As far as we know, Viking ships once were an important part in Viking life. Viking Ships were not only appealing in the appearance but also mighty enough to carry the Vikings around Europe. The Vikings even believed that their ship could bring them to better afterlife reasoning some Viking ships inside burial mound. But not everyone could afford a ship. As a result, they buried the deceased in the Viking Stone ship which was ship-shaped burial.
Viking Stone Ship
Viking stone ship used to be a Viking custom of burial. The deceased could be buried or cremated before the burial. Around the grave would be many stones that made up the shape of a ship. The ships could be small or large which all depended on those who erected them. The archaeologists estimated that the graves were constructed around the 11th century.
The largest Viking stone ship by far has been the Jelling stone ship in Denmark. It measures about 170m (560ft) in length. However, this stone ship is severely destroyed.
As mentioned above, not all the Vikings could afford a ship to make a fortune when living, not to mention dead. In other words, a ship would cost a free-born Viking man a lifetime to build one, including labour, money, and even time. It was of the most expensive. Viking sword was a symbol of luxury and Viking ship was the next level of luxury and power as well. That’s why only those who were of upper most importance could have themselves buried with a real ship.
The Vikings found their way to satisfy their desire by making a stone ship as a result. Some scholars believed that the stone ship came from the desire to equip the deceased with what they had in life. Or they simply wanted their beloved deceased to have a better afterlife where they could set sail and raid as they once did.
A scholar once associated the Viking ship stone on the graveyard with the field of Freya. Somehow the graveyard of Viking ship stone resembled the Folkvangr of goddess Freya.