Skuldelev Ships: Viking Ships Sacrificed in River

Skuldelev ships were the name of five Viking ships under the waterway of Peberrenden at Skuldelev, Roskilde, Denmark. Although Skuldelev ships were not as famous as the Oseberg ship, the excavation once became a public attention for months.

There were up to 5 Viking ships in the site after the excavation in 1962. It took the archaeologists about four months to finally complete the excavation. They concluded that these ships dated back to the 11th century.

Originally, the archaeologists thought there were six ships in total. But it turned out that the Skuldelev 2 and the Skuldelev 4 were one ship.

Skuldelev ships
Archaeologists working on the waterway for the Skuldelev ships
Skuldelev ships
Skuldelev ships

These ships provided a good source of information about the shipbuilding traditions of the Viking society. Even some modern ships find it hard to cross Atlantic, in the past, Viking ships did it. That’s why many historians and Viking enthusiasts wonder how the Vikings built their ships.

All of the ships were allegedly sunken in the waterway to prevent the outsiders from attacking the Viking town. So it was likely that the Vikings used their ships for military purpose, rather than sacrifice or tribute to anyone.

Now, five of them are on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. And some of them have become a source of inspiration for the shipbuilders to make a replica Viking ship to cross the world.

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