Ulv Galiciefarer’s Tomb?

w1056-1Well, we’re going to try not to deal with politics every day, because it’s early, but we will cover things that catch our attention, as always. But meantime…

This sort of stuff always catches my attention, even if Danish is not Norwegian. From The History Blog.

Danish archaeologist Bjarne Henning Nielsen, curator at the Vesthimmerlands Museum in North Jutland, has an entirely speculative but rather nifty idea that a tomb he has been exploring since 2009 may have belonged to the Viking chief Ulv Galiciefarer. A Danish jarl (earl) of high rank with close connections to the royal family, Ulv earned his moniker with a successful series of raids on Galicia, Spain, in the first half of the 11th century. His exploits are recounted in the Knytlinga Saga, an Icelandic saga of the kings of Denmark written around 1250, and his issue would rule Denmark. His granddaughter Boedil was queen consort to King Eric I of Denmark (r. 1095–1103). Their son and heir Canute Lavard was murdered by his cousin in a classic Game of Thrones intrigue. Only days after the assassination, Canute’s son Valdemar was born. He would go on to rule Denmark as Valdemar the Great (r. 1157-1182).

The tomb was discovered near Naesby in Jutland in 1951 during highway construction. An excavation unearthed a broken sword engraved on the blade near the handle. The inscription is worn and hard to read, but may have been INNOMED, meaning “In the name of” or “In His name”. The grave also contained equestrian fittings and a beautiful, rare pair of silver-plated stirrups made in Central Europe. The excavation of the tomb, dubbed the rider’s grave due to the horse-related artifacts, was a rushed affair. The grave was reburied and neglected until the Vesthimmerlands Museum began to re-excavate the site in 2009.

Excavating the grave and the wider site, the museum’s archaeological team discovered a 10 cm fragment of the broken sword found in 1951, plus 24 more graves from the Viking era. The rider’s grave was just the most opulent and prominent of the compound. A small semicircle of stones, the remains of a larger Viking-era rock formation, still marked what had once been a grave mound. The stone circle area is surrounded by dark lines in the soil, traces of long-decayed wood that once bounded the grave. At first Nielsen thought these lines were what was left of a palisade or paddock, like the 10th century death house built over the grave of a Danish noble couple. A survey of the lines revealed that the structure over the rider’s grave would have been more than 100 square meters (1076 square feet). That’s way, way bigger than your usual death house.

Nielsen remembered seeing a similar structure years earlier when he was working on a the grave of a Viking noblewoman outside the city of Randers in eastern Jutland. South of that site, in Horning, another noblewoman’s grave had been found in the early 1960s which had first been a traditional burial mound, only for the mound to be demolished at a later date a wooden church built over the grave. Long after her death and burial, somebody wanted a more elaborate memorial to the deceased constructed on the site.

It suddenly occurred to Bjarne Henning Nielsen like the proverbial eureka in the bathtub that the rider’s grave could have received the same treatment. The mound is gone, only the stone semicircle testifying to its existence.

viking-swordvia The History Blog » Blog Archive » Is this 1,000-year-old tomb a famous Viking chief’s?

I’m nobody’s idea of an expert here, but even I know that not every Jarl got himself written up in the Icelandic Sagas. Nor did everybody’s Great-Great-Grandson become King of Denmark especially with the suffix “the Great.”

The whole hypothesis is very speculative but that is part of its charm. And who knows, maybe he’s right.


About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

8 Responses to Ulv Galiciefarer’s Tomb?

  1. the unit says:

    Where your blogs on history leads me is to fascinating places and characters. Snorri is one such character. I looked him up thinking he was one of the seven dwarfs. But he wasn’t. Anyway I’ll remember his words “út vil ek”, literally “I want out.” He was in Norway at the time. Might come in handy if Trump keeps the FEMA camps that was meant for deplorables. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      That’s good, I’m glad it does. I’m guessing you’re referring to Snorri Snorrilston. One of the great Icelandic saga writers.

      Yeah, but at least they won’t be full of “deplorables”, just deplorable idiots.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        Yep, that’s him.
        No, just the 47%.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:



      • the unit says:

        If any of the Christian and animist Ibos (Also called Igbos) had seeked asylum or refugee status “The Won” would have put them in the FEMA camps instead of mixing in with the U.S. population. Ibos, you know, the part of the worldwide rejectionist people of Trumpism, not, that demonstrated in Nigeria in support of President Trump, and died for it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Probably just wouldn’t have let them in. You know like the middle eastern (read Syrian) Christians.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Tombs. I’d almost forgot. I rarely think about it. In one corner of my property I buried the first pet of my first born child. It was over 30 years ago. Area was pretty open, just a few trees then. It had since overgrown with saplings, thorns, vines and moderate sized trees. I started to clear out the undergrowth a few days ago. The older trees too large to cut unless I wanted firewood, which I don’t. And there it was. The tombstone made of a concrete block with the name of the pet, a dog, chiseled upon it. Took me back in memories. And heartaches. That child predeceased me by lots of years. Have a few tears now typing this.
    Anyway to the point. If one day an archaeologist comes along and finds the tomb I bet he’s smart enough to not need to excavate the site to determine who or what is buried there. Just the name should be all he needs to figure it out. Chiseled in the block is the name Tootsie Roll. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Quite a story. Yep, I think we all have memories like that, the one in my life was named Lucky. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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