Tuesday, 13 March 2012

New viking village discovered

Norwegian archeologists have discovered the foundations of at least 15 buildings, an 80-meter long street and a harbour near Gokstadhaugen burial mound in Sandefjord.

So far, the ground hasn’t even been broken into. The remains that could potentially be part of an entire village have been located by using ground penetrating radar and magnetometer.

Archeologists from the Cultural and Historic museum in Oslo, the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) and Vestfold County made the discovery at Gokstadhaugen, where the famous Gokstad viking ship and burial ground were also discovered in 1880.

"This is a very exciting and surprising find that shows there have been several buildings located close to the burial mound Gokstadhaugen," Professor Jan Bill at the University of Oslo tells NRK.

Another discovery was made back in the mid-90s, when archeologist Terje Gansum excavated in the area in relation to a road construction. He tells NRK that he saw several artifacts back then, and he is not surprised by the latest discovery.

"This find simply shows that it is useful to start this type of work in classic, familiar places like Gokstadhaugen," Gansum explains.

The archeologists have already decided that more searches will be conducted this summer. "We can map out a lot by using technology," Gansum says. "This helps us save lots of time and money spent on excavations."

The discovery was made with help from Austrian experts who brought the equipment needed to help confirm what was believed buried underneath the top soil.


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