Birka Bj. 959 (Birka Bj. 959) - Grave Bj. 959
burial; 900-1000; not skaldic;
Location: Birka, Uppland, Sweden;
Google maps: 59.336211,17.545467
contents from the ONP and skaldic databases:
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Oval brooches, glass beads, bronze pendant with voluted ends, iron shears, iron tweezers, iron ring, iron knife
The deceased woman (of undetermined age) was buried in a supine position with her legs flexed and bent at the knees. Her right arm was extended. Nothing remained of the left forearm and hand, but it is likely that it was also extended. It appears that the woman was decapitated and her head was placed on her right forearm. Interestingly, the woman’s jawbone seems to be missing, which might indicate that it was cut off during the process of decapitation. The deceased seems to have been well dressed judging by the presence of two oval brooches made from bronze and a necklace of colourful beads accompanied by a bronze pendants with spiral ends. It is likely that the bronze brooches fastened the woman’s apron. At her waist the woman had iron shears, iron tweezers, an iron ring and an iron knife (some of these objects may have been suspended on a string attached to the pin of the left oval brooch). Over the woman’s neck lay a pig’s mandible.
Artistic reconstruction by Mirosław Kuźma. Comissioned by Leszek Gardeła. Copyright Leszek Gardeła and Mirosław Kuźma.
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