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Survey Reveals Viking-Era Site in Northern Norway

Friday, January 22, 2021

Norway SurveyTRONDHEIM, NORWAY—According to a statement released by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, a survey conducted in northern Norway’s Bodø municipality with ground-penetrating radar detected the presence of 15 burial mounds, one of which may contain a boat grave. Archaeologist Arne Anderson Stamnes said the size and shape of the mounds suggests that they date to between A.D. 650 and 950, or the Viking Age. The largest mound measures about 100 feet across, he explained. The survey also revealed 32 unusual, oval ditches oriented with their narrow ends toward the sea. Stamnes and his colleagues think the ditches may represent the foundations of buildings, although the survey did not reveal any firepits within the ditches. Instead, Stamnes suggests the structures may have been used as market stalls or temporary dwellings similar to those seen at archaeological sites in Iceland. More than 1,200 pits were also detected, Stamnes said, indicating that there was a lot of activity at the site, perhaps centered around the powerful family members that had been buried there. To read about a genetic study of more than 400 Viking skeletons, go to "Largest Viking DNA Study," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of 2020.

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