This study compares the funerary practice of ship burials in Anglo-Saxon and Viking societies. The custom of ship burial is an expression of rank and wealth held by an individual during his or her lifespan. In addition to common outward appearance of rank shown through such funerary treatment, similar artistic traditions are evident from grave goods and hoards. Items such as jewelry, furniture, and boats are crafted in related styles that also express their owners’ rank through the materials and motifs. This thesis examined several aspects of Anglo-Saxon and Viking culture to provide a foundation for the analysis of rank in these societies. Ship burials provide unique insight into the elite culture of northern Europe in the latter half of the first millennium A.D. These types of burials include the presence of female occupants, which presents a new aspect of Viking society to study. The inclusion of males and females in a similar funerary setting and the luxury goods included in their burials suggests that both genders could hold significant roles in Anglo-Saxon and Viking society.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas

Second Advisor

Morrow, Kara


Archaeology; Art and Art History


Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture


Ship burial, Anglo-Saxon, Viking

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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