9th Century Viking Queen May Hold Key to Mystery

The bones of a 1,200-year-old Viking Queen may help scientists solve the mystery of a ritual sacrifice. In 1904, the remains of a Viking queen were discovered in a ship burial in Oseberg, Norway. The bones were reburied in 1947 along with the answers to a mystery. Along with the queen were found the remains of a younger woman who was thought to have been a slave sacrificed to help her mistress through the afterlife. Now, however, researchers are having second thoughts about this ritual killing.

A team of scientists would like to test the two sets of bones for relationships between the two women and any signs that they might have died of the same disease. While ritual sacrifice was sometimes practised by the Vikings, scientists would like to know if that was really the case with this particular burial. Researchers hope to get their chance for the tests next year.

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