Category Archives: NORWAY

1,700-Year-Old Roman Bronze Vessel Discovered in Norway

1,700-Year-Old Roman Bronze Vessel Discovered in Norway

Archaeologists do not every day have the opportunity to discover ancient objects in central Norway.

Sometime in the Gaula River valley, southern Trøndelag, scientists report that about 150-300 CE a person died in the place now called Gylland.

The remains were laid in a bronze vessel after the body was cremated. This was then covered or wrapped in birch bark before being buried under several hundred kilos of stone.

1,700-Year-Old Roman Bronze Vessel Discovered in Norway
The bowl is now being examined in more detail at NTNU’s conservation laboratory.

Now archaeologists from the NTNU University Museum lifted a stone slab and almost lost their breath from excitement when they saw what lay below it.

“We’d gone over the spot with the metal detector, and so we knew that there was something under one of the stone slabs in the burial cairn,” says archaeologist Ellen Grav Ellingsen, who filmed the discovery with her mobile phone when the rock was lifted away.

“When I saw what was lying there, my hands got so shaky that I could hardly film. This is a find an archaeologist is lucky to experience once in their career!” says Ellingsen.

“The cauldron from Gylland belongs to a type of bronze vessel that goes by the name østlandskjele. The name is related to the fact that many vessels of this type are found in graves in Eastern Norway.

NTNU University Museum

This kind of vessel was manufactured in Italy or in the Roman provinces of the Rhine region and came to Scandinavia as a result of either trade or an exchange of gifts.

The vessels were mass-produced and possibly intended for export to the Scandinavian area. In Scandinavia, they often ended up as burial urns.

Although they were mass-produced, this bowl is a rare find,” Norwegian SciTech News reports.

“The last find of a bronze bowl in central Norway was in the 1960s. Nationally, we know of about 50 vessels of this particular type,” says Moe Henriksen, an archaeologist, and the project manager for the excavation in Gylland.

Imported goods like bronze vessels and glass jugs were reserved for society’s upper classes. The discovery in Gylland testifies to the power and prosperity in this region in Roman times.

The bowl was in bad shape and it’s likely that the pressure from the stones compressed it.

“The bowl is now being examined more closely in NTNU’s conservation laboratory. An x-ray of the vessel shows that it doesn’t contain any metal objects,” says Moe Henriksen.

Heidi Fløttum Westgaard (foreground) and Ellen Grav Ellingsen reveal the bowl. Photo: Astrid Kviseth / NTNU University Museum

“But the remains of organic material, like combs and bone needles, may still be hidden in the soil inside the bowl. In the next few weeks we should know whether other objects accompanied the deceased into the grave,” she adds.

Viking imported finds discovered in cemetery works

New archaeological findings show that Vikings “imported” from the Celts

New archaeological findings show that Vikings “imported” from the Celts
The finding took archaeologists by surprise

Archeologists expected beer or other brewing materials to be found, but they found something more valuable.

It was supposed to be a simple, routine expansion work at Byneset Cemetery, adjacent to the medieval Steine Church in Trondheim, Norway.

As in several other European countries, Norwegian law requires archeological studies to precede such works — and in this case it paid off in spades.

Archaeologists have discovered a trove of Viking artifacts, including one which is of a foreign origin: they come from Ireland, researchers say. 

Jo Sindre Pålsson Eidshaug and Øyunn Wathne Sæther, both research assistants at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) University Museum, say that what really drew their attention was a small brooch — a Celtic, gold-plated silver fitting from a book.

“This is a decorative fitting,” Eidshaug said of his discovery. “It almost looks like it’s gilded. It’s a kind of decorative fitting, I would guess.”

A fitting, probably from a book. The style is typical of Celtic and Irish areas and dates from the 800s. Traces of gilding can be seen in the recesses.

It might have been part of a bigger, religious ensemble, or a stand-alone book fitting. Right now, any such claims are little more than speculation. But what’s interesting is how it got there.

It’s no secret that Vikings roamed Europe’s seas, plundered the coast of England for centuries. Crossing over to Ireland, while not easy, was certainly possible for the skilled seamen. But even so, finding Celtic items in Viking sites is not common, with only a few similar sites previously discovered.

In archaeology, this is technically called an import. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it was bought or traded for, and again — taking into consideration the well-known habits of the Vikings.

“Someone very politely called this an Irish import, but that’s just a nice way of saying that someone was in Ireland and picked up an interesting item,” said museum director Reidar Andersen, who was also at the site.

This isn’t to say that the item was definitely stolen. Whether or not the Vikings’ voyages to Ireland were peaceful or not is anyone’s guess right now.

“Yes, that’s right. We know that the Vikings went out on raids. They went to Ireland and brought things back. But how peacefully it all transpired, I won’t venture to say,” he said.

Erecting tents at the excavation site with Steine Church behind.

The site itself holds great promise for the future. Archaeologists also came across a belt buckle, a key, and a knife blade, so they have high hopes for upcoming digs.

The church itself dates from the 1140s and used to be connected to a large, old farm estate from the time of the Vikings, which will also be studied next year.

Source: heritagedaily

Viking sword discovery: Hunter finds a 1,100-year-old weapon on Norwegian mountain

Viking sword discovery: Hunter finds a 1,100-year-old weapon on Norwegian mountain

Viking sword discovery: Hunter finds a 1,100-year-old weapon on Norwegian mountain

Researchers were able to determine that the sword dates back to 850-950 AD, and was likely owned by a Viking swordsman.

Reindeer hunters in Norway were surprised to find an amazingly well-preserved Viking sword while they were hunting in a high altitude area.

Secrets of The Ice, a Norwegian glacial archaeology organization, reports that a 1,200-year-old Viking sword was discovered by reindeer hunters in Norway.

Reindeer hunter Einar Åmbakk and 2 friends were hunting in the high mountains of Oppland County, Norway, when they stumbled across this ancient sword. The sword was wedged between two rocks on a plain filled with the small rocks that pepper the Norwegian countryside, known as scree.

Researchers accompanied hunter Einar Ambakk, who found the sword, back to the site with a metal detector, but were unable to find any other artifacts nearby.
Researchers accompanied hunter Einar Ambakk, who found the sword, back to the site with a metal detector, but were unable to find any other artifacts nearby.

Though the blade was rusted, and any organic material that was attached to it like leather straps or bone and wood adornments had rotted away years ago, it was remarkably well preserved. The extreme cold and low pressure may have prevented further rusting or degradation from occurring.

The Viking sword.

He then posted a picture of this sword on social media, which spurred researchers to further investigate the sword, as well as the site of the find. Researchers were able to determine that the sword dates back to 850-950 AD, and was likely owned by a Viking swordsman.

Researchers also returned to the scree-covered mountains with the reindeer hunters, a local metal detectorist and a local archaeologist. This team investigated the site, but were unable to find any further artifacts.

However, they were able to determine that the blade had not been covered by any permafrost or had been buried under the rocks. Rather, they realized that the sword must have been simply left on the surface of the mountain thousands of years ago.

Why the Viking was traveling in this desolate countryside, and how the sword, an incredibly valuable tool, and commodity at the time, came to be left there, we will never know, but researchers theorize that it may have been left there after a Viking got lost during a particularly horrible blizzard.

Though we’ll never know exactly what happened, this sword provides us with a glimpse into the past, capturing a moment when a sword was abandoned on a barren hill over a thousand years ago.

Archeologists believe Norway find is rare Viking ship burial

Archeologists believe Norway find is rare Viking ship burial

This handout picture released on March 25, 2019 by Vestfold Fylkeskommune shows Funnplass, where a ship's grave probably originated from the Viking Age has been discovered on a plain among the burial mounds in Borreparken in Vestfold, eastern Norway
This handout picture released on March 25, 2019 by Vestfold Fylkeskommune shows Funnplass, where a ship’s grave probably originated from the Viking Age has been discovered on a plain among the burial mounds in Borreparken in Vestfold, eastern Norway

Archeologists believe they have found a rare Viking ship burial site in a region of Norway known for its Viking-era treasures, Norwegian officials said Monday.

Using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), experts found a ship-shaped anomaly near other Viking burial mounds in the Borre Park in Vestfold county, southeast of Oslo.”

The GPR data clearly show the shape of a ship, and we can see weak traces of a circular depression around the vessel.

This could point to the existence of a mound that was later removed,” Terje Gansum, leader of the department for cultural heritage management in Vestfold county, said in a statement.

He said researchers would carry out further investigations to try and assess the size of the preserved find.

There are only seven ship burials dating from the Viking Age (800-1050) in Europe, including three located in Vestfold county.

Another Viking ship burial was believed to have been found in Jellestad in southeastern Norway last year.

During the Viking era, when Norse seafarers raided and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, high-ranking officials were sometimes buried in a ship on land, along with decorative goods and even oxen or horse remains, then covered with a mound of dirt.”

The discovery of a new Viking ship in Vestfold is a historic event that will attract international attention,” Norwegian Climate and Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen said.

This handout picture released March 25, 2019 by Vestfold Fylkeskommune shows Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen posing at the place where a ship's grave probably originated from the Viking Age has been discovered
This handout picture released March 25, 2019 by Vestfold Fylkeskommune shows Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen posing at the place where a ship’s grave probably originated from the Viking Age has been discovered