Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Hedenstierna-Jonson/Ljungkvist/Price 2018 p13-14 (John Ljungkvist, "A prelude to the Vikings" p12-23)
"The Vendel period is traditionally seen as starting after 550 CE, ending a few decades before 800 CE. The period is named after a group of warriors buried in boats in the Vendel area, a place by the countryside surrounding present-day Uppsala, north of Stockholm. These rich warriors carried objects that were similar to those ... found mostly in another nearby burial field, Valsgärde. Warriors honoured with a boat burial were laid alongside large sets of weapons, various kinds of household gear and animals such as horses, dogs, falcons and hawks for hunting, and livestock. Together these objects signaled the staus and wealth of the deceased and his (or her) kin. They mark the beginning of a burial practice that continued throughout the Viking Age.
"Boat burials are actually quite rare in the Vendel period and most are found along the river Fyris water system. However, despite being few, they are extremely important as the objects and human remains have been left intact. Almost all other people in society before and during the Viking Age were cremated. The remains from such burials have been fragmented and melted from the heat from the funeral pyre, and this happened to the princely burials in nearby cult center Gamla Uppsala, just north of present-day Uppsala's city limits. Objects in those graves are of significantly high quality but unfortunately burnt into small melted fragments."
* Ashby/Leonard 2018 p47
"Our knowledge of Viking Age helmets comes largely from fragments, but complete pre-Viking examples were deposited as offerings at cemeteries such as Valsgärde in central Sweden. .... It is tempting to regard such elaborate helmets as display pieces, but in this period of political transformation, power was held through a combination of military force, conspicuous consumption and chiefly largesse. It is difficult to separate the military from the aesthetic, as local leaders maintained their status through ostentatious displays of military prowess."
* Ashby/Leonard 2018 p47
"The practice of 'ring giving' to seal oaths was common throughout the Germanic world. Swords themselves were also gifted from chieftain to follower in exchange for loyalty and service. Some scholars believe that the term 'hring-mael' (ring ornament or ring sword) in the poem Beowulf preserves a reference to this type of sword. Ring swords are not found after the late 7th century, although ring giving continued into the Viking Age."