VIKING WARRIOR’S FUNERARY RING C.850-1050 AD
A fine Viking warrior’s ring of shield ring type. See our B1514 for an example refurbished for modern wear. This example is 7/8” maximum width with a strong longitudinal medial, flanked by strong beaded bands and with double beaded edges. The ring has been sacrificially broken in half as here and curled on itself. The surface is charred, evidence of having been in a fire. The ring along with other burial goods were placed with the body on a funeral pyre. Funeral practice for Vikings varied by area and status of the deceased. Ship burials were reserved for the highest status group. Funeral pyres were second for highest status. Grave goods including the property of the deceased, particularly as related to his primary activity (i.e. weapons for warriors, tools for tradesmen etc.) were provided for use in the afterlife. Slaves were sometimes sacrificed and buried with their masters to carry their duties on in the afterlife. This ring would have been one of the most important articles in a Viking burial and is exceedingly rare in private hands.