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Bronze keys and remains of a wooden stick from Døso.

On the farms Døso and Skeie there has been a burial site with at least 6 burial mounds – probably a burial site for the most powerful men and women of the family that ruled the place at the time before the Vikings.

Four of the mounds were excavated and examined in the years 1906-07 and later restored. Three of them are still in existence. Most of the mounds were used as burial place several times. In one of them there were as many as four graves from different periods. There are both male and female graves. The diseased have been sent off with a variety of jewellery, tools and day-to-day things of various sorts, as well as food and drink. In some of the graves the preserving conditions have been such that even scraps of organic material have been found.

At the end of the 6th century a man was buried in a mound that was built some years before. At the bottom of the stone coffin they placed a layer of birch bark. This was covered by a bearskin. The dead man was placed on top of this, wrapped in two blankets. A thinner coverlet was placed on top, before the grave was filled with green leaves and ferns. Then the covering slabs were put in place and earth thrown over.

At around the same time a woman was laid to rest in one of the other mounds. On her clothes were found a gilded buckle and several pieces of jewellery made of silver and bronze. In her belt she had keys and a knife. In her right hand she held a long wooden stick. In Norse tradition such staves were a symbol of travelling visionary women - witches. Was it one of those that lay in the mound at Døso?

  • Bronze buckle and buttons from the find at Døso.

Bronze buckle and buttons from the find at Døso. (Svein Skare).