Vesthimmerlands Museum

At Vesthimmerlands Museum, you can see the sword from Naesby that "grew" almost 10cm over 60 years. The sword was originally found during 1951 excavations of a horseman’s tomb north of Livøvej at the corner section of Næsbyvej, Ranum. In 2011, archaeologists got the opportunity to return to the burial site and discovered that a piece of the sword had been left in the ground. This addition means that the sword now measures more than 90cm, and is thus one of the longest Viking swords ever found. The buried chieftain also had his riding gear with him, and analyses of the metal show that parts of it come from central Europe, probably southern Germany, while other parts are more local – from Central Jutland. The sword has been X-rayed and this revealed that the blade was stamped with the sign of the cross and letters. It may be a socalled Ulfberht- word, A Frankish brand name for swords of the highest quality produced in the Rhine area. The "Rider from Næsby’s" silver inlaid stirrups may have been a gift from the king as an alliance pledge with the local elite. The grave dates from the first half of the 1000s – initially laid out as a mound, but this was then levelled and a 100m2 burial vault set over the grave – the same pattern as the sophisticated graves in Horning and also partly at Jelling. After 1,000 years, and with so few written sources from this time, it’s impossible to name the distinguished corpses, but we are allowed to guess and it’s also fun. And that’s exactly what West Himmerland archaeologists have done with the Næsby Warrior. The unique grave goods; the grave’s development from mound to mortuary and the location, which in the early Middle Ages was the king’s private property, show that it must have been someone of high status. Probably the most powerful family in North Jutland was Thrugot dynasty, and the deceased could very well be the family’s ancestor, Ulv Galiciefarer. The sword and parts of the equipment can be viewed at Vesthimmerlands Museum in Aars where, among other things, you can see coins minted at Ørbæk in King Knut’s  time – Jutland’s principal Viking Age mint.