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Gokstad Viking Ship

Gokstad Viking Ship

The Gokstad ship was found in a large burial mound at the Gokstad farm in Sandar, Vestfold, southwest of Oslo in 1880. The ship had been built around 890 A.D. and later used in the ship burial of an important chieftain who died in or around 900 A.D. The blue clay preserved the oak vessel for a 1000 years.

Besides a large sea-going ship the grave mound contained several small boats, horses, dogs, tents, beds and other lavish finds, including a peacock lying in the ship. The peacock was a status symbol among the highest social elite in Europe at the time of the birth of Christ, and may have been a gift to the Gokstad Chief. The man buried in the ship was, in all likelihood, Olaf Inn Hviti, or Olaf the White, Viking King.

The Gokstad Viking ship is the biggest ship discovered in Norway. The Gokstad ship, built of oak, is 24 meters long and 5 meters wide. The ship had 16 pairs of oars. On both sides of the ship the remains of 64 shields were found. These were painted alternately black and yellow.

In 1985 the Viking ship Havorn (Osprey) constructed on the basis of drawings of the Gokstad ship was launched. In 1991-1992 the Viking-Nevo club from Smolensk took part in the voyage of the Havorn Viking ship through Russia within the bounds of the “Havorn i Austerveg” expedition.

The three small boats have been also found near the Gokstad ship. They were chopped and broken into pieces but have later been reconstructed. The reconstruction work is continuing nowadays. In 2003 one of the boats was reconstructed in new manner and passed the way through Russia from Novgorod to St.-Petersburg within the bounds of the Norwegian-Russian expedition “Ro i Osterled” (Rowing to the East). In 2004 one more replica of the Gokstad boat passed the way through Ukraine, Russia and Caucasus up the Caspian Sea within the bounds of the Swedish Vittfarne expedition.

Gokstad Viking Ship
Gokstad Viking Ship


 
 
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