chapter  11
5 Pages

Stranger kings: intruders from the outside world

The historical evidence for the introduction of new royal lineages is supported by the reinvention of a monumental burial tradition. The Skjoldungs, the Skilfinger and the Ynglings are the three most prominent royal lineages of Norse saga-kings. The noble line of Skjoldungs was based in Lejre on Zealand. The Ynglings originated from Old Uppsala; however, a branch became kings in eastern Norway while the part remaining in Sweden were named the Skilfinger, and according to Lukman they included the early Hunnic kings. It is telling that these mytho-historical fixedpoints are backed up archaeologically by groups of outstanding tumuli:3 Old Uppsala (Duczko 1996; Bratt 2008), Borre (Myhre 2003a, b) and Lejre4 (Niles 2006). In recent years monumental halls have been located in close vicinity to the mounds and in Lejre extensive excavations have unearthed a succession of huge ceremonial halls extending back to the fifth and sixth centuries (latest: Christensen 2008).