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they cannot compare either in number or extent with the corresponding cemeteries, mostly of burnt bodies, in Blekinge Smaaland and the rest of Sweden and in Norway. Everywhere in these regions we see far more numerous and larger bauta-stones low barrows and stone-settings, also in the form of ships circles squares and, particularly in certain districts, triangles, these last not unfrequently with the sides or arms so distinctly curved inwards, that they involuntarily suggest Odin's mark, the triskele, as their origin. The low barrows on the whole were most probably intended for poor people—perhaps also for women; whereas the larger "warrior-howes," which often contain unburnt bodies, and are found throughout the North, and specially in Denmark, seem to have been reserved solely for powerful chieftain families. A few such large howes, some of them adorned with erect runestones and strangely enough derived from the very last times of heathenism, are to be met with in Fÿen and Jutland. In some the unburnt bodies have been deposited with numbers of horses gold-mounted horsetrappings and carriages weapons ornaments boxes wooden buckets and vessels of metal &c. In others the corpses have been buried in embroidered clothes inwoven with gold, and rest on down-stuffed cushions in a wooden grave-chamber fairly deep under the surface. Several of these warrior-howes in Jutland and Fyen (at Föhr for instance with unusual contents consisting of burnt bones weapons, violently bent, firesteels and other objects) in their form contents and to some extent in the rune-stones erected on or near the mounds, point, as we should expect, to active
communications with the strongly marked heathen Norway, and perhaps even to direct influences therefrom. For in Norway and Sweden the fashion of setting up rune-stones seems to have been older than in Denmark. Similarly the large wax-tapers at times deposited in the graves, viewed in connexion with various Christian ornaments or imitations of them, indicate that the heathen current setting from the North was met by a corresponding and just as strong a current from the Christian south.
But besides the foreign influences in Denmark there was evidently a considerable development of native dexterity in art. It appears in very large finds of smith-work containing among other things magnificent gilt saddles casket-mountings &c. Moreover the inscriptions on the Danish rune-stones are all written in the later runes; and further the oldest rune-inscriptions that are marked with the distinct characteristics of the later runes-in which the protection of the god Thor is still often invoked either expressly in words or figuratively by his hammer-sign-have so far been. found in Denmark and Scania, which were then united. It is therefore a question whether the development of the later rune-writing, though it may well have found its way into the various lands of the North at much the same time, did not most probably commence in Denmark. Here the first advance was made in material and spiritual progress. Here too the more extensive remains of an older culture and population must have favoured such a burst of national energy. Many runestones in Denmark and throughout the North contain epitaphs and memorial writings in verse, and have thus
preserved contemporary evidence of the rise of Skaldic poetry and the high value which even the mightiest set on having their exploits sung in the lays of the Skalds.
Only very feeble traces have as yet been found in Denmark of the ancient custom practised by the Northmen of burying Vikings and distinguished chieftains in their ships. The private Viking raids, which sallied forth chiefly to pillage and harry the coasts, owing to the growth of population and scarcity of support proceeded rather from the naturally poor highlands of Norway and Sweden than the more fertile Danish lowlands. The nails and considerable remains of ships, in which Vikings have been burnt or buried in heights with horses hounds weapons and ornaments, appear very frequently in the warrior-howes on the coasts of Sweden, but still more so in Norway, where two ships have recently been exhumed from warrior-howes in tolerably good preservation.
The Viking ship recently discovered at Sande-fjord was ornamented along the gunwale with large painted shields of wood and seems to have been fully equipped. Amidships a grave chamber was built for the dead and his favourite animals. On the outside of the vessel lay the bones of the horses and hounds offered at the funeral, about eight of each kind.
The thousands upon thousands of barrows in which it was still the custom in the North down to the very last days of heathenism to bury the dead were no longer confined to the coasts, as in the Middle Age
4 According to "Arts," p. 190, burial in ships is not yet proved to have occurred in Denmark.
of Iron but scattered throughout the interior and even high up to the extreme North. They are found in Sweden as far as lat. 64° and in Norway to lat. 69° N. Colonisation therefore, as in the preceding period, spread far further north in Norway than in Sweden.
From the latter country the settlements extended eastwards across Finland, covering a wider area than before. Many islands also and the coast-lands in the modern Baltic provinces were colonised from Sweden.
As heathenism drew near its end, cremation owing partly to Christian influence seems to have fallen more and more into disuse, especially among the more powerful families. Graves under the earth, sometimes without barrows, came into fashion. In Norway numerous discoveries in graves and elsewhere of characteristic shell-formed brooches and other ornaments weaponsoften still deliberately bent or broken according to ancient fashion-implements harness smithy tools foreign coins jewellery &c. prove the strength of the attachment to what was old. But at the same time they bear witness to extraordinary life and stir in the land and a great industrial activity, the products of which varied in different districts.
A corresponding though not nearly so great a richness in antiquities from the last period of heathenism, appears during the growth and establishment of the "Svea-vaelde" (Supremacy of the Sveas) in Sweden. Here also special peculiarities begin to show themselves in Svealand Götaland and even smaller districts.
Gotland, in so many respects a remarkable island, developed a very singular style, which retained many
of the older types of the Middle Iron-Age by the side of new and special forms. In this fairly isolated island unlike the style of the Latest Iron-Age it long con·tinued to flourish and extend its influence in various directions, even to the Baltic Provinces, as it seems, and possibly also to Bornholm.
But amidst all revolutions and developments in the North during the last days of heathenism, and even in spite of the commencement of Christianity, the Northmen clung with old tenacity to their ancestral reverence for the images and sacred marks of the gods. As in the previous Middle Age of Iron, they continued throughout the North, and now even in their colonies abroad to put these marks of consecration on their weapons trinkets household furniture grave-goods and monumental stones. The ornaments, it is true, became more and more complex in their form and decorations, which were composed of interlacing figures of animals and barbarised in style, partly in consequence of the new and strong influences of the Irish and Carlovingian styles of art encouraged by Viking and trade. But through these or by the side of them, especially on Swedish rune-stones, the older Romano-Germanic snakeornaments 5 closely connected with the marks of the gods are conspicuously prominent.
Upon many objects, particularly in the large silver finds, frequently hidden with a religious object, we still see both here and in other lands the same hammered
5 Snakes were supposed to watch over treasure. Cf. Fafnismal, and the later legends of dragons: in this case Thor the slayer of snakes seems to have been converted into a Christian saint, St. George. Elsewhere he appears to have degenerated into the medieval horned Devil.