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Ship Settings

Lindholm Høje

Ship Settings

Settings of stones arranged in the outline of a ship were built in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden and Denmark, from the Bronze Age to the introduction of Christianity c. 1000.

During the Viking Ae larger ship settings were probably use as places of worship. These often have small pits containing burnt offerings and charcoal, such as the 80 metre long ship setting, at Lejre on Sjælland in Denmark.  The largest known ship setting is at Jelling and is a massive 354 metres long.

Large ship settings sometimes contain burials. A 60-metre-long setting at Glavendrup, on Fyn in Denmark, enclosed a small Viking Age cremation cemetery. Its prow was marked by a runic memorial stone.

Smaller ship-shaped settings of stones were used for individual burials – always cremations – most probably as a symbolic substitute for a real ship, as at Lindholm Høje, near Ålborg in Jutland, although in two Viking Age burials from Mølen and Ølbør in Rogaland, Norway, a stone ship setting was used to outline a cremated ship burial.

Text taken from: Haywood, J., 2000, "Encyclopaedia of the Viking Age", Thames and Hudson Ltd, pp 172 - 173.




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