Ladbyskibet

In 1934, a significant historical find was made in an excavation in the village of Ladby – the remains of the first and only Viking ship found in Denmark which was believed to have been used as a burial site. The Ladbyskibet has since then become a historical site and a tourist destination that speaks of a great Viking culture that existed in Denmark. The Vikings have always been noted for their seafaring way of life and even in death they use ships to bury their esteemed and loved ones.

The burial ship that was found in Ladby is believed to have been made for a chieftain around 900 – 950 AD. The ship was 72 feet long and 22 meters wide and although most of the wood part has decayed through time, an imprint of the hull was left in the earth where the ship was found. True to Viking tradition, the ship was decorated with dragons. There are also signs of the status of the person that was buried in it – some bones of about 11 horses and a few dogs were found in it, along with some weapons and an anchor.

The Viking believed that burying these animals and items along with the dead meant he will be able to enjoy the same kind of life he had when he goes to the next world, or Valhalla. The body was also believed to have been lain to rest in a wooden hut or cabin which was built aft of where the mast is supposed to be. With this important excavation, a museum was built in 2007 which focuses on Viking life.

 

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