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14.10.2021

Oseberg Ship Head Post

Five unique carved animal heads were found in Oseberg's tomb. Four of them are on display in the Viking Ship Museum. Unfortunately, the fifth is in very poor condition, its remains are stored in the museum vault.

Four animal heads were found in the burial chamber and one on the fore deck.
They were tied together with a rope that was passed through the mouth of one of the animal heads as a lead.

Making animal heads, even for an experienced woodcarver, must have been a very difficult and time-consuming endeavor. The woodcarver went out into the woods and selected a piece of wood with a natural bend from the bottom of the trunk of a suitable hardwood. He first shaped it and then began to carve it. The animal heads appear to have been made by different wood carvers. None of them look alike, and two of them are also decorated with silver rivets.

What the animal heads were used for...
At this point, it is not known exactly what the animal heads were used for. The base of the necks had a handle about 50 cm long, which could be used to attach them to the outer walls of the house, a throne, or something else entirely.

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