Archaeologists have found that the Vikings brought Scandinavian dogs and horses to Britain
(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of Durham and the Free University of Brussels have found what they say is the first evidence that the Vikings arrived in Britain with their dogs and horses.
Archaeologists have studied the remains of animals and people found in the Heath Wood funeral pyre, which belonged to the ancient Vikings who invaded Britain in the 9th century.
Analysis of strontium isotopes showed that one adult man, horse, dog and pig sailed together from Scandinavia, and died shortly after arriving in the UK.
The results mean that the Vikings not only stole the animals upon arrival in Britain, as contemporary sources describe, but also transported them from Scandinavia.
In addition, the Vikings apparently appreciated their animals so much that they took them on trips.
When a warrior died, the animal was buried with him in a funeral pyre. The remains of the pig were probably an offering to the gods.
Strontium is found in the environment in rocks, soil and water, from where it enters plants. When humans and animals eat these plants, strontium replaces the calcium in their bones and teeth.
Since the ratio of strontium varies in different parts of the world, the ratio of isotopes can determine the place where they lived.
The authors noted that the Bayeux Tapestry depicts Norman cavalry unloading their horses from a ship before the battle of Hastings.
But their study was the first scientific demonstration that Viking warriors were transporting horses two hundred years before this battle.
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