Thursday, 7 November 2013


Six Late Iron Age (AD 550–1030) graves were discovered in the northern Norwegian island of Flakstad and partially excavated in the period 1980–1983. There were ten individuals making up three single burials, two double and one triple and unusually for this region the bones were in a good state of preservation.
Although much of the contextual information had been lost due to farming activity, the double and triple burials contained one intact individual in each, along with the post-cranial bones of the other occupants. This situation has been interpreted as decapitated slaves buried with his/her master and the theory is supported by a number of double burials found within Norse societies indicating this practice.
Elise Naumann from the University of Oslo led a study to investigate stable isotope and ancient mitochondrial DNA fragments in order to better understand the social status, geographical and/or familial links within the Flakstad group.
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