Cats Were Rare And Expensive During The Viking Age – Spectacular Discovery Reveals Why
Ellen Lloyd - AncientPages.com - Unlike many other ancient civilizations, Vikings never worshipped cats, but these wonderful animals had a special place in Viking society.
Vikings used to give kittens as gifts to their brides, and cats often traveled the world with farmers and Vikings, and we know that Freya, the Norse goddess of love and fertility, loved cats. The cat is her sacred symbol.
Despite appearing in Norse mythology, cats were rare and expensive during the Viking Age, and archaeologists can now explain why.
Goddess Freya with her cats. Painting by 1905 Carl Emil Doepler Jr. Credit: Public Domain
While excavating in Aalborg, Denmark, archaeologists made a spectacular discovery. Scientists unearthed the remains of two of the oldest cats ever found.
We still await the analysis results, but archaeologists believe these cats are the oldest find in Denmark.
What is anticipated is that this spectacular discovery will shed more light on the history of felines and their spread across the globe.
Curator Niels Haue from the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland explained that age-old cats are essential to our understanding of history.
Credit: Adobe Stock - Chris Brignell
"The find puts our entire perception of when cats were introduced to Denmark into question. We expect that it happened through contacts with the Roman Empire that they came to North Jutland," Niels Haue said.
It was previously assumed that cats arrived in Scandinavia during the Viking Age when domestic felines were supposedly introduced as pest control, but this assumption appears wrong.
The clues about how and when cats arrived in Scandinavia lead us to ancient Roman times.
This discovery is of great importance and has already been listed as among Denmark's most spectacular archeological finds.
Updated on August 8, 2022
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com
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