Missing Bodies and Cat Skeletons: New Perspectives on Ritual in Viking Age Iceland

Author(s): Brenda Prehal

Year: 2015


The research that has dominated Icelandic burial practices has until very recently been quite narrow. Burials were excavated to extract the skeleton and artifacts within the grave cut itself, leading to a central theory that Icelandic burials are poor in ritual and culture. Recent excavation and theories, however, have led to open area excavations of pagan cemeteries, which reveal much more complicated ritual. Snorri Sturlusson, the author of the famous Icelandic Sagas and Eddas, might give us some clues as to what these newly discovered rituals might have been. How much did Snorri know about his ancestors and what does that mean for Viking Age Icelandic identity?

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Cite this Record

Missing Bodies and Cat Skeletons: New Perspectives on Ritual in Viking Age Iceland. Brenda Prehal. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397010)


Iceland Norse Ritual

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;