Entering Paradise by fire or charcoal? A glimpse of burial customs in the Viking and MedievalAge
Vellum, Nr. 1, January 1 (2007)
In this abbreviated version of Ibn Fadlan’s account of the burial of a chieftain at Volga, there are at least two characteristic traits of burial from the 10th Century which are should be mentioned in this context: firstly the use of a ship, and the secondly the use of fire and cremation. Both these traits could be said to be typical for Viking burials, but that is not the whole truth. Viking burials consisted of a varied repertoire of traditions, also including flat-mark burials and inhumation burials, which is the end-product of the burial ritual. An aspect with rituals is that they contain much more than has been or will be empha- sised here. The material remains excavated by archaeologist cannot tell us.