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‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’ found woven into Viking burial fabric

  • Published at 01:04 pm October 14th, 2017
  • Last updated at 01:21 pm October 14th, 2017
‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’ found woven into Viking burial fabric
A group of researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University has found Arabic characters for “Allah” and “Ali” embroidered into the burial fabrics of ancient Vikings. Researchers of Sweden’s oldest university discovered the Kufic characters into the clothes when they were re-examining Viking age funeral fabrics and marked the finding as “staggering”. The clothes were found at Viking burial sites in Birka and Gamla Uppsala in Sweden, reports the Guardian. Textile archaeology researcher of Uppsala University Annika Larsson, who made the breakthrough, said she could not make sense of the symbols right after the discovery but then she remembered where she had seen similar designs – in Spain on Moorish textiles, reports BBC. “Perhaps this was an attempt to write prayers so that they could be read from left to right,” Larsson added.

The meaning of the characters was revealed in a mirror | Photo: Annika Larsson


The connection between Islamic world and Vikings is an established fact as there have been finds of more than 100,000 Islamic silver coins known as dirhams in Viking-age Scandinavia, reports the Guardian. According to the report, previous DNA analysis of Viking graves has shown that there were Persian people in them.

The Vale of York hoard, the most important Viking treasure find in the UK in 150 years | Photo: Linda Nylind for the Guardian


Besides, a glass ring of a Viking woman, which was discovered in March, 2015, also had signs that say “for Allah” or “to Allah”. The funeral fabrics with the names of “Allah” and “Ali” are on display at Enköpings museum till February 2018.
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