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Viking Left Home without ID

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Viking Left Home without ID

Archaeology.

At the excavation site. Photo: Screenshot from RÚV.

Archaeologists have found the bottom of a grave in the land of Ytri-Ásar in Skaftárhreppur, South Iceland, where a Viking sword and human bones were recently discovered. In the grave, they found tarsal bones, in addition to the bones found on Saturday, which were a femur, pelvis and rib. The bones are believed to be those of a male.

Halldór Magnússon, farmer at Ytri-Ásar, reports that bones and metal objects lie scattered along the bank of the river. Skaftá river last flooded in early September, thereby unearthing the archaeological treasures. Halldór believes it’s likely the sword came from a grave. “I think it’s rather likely, at least that the sword was in this pile of bones,” he told RÚV. He finds the bones amazingly whole, at least if it’s true that they’re from the Viking Age.

Reporter Gísli Einarsson commented, “Many suggestions have been mentioned [as to the Viking’s identity], among them that this is priest Hróar Tungugoði, who was married to the sister of Gunnar at Hlíðarendi and killed near Fossársíða, where today is Hróarstunga, but neither his ID number nor his driver’s license have been found, so we can’t confirm it.”

Landnáma, The Book of Settlements, tells the story of Hróar Tungugoði. Hróar’s sister had two sons, one of whom was Tjörvi. Tjörvi asked for the hand of Ástríður the Intelligent (Manvitsbrekka), the daughter of Móðólfur from Foss, in marriage, but was denied that request by Móðólfur’s sons, Ketill and Hrólfur. Instead, she was given to a man named Þórir. Tjörvi was furious not to get what he desired and, being known for making fun of others, he drew a caricature of the bride and groom on the wall of his outhouse. It is said that every night when he went to the outhouse with Hróar, he spit on Þórir’s face, but kissed Ástríður’s. Eventually, Hróar wiped the picture off the wall. Tjörvi then carved a picture of the couple on the handle of his knife and made a poem, describing the the previous wall art. That would not go unavenged. Hróar and Tjörvi would later be killed by the sons of Móðólfur and by Þórir, who did not take an insult lightly.

The story of Hróar has been corrected.

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