Surtr the Giant

29 Apr 2021

An interesting discovery in Iceland - going back the Viking era. See www.livescience.com/viking-boat-structure-ragnarok.html .... archaeologists have discovered a cave where a boat shaped structure was built, made out of rocks. There is evidence of animal sacrifice - or at least animal bones. They could have been meat offerings for a journey to Valhalla. However, they appear to show evidence of being burnt - and it is hypothesized that they were a fiery offering to a god, the giant, associated with fire and death and the End Times. Close to the boat some 63 beads were found, evidence of trade with what is now Iraq, and a mineral with an origin in what is now Turkey. This is related to Viking trade missions with the Islamic world via the rivers of Russia.

Historical records show the Vikings associated the cave with Surtr, a giant from Norse mythology. He was to be unleashed at Ragnorak, the End Times, when fire would destroy the world. However, this belief, it is speculated, was revived by an eruption of a volcano on Iceland, around 1100 years ago, sparking a renewed interested in the comings and goings of Surtr. The eruption released a considerable amount of lava, a suitably fiery event. The Norse appear to have used the cave in order to placate Surtr, which may suggest it impinged on them directly, possibly as a result of colder weather and failed crops. A short while later Christianity was introduced to Iceland from Scandinavia, and the cave became the place where Satan would emerge at the Christian End Times. It is remarkable, the similarities that exist between some pagan beliefs and the faiths of Christianity and Islam. Fire also dominated Zoroastrianism and is also a major component of Hinduism. The Live Science author classifies Surtr as an elemental being, reducing what was possibly a global phenomenon to a localised oddity, an imaginary elemental being. The Vikings clearly associated the giant Surtr with the turmoil at Ragnorak, an upheaval in the physical world that included fire and destruction. Like Revelation in the Bible it drew on past experience - a catastrophic event that decimated life on earth.