The King’s sagas are Old Norse tales that recount the lives of fictional Nordic kings.
Composed from the 12th to the 14th century, they are also a great source of viking knowledge and also, as it turns out, more truth than fiction.
A skeleton was found in Norway by archeologist Gerhard Fischer over seven decades ago but reburied during World War II. In June of this year, archeologists discovered these ancient skeletal remains at the bottom of an abandoned castle’s well in Norway.
They dated back to around 1197 and were linked to one specific story from the history books as per the New Historian:
“In 1197, King Sverre Sigurdsson and his army of Birkebeiner mercenaries were confronted and defeated by the Baglers at his castle, Sverresborg. The Saga tells of the Baglers burning down the castle’s buildings and destroying the stronghold’s water supply by tossing one of the King’s dead men in the well and filling it with rocks.”
Dead man in a well, in 1197. Sounds familiar.
“We are more than reasonably sure that the skeleton in the well can be attributed to the dramatic tales in the saga when Sverre castle was destroyed,” wrote the NIKU on their blog.
The NIKU (Norwegian institute for Cultural Heritage) is funding the excavation and claims the remains belonged to a middle aged man who lived eight centuries ago.
This discovery yanks solid truth from what was essentially, a fairytale. The archaeologists who found the skeleton are now hard at work excavating the well to look for more war ravaged 12th century bodies. Maybe a troll or two.
We’ll just sit here and wait for Santa to show up next.
Loaded staff writer Danielle De La Bastide has lived all over the planet and written for BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog as well as print publications throughout the Caribbean.