The grave was discovered close to the medieval ruin of St. Hallvard's Cathedral. It contained three skeletons, buried on top of each other and with weapon cuts to the head and neck.

At the time, it was clear that the skeletons were positioned unusually and that the bodies had – at first glance – not been afforded the respect normally associated with Christian burials.

Two years after the discovery was made, The Viking Herald reached out to excavation project manager Michael Derrick to find out if further analysis of the skeletons revealed more information about the life and death of these individuals.

Skeletons likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century

Derrick told The Viking Herald that, at this stage of his work, he believes that the skeletons are likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century.

"I've actually started working on this project now. I'm at a very early stage in the process but what I can tell you is that the skeletons are likely to date to the early to mid-12th-century – possibly during the reign of Inge Krokrygg.

"As you know, the skeletons show signs of violent death, probably in battle. If we look at the battles that occur around this time, the one that sticks out is Inge's battle against Håkon Herdebrei, where Inge meets his death on the ice of Oslo fjord," Derrick stated.

New questions

"I must stress that we are at an early stage in the analysis of the skeletons, and things can change. The individuals themselves provide very contradictory but interesting information. On the one hand, the way their bodies are treated is quite disrespectful.

"They appear to have been thrown into a grave and buried together. However, they seem to have been given a Christian burial and are buried in the best place in the town – the cathedral grounds. This throws up more questions than answers," Derrick concluded.

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