Friday, May 23, 2008

Viking Ship Museum

The Norwegian Ship Museum featured enormous wooden boats that were sailed by Viking Chieftans and required 30+ oarsmen. My favorite boat was the Oseberg - you might recognize it from that popular credit card commercial where the father and son go to Norway to explore their heritage. This magnificent boat was built in 820 AD and after sailing for about fifteen years, it was used as a burial ship for the Queen of Oseberg. She was buried with her life’s belongings, including jewels, clothing, food, and even her slave girl, as the culture of that time believed that those items were needed for the journey to the grave. The ship was then buried deep in the ground in and covered in clay, forming “burial mounds.” These boats were discovered hundreds of years later with many of the artifacts still intact. The restoration of this nearly 1,200 year-old ship was absolutely remarkable.