The eight large dogs that were found in the Gokstad burial mound may have looked like this Irish Wolfhound. (Photo: hunden.no)
In Viking Age ship graves there have been found large amounts of animal bones: In the Gokstad burial mound dating back to about 900 AD, in addition to bones from two peacocks, several hawks and fourteen horses, it was found eight large sighthounds (Old Norse: mjór) buried on both sides outside the ship. Archaeologists also found a small lapdog buried inside the ship.
– Sighthounds are large dogs, which may resemble Irish Wolfhounds. They had a very high value. I have found that even small dogs had a high value by studying the Frostathing law. If somebody killed such a dog they had to pay a fine equivalent to the price of a thrall (slave), Assistant Professor Anne Karin Huftammer from the Natural History Collections at Bergen Museum told…
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