1000-year-old Icelandic remains may prove ritual sacrifice

A recent report in Urðarbrunnur, the journal of the science association at Laugar in the rural district Þingeyjarsveit, Iceland, suggests that remains found in a large hole in the turf wall in Þegjandadalur, Iceland show the practice of ritual sacrifice in the time before the country converted to Christianity.

The grave included a human skull as well as a jawbone of a cat and various other animal bones. “Remains of bones in a hole are not peculiar as such, it could, for example, have been a garbage hole, but cannibalism was not practiced and cats have never been eaten in Iceland so these bones shouldn’t belong together in a garbage hole,” said the association’s chairman, Unnsteinn Ingason.

Other experts, however, disagree, saying that the discovery of bones does not prove human sacrifice.