DNA analysis could solve a mysterious murder from the Viking Age

In News by Skjalden

Many people around the world are using DNA testing to trace back their family tree, often with surprising results.

What some people may not know, is that these DNA tests are also being conducted on ancient skeletons. This is one of the reasons why some people can trace their lineage back to famous Viking personalities.

In 1981, a double grave was discovered in the small village of Gerdrup, Denmark. The first assumptions were that it was a female Viking buried with a spear and that the male next to her was a sacrificed slave.

However, due to DNA analyzes, these first assumptions have been proven to be incorrect. They are actually mother and son, but this just made it more mysterious, because why was the son killed and then buried with her mother?

One of the theories about the grave is that she was a Völva and that the spear was her wand. If this is the case or not is uncertain, but it is interesting, especially because there actually is an Icelandic saga about a Völva and her son being killed.

The saga tells the story of the Völva Katla and her son Odd, who were persecuted and executed. The son was hanged and the mother was stoned to death. Which is exactly how these two were killed.

I recommend the translation of the Eyrbyggja saga by Hermann Pálsson, you can order it on Amazon.

We can’t know for certain if the saga is fact or fiction, or even use it as empirical evidence, especially because many of the stories were written down several hundred years later. But it would not be the first time that some of these sagas, actually were true, and it could be them.

The two skeletons can be seen at the Roskilde Museum in Denmark, which is in the same city as the famous Danish Viking ship museum.