The armored skeleton is a curious object discovered in Fall River Massachusetts in 1832, and destroyed in a fire in 1843. Several hypotheses have been elaborated concerning its origin: Amerindian, Phoenician, Carthaginian, Egyptian, Viking, European settler or even fraud.
This discovery gave rise to a poem by Henry Longfellow. The poem, The Skeleton in Armor published in 1841 following a story that no longer holds today: some have interpreted this burial as the Viking Thorwald. In 1900, the British composer Joseph Holbrooke, inspired by Longfellow’s poem, wrote a symphonic poem (opus 32), first titled as the poem then, at creation, renamed The Viking.