What Viking Ship Secrets Have We Recently Discovered?

A keen interest in Viking culture and Norse
mythology remains firmly planted in today’s pop culture with blockbuster movies such as
Thor and the hit TV show, Vikings. A ridiculously good-looking cast, lots of
violence and sexual themes might also explain the rabid interest. However, several recent findings have yielded
not only a treasure trove of artifacts but provided startling new insights about the
people best known for pillage and plunder. Inhabitants in the Viking Age, roughly 800
AD to 1100, left behind only scant written records. Some stone and wood carved runes have managed
to survive, but detailed stories called The Sagas are not considered reliable accounts,
penned mostly by victims of brutal raids centuries after the fact. Fortunately, new scientific analysis, radar
scans, and documentation techniques are shedding new light on old mysteries. Grave Goods The Vikings held a strong belief in the afterlife
and conducted elaborate funerals, giving the dead a proper send-off for their journey to
the other side. The sites included various materials known
as “grave goods” and consisted of items ranging from mundane to exquisite. As for the people honored in these tombs,
a re-examination of bone samples is helping to determine a person’s wealth, social standing,
and even what they (probably) ate for breakfast. While most Norse people were either buried
or cremated in simple graves, large ships served as coffins for the remains of the highly
privileged. The best-preserved excavations have produced
an assortment of personal effects such as swords (both decorative and battle-worn),
clothes, jewelry, tools, and art. The placement of the cargo also carried significant
meaning and underscored the detailed planning and ceremonial customs. Contrary to the popular myth, the ritual didn’t
always end with the vessel set on fire. Old Uppsala In the fall of 2018, archaeologists detected
two Viking boat burials near the town of Uppsala, Sweden. The discovery occurred by accident during
an inspection by Arkeologerna, an agency of Sweden’s National Historical Museums, during
a planned renovation of a church about 50 miles north of Stockholm. The team expected only a routine dig but were
stunned to unearth the ships, including one found entirely intact. From an archeological standpoint, finding
a site not previously looted or ravaged by time and the elements is like finding an Action
Comics #1 hidden in your attic and winning the lottery on the same day. The team unearthed the remains of a man located
in the stern of the boat along with bones of a horse and dog in the bow. They also stumbled upon a cache of weapons,
including a sword, spear and shield, and an ornate comb in the well-preserved grave. Unfortunately, they found the second boat
badly damaged, most likely resulting from construction on the site in the 16th century. To date, only around ten boat burial sites
of this kind are known to exist in Sweden, mainly in the provinces of Uppland and Västmanland. “It is extremely exciting for us since boat
burials are so rarely excavated,” said Anton Seiler of Arkeologerna. “We can now use modern science and methods
that will generate new results, hypotheses and answers.” Riding High The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway is
a popular tourist attraction, where crowds flock annually to see one of the most well
persevered and spectacular artifacts: The Oseberg. Built around 820 AD in southwestern Norway,
the 70-foot long boat featured exceptionally decorative features and the grave of two significant
women of either royal or religious status between the ages of 50 and 80. They also received an impressive cache of
burial booty, including a pouch of cannabis. Dense clay and peat had helped to preserve
the vessel when archeologists first stumbled upon the burial mound in 1903. The richly carved oak ship had 15 oars on
each side and a pine mast over 30 feet high, allowing for the versatility of being rowed
or sailed. But a voyage to a different world warrants
all the attention of this craft. In addition to the stash of wacky tabacky,
the party boat contained a feather mattress, an assortment of ornate beds, 15 horses, six
dogs, and three sleighs. Clearly, these ladies knew how to travel in
style. Interestingly, the boat had been looted by
ancient grave robbers, who made away with most of the precious metals on board — but
not the weed. That prize wouldn’t be found until 2007. Recent studies indicate that farmers in Norway
cultivated hemp as early as 650 AD. None of the materials found on the Oseberg,
however, were made from the plant, suggesting a recreation use of the cannabis and seeds. Additionally, the more elderly of the two
women may have been a Völva (“priestess” or “seeress”), a high position in Viking
society, and known to conduct ritualistic ceremonies using psychoactive substances. Extended Stay Roughly 500 years before Christopher Columbus
found himself hopelessly lost in the Caribbean, seafarers from Scandinavia became the first
Europeans to set foot in North America. Archaeologists initially discovered the site
at L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of Newfoundland in the 1960s, uncovering evidence
of what appeared to be a short-lived settlement. A new study, however, suggests that the Vikings,
led by the famous explorer, Leif Erikson, may have taken a much later check out in their
timber-and-sod Oceanview rooms. While conducting experiments in the area,
Canadian researchers found sediment cores of compacted organic material similar to Viking
camps in Greenland and Iceland. Nothing about the trampled debris (a mix of
mostly plants, insects, mud, and charcoal) appeared unusual. But after applying advanced radiocarbon dating
methods, the samples indicated a Norse presence in the area as late as the early 1200s. The revelation, if accurate, is significant
because it dispels the notion of a failed Viking colony there. Additionally, it now seems possible that European
descendants might have settled other areas of North America. Until now, most historians believed that Erickson
and his crew either abandoned the location or were chased away by indigenous Native Americans. According to the Sagas, Erikson called the
faraway land Vinland meaning “land of grapes” in Old Norse — an odd name given that grapes
don’t grow in Newfoundland. But to be fair, Columbus is guilty of a far
worse blunder when he labeled the natives he later encountered “Indians” because
he thought he had landed in India. Gender Bender Near the town Birka, Sweden, archaeologists
unearthed a prominent burial site situated next to an ancient garrison. The late 19th-century dig would be hailed
as the world’s “ultimate warrior Viking grave” and yield a spectacular bounty of
grave goods. The bonanza included weaponry and two horses
— all of which indicated a tribute to an essential and well-seasoned military leader. A re-examination of bone samples in 2017 would
reveal an even more stunning revelation: the fallen soldier was a woman. The groundbreaking results, published in the
American Journal of Physical Anthropology, featured extensive osteological and DNA testing
to prove the academic community had been wrong for over 100 years. Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, a professor
of archeology at Uppsala University, explains why the contents of the grave were always
presumed to be the remains of a high-ranking male officer: “Aside from the complete warrior
equipment buried along with her – a sword, an axe, a spear, armour-piercing arrows, a
battle knife, shields, and two horses – she had a board game in her lap, or more of a
war-planning game used to try out battle tactics and strategies, which indicates she was a
powerful military leader. She most likely planned, led and taken part
in battles,” she said. Another intriguing layer to the story involves
not only the impressive cache of arms but the person’s unusual uniform. Although graves of Nordic women found with
weapons isn’t uncommon, the woman found in Birka wasn’t wearing typically female
clothing or jewelry. Earlier this year, the same research team
issued a follow-up report that suggests that the warrior could have been transgender. “In this grave, there is nothing that we
archaeologically would interpret as female,” says Hedenstierna-Jonson. “It’s not a typically male costume either
probably because it’s very high status…but there is nothing indicating a woman, there
are no typical finds that we link to women.” This revelation is unlikely to alter historians’
view of Viking society as being anything other than patriarchal. However, future findings must now address
the complexity of gender in this period and approach binary assumptions with caution. Swordle Bay The Scottish Highlands is world-renowned for
its breath-taking landscapes marked by majestic mountains, lustrous lochs, and a mysterious
monster named “Nessie.” For connoisseurs of Scotland’s national
drink (sorry, not Irn-Bru), a wee dram of smokey, peat-kissed whisky is undoubtedly
well worth the trip. The area now features another compelling reason
to visit following the discovery of the first undisturbed Viking boat burial on the UK mainland. On the remote Ardnamurchan Peninsula, a team
of archeologists found the remains of a ship from the late 9th or early 10th century. The burial mound, overlooking Swordle Bay
on Scotland’s west coast, held the remains of an esteemed warrior replete with a spear,
shield, sword, and ax. Nonmilitary goods included a whetstone (sharpening
stone), a drinking horn, a pan, flints for making fire, and a bronze ring pin from Ireland. And for over 1,000 years, the gravesite remained
untouched. After six years of work that involved cataloging
hundreds of items, the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project released an in-depth report published
in the Journal of Antiquity in 2017. The study highlights the relationship between
Scotland and the Viking occupation in the area — as well as symbolic associations
close to a Neolithic burial cairn, the stones of which may have been repurposed into the
grave. Family Road Trip For many generations, mom, dad and the kids
(and maybe Aunt Edna) would pile into the family vehicle for a road trip and an endless
refrain of “are we there, yet?” It turns out the Vikings were no different
during long voyages to new lands. The northern seafarers had a well-earned reputation
for being ruthless marauders with a penchant for destroying churches and monasteries. After all, the Old Norse word ‘Vikingr”
refers to a “freebooter” involved in raiding. But ancient Scandinavians, like most people,
also sought to provide a better life for their families. Plunder aside, they took to the open seas
in search of new trading routes and territories with suitable farming. On paper, northern latitudes such as the Shetland
and Orkney Islands may not seem like the most inviting climates to relocate. However, they make the frozen tundra of Scandinavia
look like Miami Beach in July. In a recently published paper on migrations,
a team of researchers used mitochondrial DNA evidence to show that Norse women often joined
their men on these journeys. According to co-author and University of Oslo
professor Erika Hagelberg, this finding “overrules the idea that it just involved raping and
pillaging by males going out on a rampage.” Luck of the Norsish? The first recorded Viking raid on Irish soil
occurred around 795 AD with the ransacking of a church. Thus began the official Norse influence on
the Emerald Isle, which among other things, led to establishing a permanent settlement
at the mouth of the River Liffey that came to be known as Dublin. But several new studies suggest the invaders
may have arrived sooner than previously documented, creating a far more significant impact on
Irish heritage. Viking rule, although never a dominion in
Ireland, effectively ended in 1014 AD following their defeat at the Battle of Clontarf by
the Irish High King Brian Boru. Scientific advances in archaeology continue
to shine a megawatt spotlight on ancient burial grounds, villages, and encampments. Elsewhere, more subtle Nordic traces are popping
up in the genetics of the modern-day Irish people, as well as the world’s estimated
80 million people who claim Irish ancestry. In other words, a massive genetic cluster…
you-know-what. A 2017 study conducted by the Royal College
of Surgeons in Dublin reveals a considerable underestimation of the Vikings’ genetic
contribution to Irish DNA — especially bloodlines originating from the north and western coasts
of Norway. Researchers at Trinity College Dublin confirmed
the results in a similar 2018 report. They also found 23 new genetic clusters in
Ireland not earlier identified, pointing to the likelihood of a much deeper Viking gene

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58 Responses

  1. Erik says:

    Genetically female. A female warrior.
    Don't read too deep into the significance of the clothing, except for the status. It seems disrespectful to who was being clearly honored in a competence-based environment.

  2. littlecrookedhouse says:

    As a scholar of Viking era resettlement, I found this video intriguing though not entirely historically correct. Although it pointed out numerous facts as well as conjectures, I find this video both informative and entertaining. I would love to see a more in-depth follow up of Nordic influence in the early years of American settlement to deter the lack of continuity in American history. As a proud US citizen of Irish/Norse ancestry, I wish this perspective was taught in US schools instead of the fallacy that Christopher Columbus "discovered" America. I would much prefer a Norse-based holiday instead.

  3. Curtis Lowery says:


  4. Blake Nobles says:

    A number of people criticized the warrior Viking woman researchers for their conclusions due to them ignoring many facts about Viking life and likely assuming things due to today’s politics and not historical accuracy. Namely, being buried with swords didn’t mean you were a warrior, the gaming set didn’t mean you were a master strategist, and most damning, they’re not even sure they tested the right body.

  5. rodanzig says:

    A transgender viking ? How woke . GTFO . I'll bet she was Black too .

  6. Jay Williams says:

    Vikings are one of the most overrated in history

  7. David Isaacson says:

    Some of my ancestors were from Arlanda. Thats right by Uppsala. And some are still there.

  8. PhantomFilmAustralia says:

    Cannabis? Thor's hammered!

  9. Dankman9 says:

    Simon needs to freshen up on his cannabis knowledge.

  10. Liquessen says:

    Teehee, vast-man-land, it's pronounced more like vest-man-land 😀

  11. larrywave says:

    Not grapes but currants

  12. Metalheadave Lucas says:

    I now await the creation of a Viking Stoner Metal Band.

  13. Sir Prancealot says:

    Transgender! are you shitting me?! just because she dressed like a man doesn't make her transgender! that's a first-world none issue! I'm sure back then they were more concerned with surviving not with using the correct pronouns and checking their white privilege. WTF is wrong with the world these days.

  14. BigMobe says:

    Oh great, modern politics in science. Just what we need.

  15. Nathan Reimer says:

    A bit of a stretch to say Trans Vikings…
    Women needed armor too, we know females fought in many cultures in northern Europe.

    Perfect example is Theodens daughter fights in full male attire mainly because female armor wasn't invented or male armor is far more flexible.

  16. gofastsuv says:

    All I heard after this quote was 7:47 That’s right bitches

  17. Baskett says:

    transgender vikings? Now you know that is bs

  18. Justin Crimaldi says:

    Nobody was trans back then you fools. Don't even entertain the idea that humans were that stupid. Because really they knew less about so.e things but they had better minds in alot of ways. We dont have to remember a whole lot. And usually cant. But ancient people remember everything and they were way more in tune with being human. They had a structure that was perfected and known to be truth. What if it was a women that was carrying her husbands gear? And she liked the board game he had. I mean there is so many logical explanations. Someone thinking its because she was trans is just wishing that because they hope their ignorance would some how be proven to exist throughout humanity. Not saying people werent gay. Because yes they were. And it was evil then. Even the people doing it knew it was not right. It cant be. Use commonsense and especially if you believe in evolution. If a large majority of the human population turned trans of gay or whatever, it would kill off most of the population. Especially back then. 100%. If evolution is fact. Humans are in fact devolving. The more gay humans the less reproduction and the more diseases. If we evolve, then why after thousands of years would humans think being gay is something that happens naturally. That goes completely against what evolving is. If we evolve then why do we do things to possibly destroy our very existence? It literally makes no sense. The same scientist telling you being gay just happens being trans just happens are the same ones telling you evolution is real. Again if it was real. Then do we have people in society that arent evolving? What is so much of the population so dumb? Thought we would have all be genius by now lol

  19. Bboops23 says:

    Fun fact I was always told I was half Irish. My father's DNA proves we are more Norse than Irish. Guess that's why I'm drawn to Norse mythology.

  20. FerretPirate says:

    I take issue with the claim that Scotland is "world renowned" for its "majestic mountains". It just isn't. No-one outside of Britain considers those to be mountains.

  21. penguinistas says:

    7:35 "approach binary assumptions with caution"… you're trying to force fit a narrative here Simon… and making things up as you go along.

  22. melvina628 says:

    5:48 That would explain all that long hair.

  23. Sweet Insanity says:

    Lol…not everything has to be a trans thing. 🙄

  24. Monster Land says:

    you have to remember that pretty much all of East Asia was called India in his day, that's the equivalent of him calling them Asians in modern times. The way you guys describe it is misleading, because it makes it sound like he was going to actual India, when Columbus was trying to find China and Japan which was called the East Indies in his day. Also, Christopher Columbus wasn't lost in order to be lost you have to be going in a known direction to a known location and not end up at that location, and being confused by your direction. he was going into unknown lands in an unknown direction so he couldn't be lost.

  25. Ronald Darby says:

    I'm guessing now that's the reason why I have Norwegian blood in me I took ancestry test and it came back with Norway and Irish descent it all makes sense now I am proud of my Norwegian blood long live the Vikings…..!

  26. ShoalBear says:

    Luck of the Nordish, or Norsish?? LOL

  27. Nizo Dizo says:

    I want nothing to do with cable TV!

  28. Dean Buss says:

    Any & all things Norse it fascinating.

  29. Nicole K says:

    Compliments for nailing those Danish names! I find the language impossible.

  30. killer funghoul says:

    So who is watching the Vinland Saga anime? 😁👍🏼

  31. Karla Kirkpatrick says:

    Too bad Simon doesn't have a quick science channel I need this solved could 3 G gravity enhance plant growth?

  32. illkaw says:

    Did you nearly fall off your chair at 04:40?

  33. ADAM JOHNSON says:

    I've never seen not heard of any evidence implying that norse were patriarchal, we know that norse women fought alongside men as sheild maidens, they had equal rights to men, could marry and devorse whom ever they wanted, they could own lands and even Rule in their own right
    Again no proof that I know of prove they were a patriarchy but lots proving equal right.

  34. blind fredy says:

    No gender binary crap. Chromosomes XX or XY. Science proves two genders, get over it.

  35. DJ Helkaa says:

    just remember ladies if you want to be dug up as a marine core general make sure you are buried with a call of duty game also bj.581 was recovered scooped up and set into storage for WW1 then some feminist 130 years later came to the conclusion that this mid 30's female skeleton with no battle wounds must be a warlord

  36. NAVRET says:

    I’ve seen that boat in Oslo. Absolutely fabulous museum. 👍

  37. matt fisher says:

    Fun fact Indian was used to describe a people first when Columbus used it, the Indian sub contenant used the names of different tribes and larger groups, ex. Sikhs, hindi

  38. Derp ToTheMax says:

    Transgender vikings? That is patently false. Trans life is a purely modern idea. If suddenly we were without power to run modern tech, we would have ZERO trans people in a single life time. We would have boys and girls, and gays. Ya know, like we always have for the entirety of human existence. Lets stop with the liberal assertions of modern ideas into the past. They weren't as stupid as we are…

  39. Redwolf says:

    Why does this video try to make Vikings gay? This is odveisly a democrt chanel. Libtard sludg

  40. Jory Cassel says:

    Transgender stuff is seeping into Archaeology now……..

  41. Triangle Detecting says:

    What bS. Humans are always trying to put modern trends into their past.

  42. David Jennings says:

    Though the Norse may have been patriarchal, in pre Christian Scandinavia there was a surprising amount of equality, with women being able to own land & titles in their own right. Also historical accounts from the 10th & 12 centuries have accounts of "shieldmaidens" even among the Varangian Guards. So no, the grave wasn't transgender, but probably a female fighter who dressed for the role.

  43. Joseph Meador says:

    You lost me at transgender viking. They didnt feed into peoples mental illness

  44. Steve Sloan says:

    I do not object to their beautiful art. I object to what they did to others.

  45. Wise Old Owl says:

    Must be trans because woman and warrior aren't synonymous in your world?! Shame on you!
    Ever heard of Boudica?!?! SHE successfully led and COMMANDED an army of 500,000 MEN in 60 AD.
    Since her enemies beat & raped her and her 2 daughters and left them for dead at one point, I think it's pretty safe to assume she wasn't trans, just as Viking warrior women weren't necessarily trans, either. Heterosexual, strong, warrior women are fierce, fearless and forces to be reckoned with in and of their own right. Seems the men back then accepted it with no qualms, so why can't the supposedly evolved men of today?

  46. Dyl C says:

    It's pronounced Boru, not Boru

  47. Jennie DeSoto says:

    Women were warriors as well and that doesn’t mean they Everett transgender

  48. Andrew McManus says:

    One female warrior does not a gender fluid society make.

    Take Joan of Arc, she wore make clothing, including armor and weapons, was a general, and was respected by her followers. However medieval France was not, by an realistic stretch of the imagination, a society were this happens regularly.

  49. cass c says:

    What the heck Simon?! Is The Last Kingdom chop liver?

  50. Rod Severson says:

    Those of Viking ancestry hate Columbus day, The Vikings with their ships traveled
    to many, many places… Sure, they were brutal and took slaves and the Irish suffered
    but nothing like Columbus, IMO….Just read the untold history of the US by Howard

  51. supernaturalterror 420 says:

    I have huge viking balls. And they pillage. Oh yeah they pillage.

  52. channel mysterious says:

    Indonesia metal detecting🙋🙋🙋

  53. Plush Man says:

    Land of Grapes….probably because their skin turned the color of grapes as they froze to death

  54. Gustav Crock says:

    This video sucks

  55. Terry Smith says:

    I think it's common knowledge considering I can't recall a people who didn't believe in the afterlife even reincarnation can be considered a afterlife. It's a statement that our minds interpret as something rare or unusual.

  56. Michael Tobias says:

    Your topics weren't numbered. Am i the only one who noticed that??

  57. J K says:

    Yeah, no. It's gonna take much more than one female skeleton to rewrite history, folks. One skeleton buried with honors did not make her a warrior and it most certainly did not make women warriors a normal thing. Put your victory flags away until more evidence comes in, ladies.

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