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The women and gold treasure of Tuna
In 1952 an amazing find was made at Tuna in Badelunda just outside Västerås.  Where a new house had been built gold jewellery was found in the earth.  The house was situated in the middle of a grave-field with one of Scandinavia’s largest gold treasures and around 90 graves from the Iron Age and Viking era.
The rich gold grave and eight so-called boat graves proved to be women’s graves.  After many years at the Historical Museum in Stockholm the gold treasure is now back in Västerås.

Female seers?
Who were these women and where did the gold treasure come from?  Interesting new research findings indicate that the women in Tuna had a high status and that they had leading functions in a cult context.  For example, the women in the boat graves are placed in the middle of the grave-field while the men are buried at the edges.

Finds such as a seer’s staff, fine materials with silk ribbon, amulets and jewellery can indicate that they were so-called oracles who could see into the future. Some amulets, votive rings and large buckles have connections with Freja, the goddess of fertility.  The Freja cult had aspects of shamanism and prophecy: ecstatic acts where the cult leader can see both backwards and forwards into time and into other worlds.

From far away
Some of the finds are similar to ones made in England.  Some of the coins come from Germany.  An analysis of the quality of the gold shows it originates in the Middle East.  One theory is that the woman in Grave X is a Danish princess.  Two of the women were buried during the Viking era and DNA tests show that they were related to each other, mother and daughter or sisters.

The finds from the graves can be seen at the Västmanlands läns museum.You will find the openings times at www.vastmanlandslansmuseum.se
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