Dr Stephennie Mulder of the University of Texas in Austin said the Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Vikings and said the error stems from a 'serious problem of dating'.

Viking textile has ‘no Arabic at all’ slams expert

Engraved burial costumes from Viking boat graves that supposedly provided evidence of contact between Nordic tribes and ancient Islam contain ‘no Arabic at all’, according to an expert who has slammed the initial research.

The Viking textile found in 9th and 10th century graves did not include the word ‘Allah’ as was widely reported, according to a professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology.

Dr Stephennie Mulder of the University of Texas in Austin claimed the error stems from a ‘serious problem of dating’, claiming Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Vikings.

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Burial costumes from Viking boat graves that appeared to provide evidence of contact between Nordic tribes and ancient Islam contain 'no Arabic at all', claims an expert who has slammed the initial research

Burial costumes from Viking boat graves that appeared to provide evidence of contact between Nordic tribes and ancient Islam contain ‘no Arabic at all’, claims an expert who has slammed the initial research

THE CONTROVERSY

The viking textile found in 9th and 10th century graves did not include the word ‘Allah’ as was widely reported, according to a professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology.

Dr Stephennie Mulder of the University of Texas in Austin claimed the error stems from a ‘serious problem of dating’, claiming Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Vikings.

Dr Mulder claimed that it was a style called square Kufic’ that is ‘common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century’.

‘Let’s assume there are 10th century Central Asian textiles with square Kufic. Even so, it turns out Larsson’s drawing doesn’t say ‘Allah’,’ she wrote.

‘Instead the drawing says للله ‘lllah’, which basically makes no sense in Arabic.’

Dr Mulder says the claims, which were circulated around the world, are founded on ‘conjecture’ and ‘supposition’ instead of proof.

Kufic characters were commonly found during the Viking Age in mosaics on burial monuments and mausoleums, primarily in Central Asia.

The claims she refers to were made by archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University who made the discovery after working to recreate textile patterns found in Viking woven bands.

They claimed that the objects, used as inspiration for a Viking Couture exhibit at Enköping Museum, contained Kufic characters, rather than traditional Viking patterns as had been assumed.

As well as Allah, Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was also mentioned in the text, they claimed.

However, Dr Mulder took to Twitter to criticise their findings, claiming that it was a style called square Kufic’ that is ‘common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century’.

‘Let’s assume there are 10th century Central Asian textiles with square Kufic. Even so, it turns out Larsson’s drawing doesn’t say ‘Allah’,’ she wrote.

‘Instead the drawing says للله ‘lllah’, which basically makes no sense in Arabic.’

The viking textile found in 9th and 10th century graves did not include the word 'Allah' as was widely reported, according to a professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology

The viking textile found in 9th and 10th century graves did not include the word ‘Allah’ as was widely reported, according to a professor of Medieval Islamic art and archaeology

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden working to recreate textile patterns found in Viking woven bands made the discovery. They found that the objects, being used as the inspiration for a Viking Couture exhibit at Enköping Museum, contained Kufic characters

Researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden working to recreate textile patterns found in Viking woven bands made the discovery. They found that the objects, being used as the inspiration for a Viking Couture exhibit at Enköping Museum, contained Kufic characters

Similar text was found on the woven bands, which were part of grave costumes uncovered inside both chamber graves, in sites such as Birka in Mälardalen, and in boatgraves in the Gamla Uppsala area.

Responding to the criticism, Ms Larsson told The Independent that the finds were ‘no doubt from the Viking age’.

‘They are found in several of the Birka graves and Viking Age boatgraves north of Gamla Uppsala. The geometrical Kufi is also to be found in similar textile ribbons from Spain’, she said.

‘Even if the characters should be interpreted as ‘Illah’ it is still Kufic, and as I have understood from the Arabic experts it still refers to ‘Allah’.’

MailOnline has contacted Ms Larsson for comment.

Dr Mulder of the University of Texas in Austin claimed the error stems from a 'serious problem of dating', claiming Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Vikings

Dr Mulder of the University of Texas in Austin claimed the error stems from a ‘serious problem of dating’, claiming Kufic script did not occur until 500 years after the Vikings

Dr Mulder took to Twitter to criticise their findings, claiming that it was a style called square Kufic' that is 'common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century'

Dr Mulder took to Twitter to criticise their findings, claiming that it was a style called square Kufic’ that is ‘common in Iran, C. Asia on architecture after 15th century’

Kufic is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts, developed around the end of the 7th Century in Kufa, Iraq, from which it takes its name
This geometric example reads baraka Muhammad, or blessed be Muhammad

Kufic (left) is the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts, developed around the end of the 7th Century in Kufa, Iraq, from which it takes its name. The geometric example (right) reads baraka Muhammad, or blessed be Muhammad

Ms Larsson said when her research was first released: ‘It is a staggering thought that the bands, just like the costumes, was made west of the Muslim heartland.

‘That we so often maintain that Eastern objects in Viking Age graves could only be the result of plundering and eastward trade doesn’t hold up as an explanatory model.

‘The inscriptions appear in typical Viking Age clothing that have their counterparts in preserved images of Valkyries.

‘Presumably, Viking Age burial customs were influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in Paradise after death.’

In her earlier research, Ms Larsson looked at the widespread occurrence of Eastern silk in Scandinavia’s Viking Age graves.

'Let's assume there are 10th century Central Asian textiles with square Kufic. Even so, it turns out Larsson's drawing doesn't say 'Allah',' she wrote

‘Let’s assume there are 10th century Central Asian textiles with square Kufic. Even so, it turns out Larsson’s drawing doesn’t say ‘Allah’,’ she wrote

'Instead the drawing says ¿¿¿¿ 'lllah', which basically makes no sense in Arabic. MailOnline has contacted Ms Larsson for comment

‘Instead the drawing says للله ‘lllah’, which basically makes no sense in Arabic. MailOnline has contacted Ms Larsson for comment

VIKING AND ISLAMIC TRADE

The Scandinavians are known to have traded glass objects from Egypt and Mesopotamia up to 3,400 years ago.

It is also possible that the Vikings fetched glass goods directly from the region, rather than waiting for them to make their way north via trade networks.

Ancient texts mention trades taking place between the Vikings and members of the Islamic civilisation, which stretched from the Mediterranean to West Asia.

Viking expeditions are said to have extended from Western Europe to Central Asia.

It is from here that sources indicate the extent to which the Vikings had contact with the Muslim World during ancient times.

Though the Vikings had sacked several cities in Western and Eastern Europe, historians outline that it was in Muslim ruled lands, that the Vikings found ’emporiums beyond their wildest dreams’, according to Muslim Heritage.

Historians in Baghdad and other regions of the Muslim world gave the Vikings a reputation of being ‘merchant warriors whose primary focus was on trades.’

However, writers in Al-Andalus in Muslim Spain were of a different opinion, due to frequent attacks reportedly perpetrated by the Vikings in the region.

In the Valsgärde boat graves, just north of the key early Iron Age site Gamla Uppsala, silk is found in the clothing of those buried far more often than wool and linen.

Analyses of materials, weaving techniques and design suggest ancient Persian and Central Asian origins.

‘Grave goods such as beautiful clothing, finely sewn in exotic fabrics, hardly reflect the deceased’s everyday life, just as little as the formal attire of our era reflects our own daily lives,’ Ms Larsson said.

‘The rich material of grave goods should rather be seen as tangible expressions of underlying values.

Kufic characters were found during the Viking Age in mosaics on burial monuments and mausoleums in Central Asia. Similar text has allegedly been found on grave costumes uncovered inside chamber graves at sites such as Birka as well as in boatgraves in the Gamla Uppsala area

Kufic characters were found during the Viking Age in mosaics on burial monuments and mausoleums in Central Asia. Similar text has allegedly been found on grave costumes uncovered inside chamber graves at sites such as Birka as well as in boatgraves in the Gamla Uppsala area

‘In the Quran, it is written that the inhabitants of Paradise will wear garments of silk, which along with the text band’s inscriptions may explain the widespread occurrence of silk in Viking Age graves.

‘The findings are equally prevalent in both men’s and women’s graves.’

This is not the first time that a Viking artefact has claimed to have links to Islam.

A ring, made over 1,000 years ago, confirmed contact between the Vikings and the ancient Muslim world.

Unearthed in Sweden in 2015, it is said to bear an ancient Arabic inscription that reads ‘for Allah’ or ‘to Allah’.

This ring, made over 1,000 years ago, confirmed contact between the Vikings and the Islamic world. Unearthed in Sweden in 2015, it bears an ancient Arabic inscription that reads 'for Allah' or 'to Allah'

This ring, made over 1,000 years ago, confirmed contact between the Vikings and the Islamic world. Unearthed in Sweden in 2015, it bears an ancient Arabic inscription that reads ‘for Allah’ or ‘to Allah’

Posted on; DailyMail>>

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