Historical knowledge

The chamber-graves of the Viking Age

Some of the Viking Age’s wealthiest people were buried in chamber-graves. A chamber-grave consists of a wooden chamber, which is either dug down into the earth or placed in a mound. From Denmark and the old Danish area we know of around 60 chamber-graves. Most of the burials have been found in the area south of the Danish-German border. But they can also be found in Jutland, as well as on Funen, Langeland and Lolland. Such chamber-graves are yet to be found on Zealand. The grave type comes into use at the end of the 800s – perhaps to counter the advancing Christianity? With the re-excavation of the grave from Mammen in 1986 valuable new information was obtained. The remains of the chamber were found again, which had an area of 2 x 3 m. Three heavy posts in each end had apparently born the pitched roof. Tree-ring dating of the grave revealed that the dead man was buried around 970-971 – a few years after Denmark officially became Christian.

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