It’s amazing what we can learn from ancient textiles and other artifacts with scientific analysis. The Viking burial textiles in the coffins of two powerful Danish Vikings are providing us with insights that would never have been possible without modern science.
Experts have conducted a scientific analysis of the contents of the reliquaries of Canute the Holy, a Christian martyr and Viking ruler , and his brother, in Denmark, following doubts as to their authenticity. Results revealed they are indeed authentic, along with a few other surprises.
The motive on this Viking burial textile, a pillow, found in one of the reliquaries in Denmark shows birds, probably peacocks, flanking a stylized tree or cross. It consists of several silk pieces sewn together.
The Danish reliquaries contained a number of Viking burial textiles including a remarkable pillow known as the “eagle’s pillow.” No one is exactly sure when the textiles were placed in the reliquaries or even if they are authentic. This prompted a scientific analysis of the Viking burial textiles to resolve questions about them and to understand what they could tell us about one of the last great Viking rulers.
Viking King Canute And His Brother: Murdered In Church
The textiles in the study come from two reliquaries (boxes containing historical or religious relics) located in Odense Cathedral, Denmark. These wooden caskets were once ornately decorated and contain the remains of people that were viewed as sacred individuals by the Christian Church . These reliquaries were originally part of a shrine, which has long been dismantled. The reliquaries contain the remains of the Danish king Canute the Holy and his brother Benedikt.
The hipped-lid reliquary that contained some of the Viking burial textiles.
Canute the Holy, better known as simply King Canute (1042-1086 AD) was one
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