Skipsgrav eller skipsgraver på Rolvsøy? Om Tuneskipets utgravningshistorie

Jan Bill


One or more ship graves on Rolvsøy? On the excavation history of the Viking ship from Tune

In 2017 150 years have gone since Oluf Rygh excavated the Tune ship burial on the island of Rolvsøy, producing the first preserved Viking ship to be brought in archaeological custody. However, older reports from 1755, 1823, and oral tradition passed on to Rygh in 1867, knew about earlier sightings of this and perhaps other ships graves too on Rolvsøy. Over time, no less than three different ship grave sites have been postulated on the island.

This article examines the reports from the Tune excavation, the sources detailing the ship sightings as well as cadastral sources. It concludes that a) there is convincing evidence that the Tune ship had been excavated at least once before 1867; b) all three reports about early sightings of a ship may chronologically and geographically very well report the same event; and c) a change in cadastral affiliation of the land on which the Tune ship grave was situated may be responsible for part of the confusion. Further it is pointed out that the Tune ship burial differs in ritual from those known from Oseberg and Gokstad, and that the relationship between the three graves, as well as between the Tune ship grave and other contemporary high status graves on Rolvsøy deserves further investigation.




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