Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By New Historian
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

800-year-old ‘massive’ Viking skeletons found in Sicily

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The discovery of a group of ten burials close to a medieval church in Sicily has unearthed a rare finding: the skeletal remains of Viking descendants.

A team of Polish archaeologists found the 800-year-old burials near the San Michele del Golfo church, not far from Palermo. The study, published in Science in Poland, says that after close analysis, the researchers have confirmed that the buried people were most likely Normans. The group arose when the Vikings, also known as Norsemen, settled in the north of France and consequently founded their own duchy, or dukedom.

Professor of Archaeology, Sławomir Moździoch, lead the excavation. He says: “Some of the dead buried in the cemetery were undoubtedly members of the elites of the clergy, as the form of some of the grave indicates.”

Credit: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall, born 1876, interprets the Vikings

‘Massive’ skeletons

An examination of the burials determined that three of the graves belonged to women, and another two to children. The remaining skeletons are still in the process of being identified.

As no grave goods were found, the researchers were not initially sure of their heritage; but an anthropologist was able to inform the team that they were likely from Western Europe – meaning that they were probably Normans from northern France.

Moździoch, who comes from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, says: “According to the local anthropologist, the tallness and massive build of skeletons of people buried here indicate this origin.”

Why were Vikings in Sicily?

So what were the Normans doing in Sicily? During the second half of the 11th Century, the island was recaptured by a Norman nobleman, Roger de Hauteville, after having been occupied by the Arabs. It was quite usual for the Normans to send out expeditions to southern Italy, Sicily, and of course, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Western European architecture

The cemetery where the bodies were found was associated with a church hospital mentioned in a 12th Century document; but no medical equipment was found on the site. They did, however, find coins that were minted in Champagne and Lucca, indicating that the builders and users of the church would have from the north of the Apennine peninsula.

At the time of the church’s construction, nearby Palermo was held by Arabs. Moździoch says that the church was fortified and built on a hill so as to provide a strategic position for battle.

The architecture of the church backs up the theory that these bodies were those of Viking descendants. “The Western European form of the church… [indicates] that its builders and users could have come from Normandy,” Moździoch says.

“Our research has changed the previous theories concerning the church structure. It indicates that its form referred more to the western European churches of the 11th and 12th centuries than to the buildings of this type erected in Sicily during that period. To put it simply, the concept of construction was directly transferred from the north by the craftsmen brought from there,” he concluded.

The post 800-year-old ‘massive’ Viking skeletons found in Sicily appeared first on New Historian.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.