In 1846, Bror Emil Hildebrand excavated the Eastern Mound, by digging a 25 meter long tunnel into the grave. What he found proved that these mounds were not natural formations, as some believed, but were indeed grave mounds from the Viking age and beyond. In his archealogical excavation of the Eastern Mound he found all of the following : A clay pot filled with charred bones; other burned grave offerings were found surrounding it; decorated bronze panels, ( believed to be part of a helmet ) with an engraving of a dancing warrior who is carrying a spear; glass beakers; a Tafl game, a comb, and a hone. It is believed that this grave mound was made for a woman of a royal dynasty.
In 1874, Hildebrand excavated the Western Mound, and in a not very archealogically professional way, dug a shaft right into the center of the mound. Under the stones he found the charred remnants of a funeral pyre. In this mound he found: The remains of a man; the remains of animals, weapons, and a game board with ivory pieces. He was dressed in Frankish cloth, and wore a large belt buckle. I especially like the the game board with the ivory pieces, because it shows the width and breadth of the trading of our people during that period of time.
In the Ynglinga Saga it says that Odin established laws that decreed that all dead men were to be burned, and their belongings added to the funeral pyre. The ashes were to be buried in the earth, or spread out over the ocean. In this way all the warriors could come into Valhalla with all their wordly possessions. Judging from this site, and other sites that have been found throughout Scandinavia, this is exactly what the Germanic and Scandinavian peoples did to honor their dead. And for both men and women !
This site is still to this day, a very popular tourist destination for both those in our religion, and also for those outside of our religion who simply love the history of it. In 1989, Pope John Paul II, visited the Royal Mounds at Gamle ( Old ) Uppsala, and held an open air mass. This is not something that I was thrilled to death to read about, because these sacred grounds hold the remains of our Pagan ancestors, but I will not complain too much here. The Swedish Asatru started to hold blots at Gamle Uppsala again in the year 2000, to honor our sacred dead, and the Gods and Goddesses, which makes me very happy. We should never forget this sacred burial area where our ancestors were sent off to the halls of Valhalla to join mighty Odin. It is our duty to care for the graves of our ancestors, and to hold them forever in our thoughts and our hearts. May the Gods and Goddesses watch over this ancient burial ground that our past ancestors have made sacred not only with their deaths, but of course with lives that they lived.
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Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !