PUBLISHED Monday 18. july 2016 - 06:20
The Vikings in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland had slaves, or thralls. These thralls probably held multiple roles, serving their masters in many ways in Viking society a thousand years ago.
They could also be given the ultimate rough assignment when important Vikings died. Some followed their masters into the grave. Few contemporary descriptions of Viking burials exist.
But the Arab explorer Ibn Fadlān witnessed one such ritual when a Viking chieftain died. Fadlān had met the Eastern Vikings, also called Rūsiyyah, in what is now Russia: