The Viking Tune ship is now on display in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway. This is the first Viking ship that the archaeologists excavated in 1867. By far, it has become one of the best preserved Viking ships in the world.
The heavy-handed and unprofessional excavation
It was during the time that the technology was nothing to compare with what we have in this day and age. When the technology was not ready and the archaeologists were not really professional, the Tune Ship revealed itself. This might be a big loss for both the Viking Age and the modern generation.
The Tune ship was inside a burial mound. On digging, the team of archaeologists attempted to move out the Tune ship as soon as possible. This resulted in the unnecessary damage to the ship. The destruction of time and dust somewhat made the ship run down. Along with the unskilled dig, the ship went through more destruction. Accordingly, the remains of the figure inside the tomb and many luxurious items were either damaged or forever lost.
The archaeologists only spent two weeks to finish the excavation. Years later, the modern archaeologists spent roughly two years to dig out the last piece of the Oseberg Viking ship. The unnecessary force of the unprofessional excavation left the Tune ship with various marks by spades.
The burial mound and the grave
As we know, an excavation of the Viking ship means an excavation of the Viking burial mound. Because the Viking tradition was to bury the dead with a ship. And not all of the Vikings could afford a ship for the funeral. Only the wealthy and noble ones could have a ship in their burial mound.
The archaeologists also found out an extremely large burial mound when they excavated the Viking Tune Ship. With the diameter of 80m (~26.25ft), it becomes the largest burial mound in Norway.
Before the team of archaeologists unearthed the burial mound in 1867, someone dug the earth away to use for their purpose. Someone attempted to break into the burial mound previously. This meant the oxygen leaked into the burial mound decomposing items inside.
The man that this burial mound was dedicated to rest in the burial chamber. With the ship and the luxurious grave, we are sure that the owner of the Tune burial mound was from the high class in the Viking society. Although there were traces that the grave was plundered, what left revealed that the dead man inside once lived with the high social rank. Three horses accompanied him to the afterlife.
The Tune Ship
In its height, the Tune ship must be a pretty powerful ship. But nothing could endure the test of time. What we have now is merely the broken framework of this ship which needs a lot of preservation.
Compared with ships like Gokstad or Oseberg, the Tune Ship was much smaller in the size. But the mast supporting the sail of the ship was extremely strong, probably stronger than that of Gokstad and Oseberg. The combination with the well-designed hull must have made the Tune Ship a true Sea Serpent in the Viking Age.
The ship seemed to carry the commodity that did not weigh much, fur and glass for example. The ship could also move the people easily during battle.