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'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site


The excavation of a rare, intact Viking boat burial in western Scotland has been set out in detail for the first time.

'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site
The boat burial is the first found intact on the UK mainland [Credit: Ardnamurchan Transitions Project]
'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site
The excavated boat burial site at Swordle Bay in the west Highlands [Credit: Dr Oliver Harris]
Artefacts buried alongside the Viking in his boat found in Ardnamurchan suggest he was a high-ranking warrior.

In a report published by Antiquity, archaeologists describe the finds including a sword, spearhead and 213 of the boat's rivets.

The weapons indicate the burial of "a warrior of high status".

'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site
A sword, top, and mineralised textile remains were found at the burial site [Credit: Pieta Greaves/AOC Archaeology]
'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site
Many grave goods were buried with the deceased, suggesting a high-status [Credit: Pieta Greaves/AOC Archaeology]
Archaeologists, including Dr Oliver Harris of the University of Leicester, first revealed the discovery at Swordle Bay in 2011.

Since then experts have been studying the burial site and its "rich assemblage of grave goods".

Among them were a single copper alloy ringed pin, thought to have been used to fasten a burial cloak or shroud, a broad bladed axe, a shield boss and whetstone made from rock found in Norway. Also found were mineralised remains of textiles and wood.

'Warrior of high status' was buried at Scottish Viking boat burial site
Only two teeth were recovered from the body [Credit: Pieta Greaves/AOC Archaeology]
The burial, close to a Neolithic burial cairn, dates back to the 10th Century.

In the report, the archaeologists said: "The Ardnamurchan boat burial represents the first excavation of an intact Viking boat burial by archaeologists on the UK mainland, and it makes a significant addition to our knowledge of burial practices from this period."

Author: Steven McKenzie | Source: BBC News Website [January 25, 2017]
TANN

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