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An astonishing discovery was made by Uppsala University researchers in Sweden recently, according to which they found Arabic characters woven into funeral clothes of the Viking graves. The words were ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’.
The recent findings have opened a gateway of questions regarding the civilisation and the influence of Islam on the Vikings, whose age spanned from late 8th century to the mid-11th century.
The clothes, belonging to the 9th and 10th century, were left ignored as they were considered as conventional Viking grave clothes.
The researchers were trying to reconstruct textile patterns for an upcoming exhibition at the museum of Enkoping when the Kufic character patterns were discovered on the silk clothes.
Annika Larsson, a researcher in textile archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, spoke to Swedish science portal Forskning and said: “Presumably, Viking Age burial customs were influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in Paradise after death”.
She said that the possibility of the graves being of Muslims cannot be ruled out.
The team is now collaborating with the university’s department for immunology, genetics and pathology to ascertain the geographic origins of the bodies inside those graves.