Archaeologists uncover 7th century ship in Sweden

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Stockholm (Sweden), August 28 (ANI): Swedish archaeologists have announced the find of a 7th century burial ship, the oldest of its kind to be discovered in Scandinavia.

According to a report in The Local, the ship, thought to be from the Vendel era (550-793) of Swedish prehistory, was found in Sunnerby on the island of Kallandso in Lake Vanern in central Sweden.

Officials at the Lake Vanern Museum have said that this is the only known ship burial to be uncovered in Sweden.

Archaeologists from Lake Vanern Museum and Gothenburg University are busy excavating the find that includes equipment, gifts and animal sacrifices.

"In Sunnerby, the number of boat rivets found so far indicate that there is a ship hidden in the Kungshogen mound, that is to say a vessel of more than 10 metres and possibly up to 20 metres in length," the museum writes in a statement.

The ship is a burial vessel and the museum reports that only people in the highest echelons of society were afforded such a grand farewell.

The museum compares the find to the important Sutton Hoo ship burial find in south east England, though archaeologists believe the Swedish find is unlikely to yield as many significant artifacts as the Suffolk ship.

The ship would have been loaded with the deceased, animal sacrifices, equipment and gifts and the whole vessel set alight in a huge funeral pyre.

Annelie Nitenberg and Anna Nyqvist Thorsson, archaeologists at Lake Vanern Museum, hope that the Kungshogen find will help to shed light on Vendel era cultural life by Sweden's largest lake.

The excavation of the Kungshogen find will now continue until October. After a break for the winter, the work will resume in 2010. (ANI)

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