Home Svenska
Home Boundless meetings Family and hierarchy Midgard 28: Meaningful drinking 29: Til – a Viking Age estate 30: Town-like trading centres emerged 31: Skiing Finns – the northern people 32: Ceramics from all around the world 33: Runes in everyday life 34: Surviving the winter 35: Dirty creatures or vain Norse people? 36: No moderation when dressing up 37: Only fragments and threads remain 38: House and home under lock and key 39: A wooden spoon for the soup 40: The longhouse – symbol of ownership 41: Dark – but warm and colourful 42: Demand for timber emptied the landscape 43: Food for the poor and the rich 44: Music for work, everyday life and feasts 45: Sacrifices – Viking home insurance Belief and traditions The living and the dead Divine craftwork Trading and raiding Waterways Town-like centres Christian monuments Svenska

Sacrifices – Viking home insurance

Tradition and belief were constantly present in everyday life. When a house was going to be built sacrifices were made.

In a gutter of a house in Birka two large iron amulet rings, parts of a cow cranium, some eider duck bones, and a shoulder blade from a strongly built man were found. A short distance away lay a Stone Age axe.

Before the Viking Age, ceramic containers and different kinds of grindstones were common offerings in post-holes or wall-trenches of houses. During the Viking Age, objects that were viewed as magical – fire striker pendants, sickles, bones – were important in rituals.

Stone Age tools, most often axes, that Norse people found were called thunderstones. According to later folklore the god Thor threw them to the ground causing lightning strikes. A French poem from the 11th century tells of the magic properties of thunderstones. They would protect both the wearer and the house they were kept in from being struck by lightning.

Show more

Cow horn

  Cow horn

Axe

  Axe

Amulet rings

  Amulet rings

Bird bones

  Bird bones

Amulet ring

  Amulet ring

Amulet rings

  Amulet rings

Bird bones

  Bird bones

Scapula

  Scapula

Amulet ring

  Amulet ring