De otte selesamlere fra ryttergraven i Fregerslev

  • Merethe Schifter Bagge


In the spring of 2017, an impressive equestrian
chamber grave dating to the late Viking
Age was excavated in Fregerslev near Skanderborg,
Jutland. Equestrian graves of this
quality belong to a very rare category of finds
from Viking Age Denmark. The few known
finds appear to form a northern and southern
geographical group; the southern group
is well-represented in the area of Schleswig.
The most recent comparable grave was examined
in 1983 (Grimstrup, Esbjerg).
The chamber grave contained more than
700 gilded and silvered fittings belonging to
the harness and bridle of the rider’s horse.
Previously, similar finds have been seen
only among the finds from e.g. Thumby Bienebek
and Grimstrup. The potential of the
recent finds from Fregerslev for research
into horse harness fittings of the Viking
Age elite milieu is therefore immeasurable.
The decoration of the bridle consists of
different gilded copper alloy strap mounts,
e. g. cross-shaped fittings and rectilinear
figure-of-eight fittings which have direct
parallels to grave finds in Langballigau,
Quern-Scheersberg, and Thumby
Bienebek located in the area of Schleswig.
In addition, metal detectorists have found
similar cross-shaped strap mounts scattered
around Denmark.
This article presents the preliminary results
of the excavation and shows the distribution
of three different strap mounts.
In addition, the question is addressed
whether the horse harness can be seen as
a symbol of men with a special military
rank. There might be a geographical difference
in the perception of the harness.

Bagge, M. (2020). De otte selesamlere fra ryttergraven i Fregerslev. Arkæologi I Slesvig-Archäologie in Schleswig, (17). Hentet fra