Pre-Viking settlement discovery in Norway


A delicate blue glass bead found during the recent dig in Norway. Photo: Age Hojem, NTNU University Museum

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

1,500-year-old Viking settlement discovered underneath Norwegian airport

The site discovered expands across an area roughly the size of 13 football pitches

Will Grice

A 1,500-year-old Viking settlement has been discovered underneath an airport in Norway.

1,500-year-old means 6th century AD. So, well before the Viking age, of Scandinavian attacks in non-Scandinavian countries, is said to begin, about 790 AD. I would call it a pre-Viking settlement, not a Viking settlement.

During expansion work on the Ørland Airport, archaeologists found a plot of ancient land that reportedly to expand across 91,000 square metres – just under the size of 13 football pitches.

Some of the artefacts pulled from the excavation site include jewellery, animal bones and a shard from a green glass goblet.

It is believed the area was inhabited by a fishing community, with a large proportion of the site acting as an Iron Age rubbish tip, known as a midden.

This is the first time materials of this age have been discovered in Norway, with many of the archaeologists believing the remains were in good condition due to the soil in the area having low-acidity.

Historians have long anticipated the area to be rich with ancient artefacts but have previously been unable to excavate it due to government restrictions on archaeological digs.

The law require[s] archaeologists to wait for an opportunity to excavate an area to arise before commencing a dig, meaning the government’s plan to purchase 52 F-35 fighter jets and expand Ørland Airport came at exactly the right time.

Buying expensive warplanes, and especially super-expensive F-35 aka Joint Strike Fighter planes with all their scandals and problems, never comes at the right time. Though this time, it happened to help archaeology. The Iran-Iraq war happened to help leopards. Israeli-Syrian warfare happened to help wolves. That does not make these wars any less bloody and horrible.

“This as a very strategic place,” Ingrid Ystgaard, the dig’s project manager told Ars Technica.

“It was a sheltered area along the Norwegian coastal route from southern Norway to the northern coasts. And it was at the mouth of Trondheim Fjord, which was a vital link to Sweden and the inner regions of mid-Norway.

“Nothing like this has been examined anywhere in Norway before.

“Now our job is to find out what happened here, how people lived. We discover new things every day we are out in the field. It’s amazing.”

2 thoughts on “Pre-Viking settlement discovery in Norway

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.