Swedish researchers has discovered Arabic letters on the burial clothes of Vikings.
The funeral clothes originate from 9th and 10th century Viking boat graves in the Birka and Gamla
Uppsala region, and have offered a truly fascinating insight into the connection between Vikings and Muslims.
Rather than showing Viking patterns, the material showed ancient Arabic Kufic script. Woven into the fabric were patterns with thread, which read ‘Allah’ and ‘Alla’ -i.e. the God of the Islamic faith.
Fellow fans of Vikings might have expected to see a mention of fierce some Viking warrior gods Thor or Odin instead…
An engraved ring has suggested evidence of close contact between Viking Age Scandinavians and the Islamic world, more than a century after it was discovered.
The clothes were originally excavated For more than a hundred years.
The surprising discovery was made by textile archaeologist Annika Larsson, from Uppsala University, who realised there was much more to the garments than met the eye.
Larsson’s interest in the mysterious clothes intensified after she realised the fabric had come from Asia, Persia and China.
As reported by the BBC, Larrson has made the following statement:
The possibility that some of those in the graves were Muslim cannot be completely ruled out.
We know from other Viking tomb excavations that DNA analysis has shown some of the people buried in them originated from places like Persia, where Islam was very dominant.
However, it is more likely these findings show that Viking age burial customs were influenced by Islamic ideas such as eternal life in paradise after death.