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Norse - Jelling - The North and South Mound



Type of Spiritual Experience


The North Mound is a ‘cave’, the South Mound an artificial ‘hill’.

Like Borum Eshoj, the barrows, cairns and mounds of the past were not used for burial, but like the pyramids, they were used for rebirth ceremonies.  In a land that is simply bog or marsh and totally flat, the equivalent of a cave had to be built and just like the barrows at stonehenge they were.  The size of many of them indicates that spiritual ceremonies were practised on an almost industrial scale!

A description of the experience

Vikings – Neil Oliver

Like a ship, this massive stone monument was originally around 560 feet long making it one of the largest of its kind.  … The mound’s northern end abutted a small Bronze Age cairn.  Some decades after the building of the ship setting, a colossal mound of turf – the largest in the country – was heaped up over the northern end, also completely covering the ancient cairn.

When the mound was excavated during the 1820s, it was found to contain an elaborately constructed stone and timber burial chamber, which had originally been dug into the Bronze Age cairn.  Yet for all its apparent grandeur, it was empty.  There were a few small artefacts, including an elaborately decorated silver cup, but no human remains.

A few tens of yards from the North mound at Jelling is the South mound, almost as large and every bit as impressive.  This one, built slightly later covers the southern end of the earlier ship setting.  But it proved to be empty too.  Whilst the North mound had an empty chamber, the South mound is and always was nothing more than a huge pile of turf and stone

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Activities and commonsteps