Washington, Aug 11 (ANI): Archaeologists dug up about ten Viking burials that held thunderstones up to 5,000 years older than the graves themselves in Scandinavia.
Thunderstones are fist-size stone tools resembling the Norse god Thor's hammerhead that were purposely placed as good-luck talismans, archaeologists say.
In addition, what might be called miniature thunderstones have been found in Viking graves in Iceland, where flint doesn't occur naturally.
"These people must have gone to all the effort of bringing these goods over from Norway, on an exceedingly dangerous boat journey," National Geographic News quoted Olle Hemdorff as saying.
"It shows that these stones had very special significance and suggests that these people were highly superstitious," he added.
The prehistoric stones' "special significance" to Vikings may have derived from legends of Thor, the Norse thunder god said to create lightning with his battle hammer, Mjollnir.
"Thor's mission was to protect gods and people against evil and chaos," Hemdorff said in a statement.
"It was therefore believed that Thor's rocks protected houses and people," he added.
Archaeologist Tim Champion thinks Iron Age people ritually buried prehistoric tools to commemorate more than just deaths.
"They are a real oddity and were certainly placed there deliberately, but we're not sure why," he said.
"I suspect that these people were not so very different from us, and they would have had superstitious folk beliefs," he added. (ANI)