In the 1980s, a number of graves were discovered on an island in the Norwegian Sea, some without their heads. New research may show that the headless burials were slaves to their dead Viking masters.
The research was done by Elise Naumann, who published her work in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Slavery was part of Viking life and, according to Naumann, their deaths, since the headless burials seem to have been included, with high status graves, as grave goods. "These are people who had values very different from our own," says Naumann.