149 NRK1

Good evening. Today, for all those gathered in front of the TV sets, we have another interview with Professor Larsen, from the department of archeology at the University of Oslo.

- Good Evening, Professor Larsen. Professor, your discoveries about Ulf Erikson's tomb sparked the curiosity of our viewers. Every day we get hundreds of e-mails and phone calls asking and even demanding another interview. (Guy from TV)

- Good evening. I am pleased with such a great interest in this topic, especially since my book will be published soon. Of course, I`m joking. A tree to grow large and strong must have strong roots, history is the roots of nations. (Larsen)

- Several months have passed since our last interview ... (Guy from TV)

- It's been almost a year, time flies. (Larsen)

- What new can you tell us about Ulf Erikson and the secrets of his semi-legendary life? (Guy from TV)

- We are not currently investigating his life, but his death and the place of his burial. Of course, with this study, we can confirm some things. As already mentioned in the example of the urns in the tomb, they belonged to his wife Lagertha ... (Larsen)

- Yes, I remember. However, other inscriptions could not be read. (Guy from TV)

- We've read them all. There were five urns there. One belonged to Ulf's wife, Lagertha. Second to his concubine or slave, Hild, mother of Bjorn the Red ... (Larsen)

- And the other three? (Guy from TV)

- Unfortunately, you will all have to wait for my book. (Larsen)

- Professor. Please... (Guy from TV)

- Unfortunately, I cannot reveal it, but I can reveal a few small details. His last concubine was from what is now France. (Larsen)

- Professor, on behalf of myself and the audience, please. (Guy from TV)

- We also discovered some other curiosities in the tomb that I can share. One of the chronicles mentions Ulf Erikson's horse. It was a short and insignificant mention. There are similar themes in many cultures, such as Bucephalus, the horse of Alexander the Great. We, as researchers, did not pay attention to this, the more so as the description showed that the horse was crippled. Now, thanks to DNA testing, we know that the bones we discovered in the tomb belonged to the camel. We don't know if Ulf used it for battle, but we do know that he brought exotic animals into his kingdom. (Larsen)

- Brought them from the Middle East? (Guy from TV)

- Not necessarily. He could buy them in Spain, which was under Arab rule. Especially that he had many trade exchanges with them. We know from Arab records that for a period of 10 years he sold almost 500,000 people to slavery. Most of them were Anglo Saxons, Scots and Irish. (Larsen)

- I've read a lot of books and information from this period but never heard of it. (Guy from TV)

- Because it's another new discovery. Arabic records speak of a trader from the Kingdom of Ulster named Gaunter o'Dim. In Ulf Erikson's tomb we found records that he and Gaunter are one and the same person. (Larsen)

- Impossible! Why would he be hiding under a pseudonym? The slave trade was normal at that time. He wanted to protect his reputation? (Guy from TV)

- Rather, he wanted to avoid the anger of the Christians, because it was mainly selling them. All the information pointed to a merchant from Ulster, not the King of Norway. (Larsen)

- Shocking information, but on the other hand it is still not a big flaw on the character of Ulf Erikson, especially after what he did in Denmark. (Guy from TV)

- Yes, not many would do something like this. (Larsen)

- I get information from the producer of the program that our conversation was longer than it should be and we need to take a break. Thank you, Professor, but we will return to the conversation after the commercial break. (Guy from TV)

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