Equestrian Burial in Viking-Age Denmark: Regional significance and political context

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Equestrian burial was one of the earliest forms of Viking-Age burial to be recognized and described in Denmark in the 19th century. Many of the early finds had already been disturbed in the past or were uncovered by non-professionals. As a result, the documentation is sparse or non-existent, and many of the assemblages are known to be incomplete. One of the challenges has been to establish a more detailed chronology and overview of the geographical distribution of these burials. Rather than being typical of high-status male burial, as was first assumed, equestrian burials are a rare exception in Viking-Age Denmark, and very few have come to light in recent decades, despite the many Viking-Age cemeteries that have been uncovered across southern Scandinavia. A burial from Fregerslev in Jutland, excavated in 2013, is therefore a welcome addition, offering a new, albeit incomplete, professionally excavated find, as well as an opportunity to test new scientific methods and excavation techniques that were not previously available to excavators and archaeologists. Common features of the burials suggest that the deceased and their families had social contacts beyond their immediate local environment, and that these played a significant role in the changes taking place in contemporary society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHorse and Rider in the late Viking Age : Equestrian burial in perspective
EditorsAnne Pedersen, Merethe Schifter Bagge
Number of pages11
Place of PublicationAarhus
PublisherAarhus Universitetsforlag
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9788771849981
ISBN (Electronic)87-7219-466-9, 87-7184-998-X
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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