DNA testing sheds gentle on outdated Viking homicide thriller

DNA testing sheds light on old Viking murder mystery

One of many prime attracts at Roskilde Museum is the Gerdrup Grave, a 1,000-year-old Viking interment found 39 years in the past simply north of Roskilde within the tiny hamlet of Gerdrup.

DNA testing sheds light on old Viking murder mystery
The grave was first uncovered 39 years in the past
[Credit: Roskilde Museum]

The grave incorporates the skeletons of a person and a lady, and archaeologists have lengthy speculated who they may be and why they have been buried collectively. One other aspect of the thriller is that the person was killed in some unspecified time in the future and buried subsequent to the girl. 

The Gerdrup Grave has one other vital side to it: it was the primary discovery that proved that Viking girls have been buried together with a weapon – on this case a lance.

Familial hyperlink

Properly, now some new data has surfaced in regards to the longstanding thriller. DNA testing has revealed that the pair are literally mom and son, and that the person was not, as beforehand believed, a sacrificial slave. 

“It’s an extremely thrilling and stunning end result we have now right here. We have to completely think about what this implies,” Ole Kastholm, an archaeologist and senior curator at Roskilde Museum, informed TV2 Lorry.

DNA testing sheds light on old Viking murder mystery
Credit score: Roskilde Museum

The revelation implies that the historical past of the Gerdrup Grave must be rewritten and {that a} new thriller must be solved.

“We have to have a look at whether or not different graves and different supply materials from the Viking Age may reveal some patterns that may assist us clear up this case,” mentioned Kastholm.

Sagas maintain the important thing?

The important thing to fixing the enigma could possibly be present in one of many outdated Icelandic Sagas, a collection of narratives written between the 12th and 15th centuries overlaying Viking historical past.

DNA testing sheds light on old Viking murder mystery
Credit score: Roskilde Museum

The person within the grave appears to be like to have been executed, hung and certain earlier than being laid within the grave. In the meantime, the girl was weighed down with massive stones.

One principle is that the lance belonging to the girl within the grave is definitely a sorceress’s employees.

One thing Odd about them?

One of many sagas tells the story of the sorceress Katla and her son Odd who have been persecuted and executed. Odd was hung and Katla was stoned to demise.

Whereas the plot thickens and archaeologists work to resolve the most recent a part of the puzzle, the skeletons may be seen at Roskilde Museum.

Supply: The Copenhagen Put up [October 06, 2020]

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