Thursday, 12 December 2013

Double graves with headless slaves

In the Viking era, a number of slaves were beheaded and then buried together with their masters. New methods of skeleton analysis reveal more about the life of the poor more than a thousand years ago.

In 1975, three intact skeletons from the Iron Age were found on the Tommeide farm in Tomma. Naumann interprets this as a family grave. - Despite possible kinship between them, probably as members of the same household, the child nevertheless had a diet that was different from that of the two adults during the last years of their lives. (Photo: Anne Stalsberg, NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet)

How was life for common people in Norway during the period 400–1050 AD? Can we learn more? Yes, according to Elise Naumann, research scholar in archaeology. By using isotope analysis to examine ancient skeletons, she has made several remarkable discoveries. The research results from the analysis of skeletons found at Flakstad in Lofoten have also been reported in the American newspaper USA Today.

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