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Viking Human Sacrifices/Burial Gift

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Don Quixote View Drop Down
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  Quote Don Quixote Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Viking Human Sacrifices/Burial Gift
    Posted: 16-Dec-2013 at 21:32
A cite at Flakstad suggests that Viking slaves were beheaded and buried as sacrifices
"...The research was led by Elise Naumann of the University of Oslo, and was recently published in the Journal of Archaeological Science. She explains, “The material includes skeletons from a total of ten individuals, found at Flakstad. At least three of these, which were found in double and triple graves, are headless. The isotope analyses, combined with analyses of ancient DNA, provide grounds to hypothesize that the headless skeletons were slaves who were decapitated before being buried along with their masters. This says a lot about the great differences between people in the society of the day. Life was undoubtedly difficult and brutal for the majority of people. Only a very few were privileged.”..."
http://www.medievalists.net/2013/12/15/viking-slaves-were-beheaded-and-buried-as-grave-gifts-archaeological-find-suggests/


Edited by Don Quixote - 16-Dec-2013 at 21:34
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opuslola View Drop Down
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Dec-2013 at 23:47
Does this site really say what you think it said?

Please think about it? The heads were taken to be "displayed" along the walls, or ramparts of the town to discourage further intrusions of enemies! Well that is what I would have done! Smile

Ron
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  Quote hlewagastir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 06:27
Cheers, Don Quixote.

Originally posted by opuslola

Does this site really say what you think it said?

Please think about it? The heads were taken to be "displayed" along the walls, or ramparts of the town to discourage further intrusions of enemies! Well that is what I would have done! Smile

Ron


Huh? Is there anything that substantiates your idea (outside of the heads not being found)?
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  Quote Lessa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 12:26
My question is, according to the scenario in the article, why are the slaves headless? In all cultures with such burial rituals, servants (dead or alive) and belongings are buried with the belief that they will serve to the deceased in the (whatever comes) next life. A headless servant surely won't be much of use!

On the other hand, even though I can't quote the source right now since it's been a long time, I've read that drastic measures such as decapitation was taken by Vikings when the proper burial rituals couldn't be carried. It was to prevent the deceased from returning back to life.
“But here's some advice, boy. Don't put your trust in revolutions. They always come around again. That's why they're called revolutions.” ― Terry Pratchett, Night Watch
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 12:34
Viking drunk vine in human skulls.Maybe they put the skulls for future finishing.Big smileSkull!they say in Denmark!

Edited by medenaywe - 17-Dec-2013 at 12:34
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  Quote Lessa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 12:41
Isn't it better to dump the skulls in the grave so that the master can drink wine from those skulls in Valhalla? LOL Snatching a guy's slaves just like that is rather rude.
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  Quote medenaywe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 12:53
Quality of head bones determened which sculls are good i suppose!CryImagine they drink a champaigne&brandy!Shocked
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  Quote hlewagastir Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Dec-2013 at 15:32
Originally posted by Lessa

My question is, according to the scenario in the article, why are the slaves headless? In all cultures with such burial rituals, servants (dead or alive) and belongings are buried with the belief that they will serve to the deceased in the (whatever comes) next life. A headless servant surely won't be much of use!

On the other hand, even though I can't quote the source right now since it's been a long time, I've read that drastic measures such as decapitation was taken by Vikings when the proper burial rituals couldn't be carried. It was to prevent the deceased from returning back to life.


We do not know why the slaves´ heads apparently either weren't put in the grave, or were removed at a later stage.
What we know though:
- Far from all graves with human sacrifice per decapitation have the same missing head issue.
- We have a hard time actually guessing/understanding what would have went on at a given funerary/sacrifice feast, but from the sources we have they generally seem to have been pretty elaborate.
- The rules of the living would probably have been conceived at differing a good bit from those of the dead - or the liminal.
They could have taken the heads afterwards or during, disposed of them/sacrificed them separately - in lake, another grave, a pyre - and still have considered these men able to serve in the afterlife (with their heads attached).
I´m not saying that´s how it actually happened in this instance, but it´s just important to stress that ideas about dead/dying/afterlife that we - or other cultures - might have do not necessarily apply to the people who decapitated these men, and buried them headless.

Fear of the dead slaves returning (because they had gone unwillingly?) is another thing which might play into it.

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