The footprints

The footprint on one of the floor boards the left side of the tent
The footprint on one of the floor boards the left side of the tent

On two the floor boards on Draken, there are outlines of feet. One on each side of the tent. These footprints also occurs on the Gokstad ship, the archeologically found ship in late 1800s, one of the most preserved ones, that has been a reference boat behind the build of Draken. There are two outlines of feet on the Gokstad Ship. One is a distinct right foot. The other is a weaker outline of a left foot on a different floorboard. The foot prints was not found until 2009, when the floor boards was moved from one museum to another, still after 130 years the Gokstad ship is giving us clues about the Vikings and their ships.

The ship was buried on land in a massive grave and the loose floorboards were helter-skelter when it was excavated. So we don’t know whether the planks with left and right feet had been originally next to each other or had been the capricious result of two separate individuals.

We do not know the story behind the outlines, are they markers for where to stand, do they have a religious meaning – there are theories that it is Odins footprints, is it a general ornamentation, is it sailors “grafitti” or do they have an other practical meaning? It is a mystery not solved.

Hanne Lovise Annestad from the Viking ship Museum in Oslo, who discovered the foot prints, gives her theory in an article in the publication Science Nordic

“My guess is that some time or another a person was bored and simply traced his foot with his knife. It’s a kind of an ‘I was here’ message,” says Aannestad.

What do you think?

Floor board from Gokstad. Photo: Hanne Jakobsen
Floor board from Gokstad. Photo: Hanne Jakobsen

The Vikings were accomplished navigators, artisans, traders and story tellers, but their greatest triumph was the ship they built.