A Viking Age mortuary house has been discovered during the excavation of the burial ground of one of the Viking Age farms on Vinjeøra in Hemne in Trøndelag.
Measuring five by three meters, the house had corner posts, and the walls were made of standing planks, a style similar to that used in early stave churches.
While this style of building is typical of the Viking Age, this house was not for the living but rather the dead.
Centuries of farming have ploughed away the grave that would have been inside the structure in Vinjeøra in Hemne municipality in central Norway, part of a dig that was undertaken in preparation for road construction associated with expansion of the E39 highway.
And while Viking Age mortuary houses are very rare in Scandanavia, the fact is that in pre-Christian times, it was not unusual to believe that the dead lived in the mound.
People may have also believed that if the deceased had their own house in the mound, there would probably be a greater chance that they would stay there, instead of wandering around, as in a ghost-like state.
However most current research points to the fact that these houses played more of a symbolic role than a practical one.
Information sourced from www.phys.org