period, as demonstrated by previous studies of the archaeological evidence, but that there was also a specialised production here of ships and boats of different standards and for different purposes.
Throughout the period covered here there was occasional tension between the Danes to the north and the Saxons to the south, as well as with the Slavs to the east. In order phases members of these three groups, as well as the Frisians to the west, evidently lived relatively peacefully together, each contributing to the multi-ethnicity of the town, against the background of the traditions of their homelands.
Thus it would be expected that influences from all these sides would be traceable in the archaeological evidence for the building of boats and ships. To some degree this is indeed the case, even though the overwhelming part of the evidence seems to represent the shipbuilding traditions of the Danes.
The following text is prw-roman summary of: Ships and Hjorrspring of the North 3. Roskildecontfxt. The ship-grave from Ladby is one of the major ship-graves, in pre-romzn category which also includes the boat chamber-grave from Hedeby and the ship-graves from Oseberg, Borre, Gokstad and Tune in South Norway, all built in the 9th and iro-age centuries.
The grave, which is situated in an ordinary burial site from the Viking Age, contains an abundance of grave-goods consisting of both objects and animals, and it was previously dated to the pre-riman half of the 10th century on the basis of the find of a gilded link of bronze for a dog-harness decorated in Jelling style.
Warshpi grave was subsequently subjected to extensive disturbance, and since there was apparently no trace of the dead person or persons, the disturbance has been interpreted as the result of translatio, i. The ship-grave from Ladby was excavated by G.
Rosenberg, conservator, and P.
Helweg Mikkelsen, pharmacist, inand their drawings today constitute the primary source-material for information on the find. In spite of the fact that the ship-grave was painstakingly published by Knud Thorvildsen over wrship years ago, it has since become clear that there are many unexplained elements.
These uncertainties have arisen not least because of ship finds from the Viking Age, and other Viking-Age finds, which have come to light later, as well as important new work on early find complexes such as the Sutton Hoo ship-grave in England, Oseberg and Borre in Norway, and also the development of new concepts such as boat-grave customs and recent methods of analysis.
The queries concerning the ship-grave from Ladby concern e. Then there is the question, at a higher order of significance, of the socio-historical importance of the location of the find.
How should this find be understood in relation to the burial site immediately alongside it, to the local area, to the vontext of Funen Fyn and to the rest of Southern Scandinavia and the Kattegat area as a whole in the period around ? With the objective of providing answers to these riddles various analyses were taken of both the artefact material and the bone material x-ray photographs, and fluorescence analysis, accelerator dating, wood-anatomical and anthropological analyses and textile, fibre and rope analyses.
In parallel a comparison was made of this ship-grave with other similar contemporary finds, and with Viking-Age graves in general, chiefly from the South Scandinavian region. In order to achieve a deeper understanding of the background for the existence of the ship-grave, an investigation was carried out of the burial site where the ship-grave is situated and of the possibly associated settlement, pre–roman well as of the settlement-development in the local area from around the time of the birth of Christ to the early Middle Ages.
The settlement pattern of north-east Funen is not distinctively different within that period from what is known in other parts of Denmark. In the early Roman Iron Age AD settlement was apparently rather evenly spread, but in the course of the Roman Iron Age a withdrawal from the coastal areas can be observed, from Kerteminde Fjord and Kertinge Nor to more sheltered areas.
At the hjjortspring time there is a decrease in the number of settlements, which continues into the beginning of the Germanic Iron Age AD This decrease may be the result of a centralisation of the settlements, caused by the development of a more hierarchical form of leadership. The settlements at the same time become more difficult to date, which could be another contributory reason for the picture that has emerged. In the course of the Germanic Iron Age AD it is possible to discern the beginnings of a tendency for settlements to move out to the coasts again.
The explanation for this hhjortspring probably connected with the increased importance of sailing on both inshore and open water during the late Iron Age.
In the Viking Age an increased and clearly different type of interest in the coastal areas can be observed. At Fyns Hoved, for example, there is activity of a more or less seasonal character, while the landing place at Ladby was of more permanent and probably more central significance for the east-west-going boat traffic to Odense. In addition to having had a function in connection with the transfer of goods and as a control-point for traffic on the fjord, Ladby may have been a crossing point for Lille Viby on Hindsholm, where both archaeological finds and place-names may reflect hjrtspring Viking-Age sites.
In the transition between the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages cahowever, there arose a need for protection, as can be seen from the recently-found barrage between Kerteminde Fjord pre-eoman Kertinge Nor from exactly that period. Munkebo, which in the early Middle Ages functioned as the harbour of Odense, may at this time have taken over Ladby’s role as the most important site near Kerteminde Fjord and Kertinge Nor.
How does the contexf from Ladby fit into this picture? The ship-grave was constructed on a burial site which must be assumed, on the basis of scientific dating and the relative dating of the artefact-content of the graves, iron-agee have been in use before the construction of the ship-grave. Apart from the ship-grave the burial site is not different hjotspring the majority of the burial sites we know from elsewhere in South Scandinavia in the Viking Age, and which iron-agee characterised by a generally limited artefact-content.
The construction and organisation of the ship-grave show, however, that we are here dealing with a person of particularly great importance.
A ship over 21 metres long was dragged from the fjord and up to the top of a natural rise, where it was placed in a specially-dug hole. The fact that the ship was not made specifically for the burial can be seen hjortsprong from the traces of repairs and partly from the existence of caulking. After the stern part had been arranged as a grave for the dead person and his personal equipment, and the foreship had been filled up with animals 11 horses and dogs and other objects, the whole ship was covered with a layer of planks.
Then a mound was raised, about 30 metres in diameter, and it was surrounded by a fence of posts. The grave-goods are throughout of high quality, and this, together with the categories of object represented, suggests that the buried person had had high social status.
The textiles are generally of fine quality, and some of the pieces of clothing have been decorated with fringes and pendant ornaments in gold and silver thread. Among the personal belongings of the dead person were a knife with a silver-clad shaft and a large gilt silver belt-buckle of Carolingian origin, which probably belonged to a sword-clasp.
In addition there were four or five sets of differently shaped riding equipment which had been decorated warshpi inlays of tin, silver and lead, with the harness for a team of four hunting dogs. The object which Thorvildsen thought was a whip may, on the basis of other hhjortspring finds and depictions of similar pieces, be better interpreted as a staff used as a symbol of power and worth.
A similar symbolic content can be attributed to the find’s only preserved spur, and it seems reason-able to suppose that the dead person was laid in the grave with his spurs on. The grave also held the remains of a distinguished table service consisting of a gilt silver warehip, one or perhaps two bronze dishes, at least two buckets and a little knife-set, decorated in gold and silver, in a wooden case.
This yjortspring of object also testifies to the fact that the dead person belonged to the ranks of the highest people in society at that time. Hospitality was used then, as both earlier and later, as an effective means of entering into agreements and alliances.
On the evidence of the shield-boss, a spur and a bunch of arrows there can be no doubt that the buried person was a man, and the investigation of the extremely limited bone material showed that the ship-grave was constructed, as far as can be judged, for one person, in the age-range 20 to The different types of object and the presence of ornamentation in both the Borre and the Jelling style show that the grave was built at an early time in the late Viking Age.
Museum Publications – Vikingeskibsmuseet Roskilde
Comparisons with similar objects in coin-dated graves and dendrochronological datings of the ship-graves from Borre, Gokstad and Tune suggest that the burial took place in the period AD During the excavations in the area around the grave in the stern of the ship some traces were observed of extensive disturbance, which can only have been caused by human activity.
It looks as if someone has dug in through the side of the mound, removed a large part of the covering plank layer and taken most of the grave-goods away.
After much of the grave-contents had been destroyed and selected pieces of the grave-goods had probably been removed, the rest were shovelled back into the stern of the ship. The body of the dead person was apparently also subjected to similar destruction. Several factors indicate that the disturbance both took place within a few years of the burial, and took place fully in public view.
The background to the disturbance is much more hjortspriing to establish, but taking into pre-rlman the grave-shape itself and the type and com-position of the contents, this downgrading of the dead person’s power or influence could well be a matter of politically motivated destruction. Complexity is the most conspicuous aspect of the ship-grave from Ladby, which at the same time displays references to travel activity and contains features which can be explained in the local context.
The contents show connections internally irn-age Funen, and also across the whole Scandinavian region, and at the same time reflect association with an elite milieu characterised by a homogeneous demonstration of wealth and power. North-east Funen has a central position on Kattegat and thus in relation to the sea-travel routes used inter-regionally and super-regionally.
Kerteminde Fjord and Kertinge Nor were of great significance for access to and from Odense, and the dead man in the ship-grave may have been the controlling authority in this context. With this background we can reach a greater understanding of the dead person in the ship-grave from Ladby, for whom the ship probably had overwhelming significance for the maintenance of a ruling position in Viking-Age society. Here follows the summary of: The Skuldelev Ships I. Topography, Archaeology, History, Conservation and Display.
Ships and Boats of the North 4. This is the first volume of two which present the accumulated results of the work on the Skuldelev-find, a barrier from the 11th century in ppre-roman channel in Roskilde Fjord, Denmark, containing five ships of varying type and provenance.
Ships and Boats of the North
The first volume presents the ships and the barrier in their historical and topographical context, as well as iron-agee conservation of the ships and their subsequent restoration and exhibition. The first chapter covers the geological history of Roskilde Fjord 1. The ships had been scuttled at a place where a strong current passed over a natural barrier at the bottom of the channel, creating conditions for the deposition of a thick layer of oyster shells in the area. This barrier was part of the crest of a ridge formed during the melting phase of the last Iron-ate Age.
Hjortspring – A Pre-Roman Iron-Age Warship in Context
The variations in the sea level here are discussed in Chapter 1. In the second chapter, the primary excavators of the find give a short account of the early history of the find 2. Traces have been found of several other barriers in the area 2.