Early 8th Century boat burial found near Estonia.

(Courtesy Liina Maldre, University of Tallinn) The carefully stacked remains of 33 men were buried in the ship that brought them from Scandinavia to an Estonian island more than a century before the Vikings are thought to have been able to sail across such distances.

(Courtesy Liina Maldre, University of Tallinn)
The carefully stacked remains of 33 men were buried in the ship that brought them from Scandinavia to an Estonian island more than a century before the Vikings are thought to have been able to sail across such distances.

This is another interesting article that I have come across about an exciting archaeological discovery from the early 8th century. Over 30 Scandinavian warriors have been found buried in two boat burials off the coast of Estonia. The article can be found here, at the Archaeology Magazine website.

For many historians especially, the ‘dawn’ of the Viking Age and their travels throughout Europe, Asia and of course America was quite sudden. Nothing is found in written sources of their activities until the end of the 8th century and by the end of the 9th century Viking settlements and kingdoms were well established in England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, France, Russia and even as far as Turkey and the mediterranean. Archaeology has helped a lot in trying to piece together Viking history pre 9th century, but the finds here have also been lacking (although there is another article here on a new Iron Age settlement that has recently been found in Norway).

That is why sites like this one on the Baltic island of Saaremaa are so exciting. Rarely do we find so many individuals buried within the same grave, and the fact that they were found on the far side of the Baltic sea just before written evidence of their raiding began is fantastic for researchers trying to document the evolution of early sailing capabilities (and possibly raiding activities) amongst the Vikings.

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