The glorious Viking Ship Museum (part three) The cart and sleighs

 oseberg77oseberg-pt3-9oseberg42oseberg-pt3-1 oseberg-pt3-2 oseberg-pt3-11oseberg-pt3-6oseberg-pt3-12oseberg-pt3-7  oseberg-pt3-10In The Oseberg Queen’s grave, there were more than 12 horses, 3 ceremonial sledges and a cart. The placement of the sledge shafts indicate that there could have been a horse on either side. The cart (1st pic of this post) was probably only used for special occasions. The back of the cart is decorated with carvings of cats – often associated with our fertility goddess Frøya. The front end shows a man being attacked by serpents, possibly portraying the tale of Gunnar in the snake pit. The sleighs are made of different types of wood and were richly carved. The placement of the sledge shafts indicate that they were pulled by two horses. We believe that the sleighs were made for pageantry and therefore, appearances were important. These carvings were enhanced by black and red paint, and tinplated nails were also part of the decoration. Unfortunately, the colours were difficult to preserve and cannot be seen today.

The best viking bling is ancient museum bling! 😉 I am always in awe when beholding the gorgeous Oseberg finds. Yass!

Sources: Uio, Museum of Cultural History & The Viking Ship Museum
Photosss: Sól Geirsdóttir

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The Oseberg Ship

Behold part one of more posts to come about the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy, Norway! (Yes, I have been here several times – for previous posts click here and/or here (:
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”The oseberg ship was found in a large burial mound on the Oseberg farm, in Vestfold, and excavated  in 1904. The ship was built sometime between 815-820 AD, but was later used as a grave ship for a woman of high rank who died in 834 AD. The woman had been placed in a wooden burial chamber on the aft deck of the ship. The burial mound was constructed of layers of turf which preserved both the ship, and its rich contents of wooden objects, leather and textiles. The burial mound was plundered by grave robbers in ancient times – probably the reason why no jewellery or gold or silver objects were found in the grave. The 22 meter longs hip was built of oak. The number of oar holes indicates that the ship was rowed by a crew of 30 men. The ship had no seats, and the oarsmen probably sa ton their own wooden ship’s chests. The oars could be drawn in when the square sail was raised. The steering rudder was placed on the right aft side of the ship- the starboard side. The Oseberg ship is less solidly constructed than the Gokstad ship – only the upper two rows of side planking extend above the water line. It was probably a royal pleasure craft used for short journeys in calm waters.”

Text: The Viking Ship Museum
Photos: Sól Geirsdóttir

The Viking Ship Museum (part 2)

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Is is possible to be in love with an object? Or rather, in love with a with a ship? I believe I am. I’ve visited this museum countless times, to the point where it’ starting to get… awkward. You see, I’ve stood there in awe – glancing at The Oseberg ship in all its’ glory – my heart pounding heavily – my body trembling with admiration. And… It might just be me, but I think it is noticeable. At least by the guards (lol!) Like I’ve said before, guards “always” follow me around when I stroll through museums. The reason might be that I’m a big goofball with a huge smile. Not the average museum guest, but that one weirdo who is a bit too ‘happy go lucky’.
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This photo was taken outside the museum. Yup… I am clearly in love with the ship. Heh. 

The Oseberg Ship 

“The Oseberg ship was built in western Norway around the year 820. It is made of oak. Each of the strakes overlaps the one below and they are fixed with iron nails. Each side of the ship consists of 12 strakes, or planks. Below the waterline, they are only 2-3 cm thick, which makes the ship’s side very flexible. The two upper strakes are a little thicker. The deck is made of loose pine planks. The mast is also of pine and was between 10 and 13 metres high.

In the year 834, two prosperous women died. The Oseberg ship was pulled ashore and used as a burial ship for the two ladies. A burial chamber was dug right behind the ship’s mast. Inside, the walls were decorated with fantastic woven tapestries and the dead women lay on a raised bed. The women had a number of burial gifts with them. There were personal items such as clothes, shoes and combs, ship’s equipment, kitchen equipment, farm equipment, three ornate sledges and a working sledge, a wagon, five carved animal heads, five beds and two tents. There were fifteen horses, six dogs and two small cows. Investigation of the skeletons showed that the older woman was about 70 to 80 when she died, probably of cancer. The other woman was younger, a little over 50. We do not know what she died of.

Both of them must have held a special position in the community to have been given a grave such as this; were they political or religious leaders? Who was the most prominent person in the grave? Was one a sacrifice, to accompany the other into the kingdom of the dead? Were they related? Where did they come from? The two women from the past remain a mystery, but continued research may tell us more.”

Text:
UIO, Museum of Cultural History,
http://www.khm.uio.no/english/visit-us/viking-ship-museum/exhibitions/oseberg/

Photos: Sól Geirsdóttir – The Viking Queen

The Oseberg Ship ~Museum of Cultural History

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This mysterious rune inscription reads : “litet-vis maðr” ~ “mennesket vet lite”  
(The inscription is open to interpretation.)
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The items from the Oseberg burial mound are glorious to behold. Experts on the field are working hard with the ongoing problem of conserving them. <

And yes, I was constantly drooling as I strolled through the museum. I must admit that It was hard to inhibit the urge to touch the Oseberg ship and feel all the old energies close at hand. xD But as the well-mannered viking queen that I am, I managed to behave.

~Sól Geirsdóttir