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The Oseberg cart

The cart from the Oseberg finds was of considerable age even before it was placed in the grave. It was possibly built before 800.

© Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo/ Eirik Irgens Johnsen

Woven procession

A woven tapestry was found in the Oseberg grave. Motifs of horses pulling carts are woven into the tapestry, which appears to depict a procession of people, horses and carts. Perhaps a religious ceremony is portrayed.

The cart has beautiful carvings

The back of the cart is decorated with cats, bringing to mind the cats that drew the cart of Frøya, the goddess of fertility. The front end of the cart shows a man lying on his back, being attacked by serpents. Could this be an illustration of the tale of Gunnar in the snake pit? These were familiar stories for the Vikings, and the symbolism of the carving may have had great significance that is largely unknown today.

The cart could be dismantled

The cart is composed of parts made of different types of wood. It can be dismantled for transport, for example by ship. The frame of the cart is of oak and the cart has two shafts made of ash joined by a short iron chain. The cart has probably been pulled by two horses, one on each side of the shafts.

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Published July 8, 2016 12:11 PM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2016 3:39 PM