Rare Viking Age grave found at Odense

Danish archaeologists have found a stone sarcophagus at the Albani Church in the city of Odense, on the island of Funen, Denmark. It is at the location where it is believed the Danish king Knud IV (Canute) – also known as Saint Knud – was killed in a revolt in 1086. The sarcophagus contained the skeletal remains of an unidentified man – and considering the burial he is believed to have been a noble or bishop.

Besides the rare and well preserved remains, then the find is interesting as it is believed that the island of Funen was a hold out in accepting Christianity. The city name Odense is derived from Odin. And, the jarl of Funen at the end of the 10th century, Palnatoke, is believed to have supported Sweyn Forkbeard in a revolt against his king father, Harald Bluetooth – a struggle that some consider erupted due to Harald accepting Christianity as the official religion of Denmark (as mentioned on one of the Jelling Runestones). Therefore, finding this sarcophagus of Christian burial  tradition a century after the mentioned civil war is further evidence of the progress of religious conversion in Denmark at the time.

Read more: EB.dk (in Danish)


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