Like the Viking shieldmaiden, the historical existence of the Viking seeress remains a mystery. According to the literal materials, the Viking seeress existed in the Viking community. The most famous archaeological evidence that strengthens the theory that the Viking seeress did exist is the mysterious Viking burial in Fyrkat.
This mysterious Viking burial is located in Fyrkat – a former Viking ring fort in Denmark dating back to the 10th century. In the beginning, the excavation of the burial made the archaeologists wonder whether it was a burial of a volva who was a female seer in the Viking age. Because what the archaeologists found inside the burial site meant the one buried inside was no an ordinary person. Around the site, the archaeologists found out more than 30 graves. But this one was the most unusual.
The mysterious woman with high social rank
Inside the burial mound, the archaeologists found out the remains of a woman with luxurious clothes. She was wearing the blue linen clothes adorned with golden thread. This presented that the woman was of importance in the Viking community. She was both wealthy and respected by the Viking free men.
The grave site also contained many luxurious items that did not belong to any Scandinavian parts. And only the wealthy at the time could afford them. The archaeologists found the woman wearing the silver toe rings. According to the archaeologists, there have been no Viking excavations with the toe ring by far. The items archaeologists found also included the bronze bowls. The archaeologists believed that such bowls were originated from Central Asia.
A wand and poisonous plant?
With a look at the items buried with the woman, we can immediately say that she was a wealthy and noble woman. But some objects inside the burial mound excited the archaeologists because they suggested that the woman was a Viking volva or a seeress.
The two unusual objects were the brooch with poison and the strange wand.
The two objects made us believe the grave belonged to the Viking seeress. Because in the Viking age, they called the seeress the volva. And the word “volva” meant “the wand-carrier” or “the carrier of the magic stuff”. Viking sagas described the Volva to be a mysterious woman who only appeared in the night holding a magic thing in her hands.
The woman was with her purse. Inside the purse, there was a kind of seed – the henbane seeds. According to the Viking sagas, the volva often threw those seeds into the fire producing the smell of hallucination. We should bear in mind that the Vikings only buried the dead with their personal daily items. Then if the woman had not used the seed, why they would have had to bury her with the seeds.
We are yet to know about the identity of the woman inside the mysterious Viking burial site in Fyrkat. But one thing we are sure is that she was not a ordinary Viking female. The burial goods also suggest that she was not a Viking female warrior. What were buried with the woman tend to point out that the woman was likely to be a seeress.