Gokstad Ship: one of the famous Viking ships

The Gokstad ship is about a Viking ship found in one of the mounds in the 19th century. But what do you know about the Vikings? At one time, these warlike people terrorized the whole of Northern Europe. There is even an opinion that the Vikings were the first to discover the lands of the New World long before Columbus.

And a lot of ancient artifacts related to the Vikings have been found. And one of the most interesting artifacts was found in 1880. At that moment, in the east of Norway, on the Gokstad farm, local peasants decided to excavate a burial mound.

Researchers have established that it was built at least in the 10th century AD. It is interesting that in addition to the many things usual for burial mounds, it contained… the largest Drakkar ever found by archaeologists. Drakkar is an ancient wooden Viking ship.

Its characteristic features are a high–raised nose and stern. Some of the discovered Drakkars were not only on the seabed but also on land.

But what was such a longship doing in the mound?

Gokstad Ship: one of the famous viking ships

Researchers explain this by the traditions of Viking sacrifice. Like the ancient Egyptians, the Vikings believed that in the afterlife, the deceased could use all those things that he used in earthly life. Therefore, everything that could be folded was put there, especially if they were burying some king.

Along with the Gokstad Ship, many expensive weapons and jewelry were found, as well as the remains of horses and hunting dogs. Some researchers believe that the wives of the deceased who committed ritual suicides were also sent to the burial mounds. However, one hundred percent confirmation of this fact has not yet been found.

As for the dragon boat found in the mound, the researchers believe that the vessel could belong to the Viking king Olaf. Unfortunately, there were not so many things in the burial ground, which suggests that it could have been looted back in those distant times. But some of the robbers did not take away or did not notice, so some of the things have survived to our time.

The skeleton of the buried king was found in the burial ground – he was on the ship in the place of the ship’s captain. For that time, it was a real giant (it is known that in the distant past people were much shorter) – his height was almost 190 centimeters, and the researchers determined his age from 50 to 70 years.

Together with the buried king, the remains of a wooden bed, a harness for a horse, several metal bowls, a tent, barrels with boilers, and jewelry with weapons were found. There were also such amazing findings that baffled researchers.

Gokstad ship is about a Viking ship found in one of the mounds
Gokstad ship is about a Viking ship found in one of the mounds

For example, they found peacock feathers and their bones here. Many skeletons of horses and dogs were found around the boat, as well as three smaller boats. It is impossible to call them “small” – the length of each of them is almost 7 meters.

And the dimensions of the Gokstad Ship are even larger – about 23 meters in length and about 5 meters in width. The ship moved due to the strength of the rowers, who used 5.5 meter long oars for this. The ship was painted in 2 colors – yellow and black.

It is immediately clear that it was clearly not intended for peaceful trade – it was a warship that could accommodate up to 80 people. To get the latest stories, install our app here.

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