News: Persian Silk in Viking Burials

Persian silk in Viking burials

Recent research may change our perceptions of the history of the Norwegian Vikings and reveal that the silk trade was far more comprehensive than we have hitherto assumed.

After four years of in-depth investigation of the silk trade of the Viking age, Marianne Vedeler, Associate Professor at the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo, has found that the Norwegian Vikings maintained trade connections with Persia and the Byzantine Empire through a network of traders from a variety of places and cultures who brought the silk to the Nordic countries.

In the Oseberg ship, which was excavated nearly a hundred years ago, more than one hundred small silk fragments were found. This is the oldest find of Viking age silk in Norway. At the time when the Oseberg silk was discovered, nobody conceived that it could have been imported from Persia. It was generally believed that most of it had been looted from churches and monasteries in England and Ireland. However, since the Oseberg excavation, silk from the Viking age has been found in several locations in the Nordic countries.

Read more about this discovery here.

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