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Enormous 1,000-yr-old Viking Ship Grave Found in Norway

Archaeologists using radar discovered something huge buried beneath a cemetery in Norway. To their astonishment, what they detected was a 66-foot-long ship–one of the largest Viking ship graves ever discovered. The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Analysis (NIKU) mentioned that archaeologists found the anomaly in Østfold County.

 

The ship was buried about 1.6 ft beneath the surface, according to a press release. Outlines of the keel and the primary few strakes, or traces of planking, had been seen within the radar scans. It is believed the ship was buried more than 1,000 years ago as the final resting place of a Viking king or queen. Experts say that finding an intact Viking ship grave of this size is quite rare. “I believe this might be a once in a hundred years discovery,” mentioned archaeologist Jan Invoice, curator of Viking ships on the Museum of Cultural-Historical past in Oslo, in an interview with National Geographic. “It’s fairly spectacular from an archaeology standpoint.” The ship is a part of a cemetery that additionally accommodates no less than seven burial mounds, which are dome-shaped hills of dirt and stones piled upon the graves.

The remains of 5 longhouses have also been detected close to the cemetery. A Viking’s ship was their most cherished possession. If an elite Viking didn’t die at sea, he would be buried in his ship on dry land. The vessels used had been actual ships, and corpses had been typically surrounded by a combination of weapons, pottery, and drinking horns. Ship burials were an important event for the Norse folks, as those buried in ships or boats were exclusively elite kings, queens or warriors and chiefs. In this case, due to the size of the ship, it is most likely to be Viking royalty. In interviews, the archaeologists re-created the discovery. “In the midst of the mound, we found what is called an anomaly, a form that different from it’s surroundings,” mentioned Dr. Knut Paasche. The mysterious form “clearly has the shapes and dimensions of a Viking ship.” “What we can’t say for certain if this is the situation. We are sure there was a ship there, however, it’s difficult to say how a much of the wooden ship is left,” Dr. Paasche advised. Scientists hope that this discovery will yield insights on the Vikings’ expeditions within the Middle Ages.

“This discovery is extremely thrilling as we solely know [of] three well-preserved Viking ship finds in Norway [that were] excavated a very long time ago. This new ship will definitely be of extreme historic significance as it may be investigated with the latest technology available for archaeology,” mentioned Paasche. How the ship was brought there is intriguing. Archaeologists believe it may have been dragged onshore from the Oslo fjord close by. “Ships like this functioned as a coffin,” says Paasche. “There was one king or queen or native chieftain on board.

” Paasche plans to return in the spring of 2019 to conduct extra scans, utilizing a magnetometer to collect more accurate data on the position of the ship. It’s possible they may dig trenches to see what the ship’s condition is. In the event they do discover that the wood from the ship’s hull is well preserved, it will probably be the most important discovery in a very long time. The probabilities of discovering a king’s treasure are slim, according to National Geographic. With so many Viking Age burial mounds scattered across the countryside, it is believed most were robbed centuries ago. The best-preserved Viking ship to ever be excavated within the UK was found in the far western part of Scotland. It held a person who was buried with his sword, a spear and other items such as an Irish brooch and a drinking horn.

The outlines of a Viking ship inside a burial mound. Photo by NIKU

 

Østfold County, Norway. Picture by Vidariv CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Viking Ship Museum – Oseberg ship. Picture by Vassia Atanassova – Spiritia CC BY SA 3.0

 

Viking Ship
Gokstad Viking ship excavation. Gokstad Mound, 1880.

 

How the ship bought there may be intriguing.

Viking Ship
The Gokstad ship on the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway. Picture By Karamell CC BY-SA 2.5

 

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Written by Ketrin Ulbrich

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