Viking Burials

Unlike the losers from yesterday, the Norsemen (called Vikings when they were away on their marauding voyages) who died at home or in battle were buried with rituals that are gruesome by today’s standards. Burials were either in mounds or ships.  The dead, men and women, were buried with their possessions (clothing, weapons, and jewelry) and food for their journey.  Wealthy Norsemen could be buried in ships that were either buried or set on fire.  Sometimes, their dogs, horses, and servants were killed and sent on the voyage with the deceased.   Some Norsemen were buried in ship-shaped graves.

The Vikings believed that those who displayed bravery on the battlefield would receive the greatest reward after death. Odin sent the Valkyries, his female warriors, to the battlefields where they gathered the fallen heroes and them to Asgard to the gods Odin and Freyja were they fought and feasted until Ragnarokk, the twilight of the Gods.  Worthy peasants and thralls (slaves) who died were taken to serve in Thor’s hall, Bilskirnir.  Some fate to look forward to for all eternity, if you were a peasant or thrall.

Tomorrow,  Story Time.   Rita Bay

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