Oseberg ship contained furniture and food, including a single walnut—an exotic, expensive item for Scandinavians at the time and one that would have denoted status. The Oseberg also contained intact skeletons of two women, plus “ten horses and three dogs, all decapitated
1100 years ago some bored Viking carved outline of his foot on ship deck. Found in Gokstadt ship, Norway
The Gokstad Ship was excavated in the late 1800s and is a permanent feature of the Viking Ship Museum at Bygdøy in Oslo.
For about a decade, from 890 to 900, the ship sailed on ocean voyages. The
holes cut for oars along the upper hull are well worn, evidence that the
ship had been used for more than just a funeral ceremony.
ship’s deck was fitted with loose floorboards. These could be lifted up
so that supplies and plundered treasure could be stored below deck. The
outline of a foot covers two of these floorboards. There are two outlines of feet on the Gokstad Ship. One is a distinct right foot. The other is a weaker outline of a left foot on a different
floorboard.The ship was buried on land in a massive grave and
the loose floorboards were helter-skelter when it was excavated. So we
don’t know whether the planks with left and right feet had been
originally next to each other or had been the capricious result of two
Hanne Lovise Aannestad of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo has measured one of her own feet against a tracing of the carved
outline – because no one can actually step on the fragile floorboard, of
course. The foot was smaller than hers, and even though people were
generally shorter in the Viking days, this was probably a little person.