Centuries of warrior boat graves - the Valsgärde burial ground

Author(s): John Ljungkvist

Year: 2017


The Valsgärde burial ground is one of key sites for the Viking phenomenon project. This burial site was used for more than 1000 years. It is the best preserved and the only "entirely" excavated boat grave site in Sweden. Here we can follow the changing burial rites and interactions with the world during the 1st Millennia AD. Valsgärde has been seen as a place where an unbroken series of male elite individuals were buried for nearly eight centuries. However, detailed studies of all burials, both inhumation and cremations, reveal that use and role of the site has underwent major changes. The composition of burials stretch from a wide variety of status, gender and age variation in the 7th century, to only rich female and male burials of the 9th/10th century, to exclusively rich male burials during the major Christianization phase in the 11th century. This place evidently became important to maintain an elite communities presence and history in the landscape, in this case primarily warriors buried in chambers and boats. In some phases are burials disappearing, but they eventually reappear and thus is the history the site and the warriors ancestry maintained.

Cite this Record

Centuries of warrior boat graves - the Valsgärde burial ground. John Ljungkvist. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430716)


Grave Viking Warrior

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13233