Freyja’s Cats: Perspectives on Recent Viking Age Finds in Þegjandadalur North Iceland
Brenda Prehal (2011) Freyja’s Cats: Perspectives on Recent Viking Age Finds in Þegjandadalur North Iceland. Hunter College of the City University of New York, Unpublished Master of Arts Thesis. 105 pp.
In Iceland, cats are not a common find in any archaeological contexts. Therefore, when a partial cat skeleton was found with human skull fragments in a pit in the midst of the Norse Pagan grave field of Ingiríðarstaðir, Iceland, during Summer 2010, curiosities were ignited. This find may hold tantalizing clues to the importance of the cat in the Norse worldview. Cats were more significant in the Norse world than generally assumed, for they are found in art, myths, burials, magic, and in some cases sacrificial activity. With evidence from the Oseberg ship burial, other sites and historical accounts, the Ingiríðarstaðir cat potentially holds clues to an elite fertility cult of Freyja in Iceland.