‘Allah’ NOT embroidered in Viking burial clothing – Islamic Art professor

‘Allah’ NOT embroidered in Viking burial clothing – Islamic Art professor
Last week Swedish researchers made a startling claim they discovered the word ‘Allah’ embroidered into ancient Viking burial clothing. These findings have now been questioned by experts claiming the inscription “makes no sense in Arabic.”

Annika Larsson’s findings, which concluded that the inscriptions were evidence that Viking “burial customs were influenced by Islam and the idea of an eternal life in Paradise after death,” were widely reported last week as a ‘historic first’.

READ MORE: Viking burials inspired by Islam, archaeologist reveals

Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Texas, Stephennie Mulder, however, claims there is a “serious problem of dating.”

Mulder explains that the Kufic script didn’t exist at the time of the Vikings and that even if it did, the inscription still doesn’t mean anything in Arabic.

Mulder adds that Larsson’s claim is “based on extrapolation, not evidence,” citing a textile specialist, Carolyn Priest-Dorman, who writes that the interpretation is based on “extensions of pattern, not an existing pattern.”

Priest-Dorman and Mulder’s analysis details how the texts say ‘Allah’ only if you presume that the embroidered fabric was originally twice as wide as it is now and that the pattern was replicated in specific ways, leading Mulder to say that “Larsson’s extensions are entirely conjectural.”

Speaking to RT.com, Annika Larsson, a researcher in textile archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Sweden’s Uppsala University, contested her critics’ claims, saying that there is a “misunderstanding” from Mulder about the images.

“The scripts on the ribbons are like secret messages. First I thought they were copied by someone who didn't understand the message. But the patterns in the ribbons are like a puzzle or a rebus to read,” she said.

“I have spoken to Muslims that tell me that even today sometimes you don't want to say/write/depict the Gods name clearly, so then you can make it like a puzzle, and even mirror it. I think that is what they have done on these ribbons.

“The project is represented in an Exhibition at Enköpings Museum not far from Stockholm, where we have reconstructed two ribbons.

“In this specific case we see a puzzle of two patterns – then mirrored. It is like a hidden or secret message, that is still sometimes used in the Muslim tradition when writing the name of God,” she added.