ADVANTAGES

In Northern Europe among the Vikings, the Vanir fertility deities had close connectons with burial mounds. An echo of this may reverberate in Anglo-Saxon society, where the burial mound at Sutton Hoo included an entire longboat buried intact within the hill, suggesting the pre-Christian Anglo-Saxons may have imagined the dead sailing into the afterlife. In The Elder Edda, the story of "The Waking of Agantyr" recounts how individuals could enter barrows to communicate with the dead at great risk to themselves. Hervor enters a barrow and finds it wreathed in white supernatural flames inside, shere the confronts her dead father and requests his magic sword Tyrfing, an heirloom of dwarvish manufacture. Other Viking legends suggested that draugar (blood-drinking corpses) lived in barrows, guarding the treasure therein.

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