Viking Mercenary Bodies Found At Medieval Burial Site

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of at least four Viking warriors who probably worked as debt collectors for a local warlord at a medieval grave site in a small Polish village.

The 11th-century remains were found at the medieval burial ground in the village of Cieple in the northern Polish region of Pomeranian Voivodeship.

Analysis of the remains concluded that at least four men were from Scandinavia, most likely Denmark.

Dr Slawomir Wadyl of the Gdansk Archaeological Museum said: “It turns out that those remains in the central part of the site do not originate from the Piast dynasty (the first historical ruling dynasty of Poland), but from Scandinavia, most likely from Denmark.”

So far, experts have uncovered over 60 graves with some of them said to be around 1,000 years old, originating back to the times of Boleslaw the Brave, the first King of Poland who lived from 967 to 1025.

Among the local remains, boffins found the skeletons of four Vikings which had been buried with decorative spurs and stirrups, buckles, scales and weights, coins, knives, animal remains, grain and a comb, according to reports.

Many of the artefacts are believed to have been made in Western Europe or Scandinavia.

Credit: CEN/Archaeological Museum in Gdansk Miron Bogacki
Aerial photo of the cemetery area

Dr Wadyl said the Viking warriors may have used the scales and weights to collect taxes from villagers for a Polish nobleman.

The burial ground was first discovered in 1900 when railway workers accidentally dug up five graves.

Curator Paul Kumm continued excavations for a brief period, but over time his work was lost and the site remained untouched for nearly a century until scientists resumed excavations in 2004.

According to experts, the burial site was used in two periods. The first phase took place between 1000 and 1030, and then again from 1075 to 1150 when it was solely used by the local community.


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By:  Ana MarjanovicSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News


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