Viking Ladby Ship: Burial for Viking King?

By the time of the Viking Ladby ship excavation, it had been the only ship burial mound in Denmark. Viking Ladby ship suggested that the Ladby ship belonged to a burial of a Viking minor king or a Viking warrior who held a high social rank.

This Viking ship burial located in Ladby, Denmark. That’s why we call it Ladby ship. It was on the island of Funen in the southwest of Kerteminde. After researching the burial site, the archaeologists concluded that Ladby ship was built around 950AD during the glory of the Vikings.

Back in the Viking Age, only those who were wealthy and politically or religiously important could afford this kind of luxury for their funeral.

Ladby ship belonged to a great Viking warrior

Buried with valuables was a kind of luxury, not to mention with a real ship. The Ladby ship was about 21.5 meters in length and 2.75 meters in width. The power of time destroyed almost every part of the ship. But the archaeologists could realize that there had been a ship in the site thanks to more than 2,000 rivets.

The power of time destroyed nearly all of the parts of Ladby ship
The Ladby Ship on display in the museum.

When the archaeologists discovered the Ladby ship, it still had the dragon curls as the decorative patterns for the ship.

However, the burial mound showed signs of previous attempts to break in.

The archaeologists found out many kinds of grave goods inside the burial grave. There were weapons, riding gear, textiles, utensils, tools, and even board games. All of these grave goods suggested that the one who was buried inside the grave was an talented warrior based on the Viking burial traditions.

Horses and dogs inside the burial mound
Modern reconstruction of the Viking Ladby buiral mound
The dragon curls as the decoration of the Viking ship
The dragon curls as the decoration of the Viking ship
The Viking anchor found inside the burial mound
The Viking anchor found inside the burial mound of Ladby
Remains inside the Ladby ship

Remains of eleven horses were at the bow of the ship. The archaeologists also found out skeletons of many dogs inside the burial mound. This was a traditional Viking grave animals. All of the goods and the ship suggested that this burial mound could have belonged to the Viking chieftain or a Viking minor king as a way to glorify him.

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