Skamby Boat Grave Cemetery Map

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The excellent Markus Andersson has made a cemetery map out of the field measurements me and Howard Williams and our collaborators took at Skamby in Kuddby parish the summer before last. This is the prettiest of Östergötland’s three boat inhumation cemeteries. We excavated grave 15, as I have blogged about repeatedly, and found it to contain a burial of the 9th century with unusual furnishings.

Now that the plan is done, all that remains is snapping pics of the finds post-conservation, and then I can stick all the report materials into one big PDF file for the delectation of the world’s boat grave aficionados.

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4 thoughts on “Skamby Boat Grave Cemetery Map

  1. Can you explain to me a boat grave? Did they haul one up on land and bury people in it? Or did it used to be in water, and now its not? Sorry to sound like a third grader, but I’m completely ignorant about this, and it does sound interesting. And as an aside, a friend of mine just e-mailed me a notice that Erik Davis (The Visionary State)will be speaking with a local poet and communications professor (Jonah Raskin) in a free two hour forum in Santa Rosa, which is about 1/2 an hour from me. You should drop by! It would be fun!


  2. A boat grave is a grave containing a dead person and a boat. Many boat graves are cremation burials where little remains of the vessel, but the term “boat grave” is often implicitly used to mean a grave with an unburnt boat. Usually the dead person is in the boat, but sometimes the boat is on top of the burial. Here’s a recent post about them.

    Santa Rosa, huh? Would be cool to meet Davis, I’ll pop into my teleporter!


  3. Can you fill us in on some details about the name ‘Skamby’?

    By the way, this is exactly the kind of stuff I’m looking for on your blog – keep it coming!


  4. Glad you like it!

    Skamby and Österskam in the neighbouring parish probably both go back to the Old Swedish word skamber, meaning “short”. The two hamlets are located along a stream that may have been referred to as “the short stream” in the 1st millennium.

    There’s also a Skamby on Funen, but I don’t know its etymology.

    A folk etymology links Skamby with skam, “shame”. According to this late story, the shame was due to inhospitable treatment of a woman who sought refuge from the cold on Christmas Eve.


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