Viking ship discovery: Historic dig to uncover longship starts in Norway

The first excavation of a Viking ship in 100 years is underway in Norway.

In a statement, the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) explained that the Museum of Cultural History at the University of Oslo is responsible for the excavation.

The so-called Gjellestad Ship was discovered in 2018 by NIKU and Østfold County Council using ground-penetrating radar. The 66-foot vessel, which is located in a burial mound, is just beneath the topsoil at a depth of 1.6 feet.

VIKING LONGSHIP DISCOVERY THRILLS ARCHAEOLOGISTS

“This will be exciting for all of us, regardless of whether you are an archaeologist or just have a medium interest in our past,” said NIKU department head and Viking ship expert Knut Paasche, in the statement.

Georadar revealed the outline of the Viking ship.

Georadar revealed the outline of the Viking ship.

However, a trial excavation in 2019 showed that the ship is in poor condition, and only part of its timbers have been preserved, according to Paasche.

Viking discoveries continue to be a source of fascination. Last year, for example, a mysterious Viking double boat burial was discovered in Norway, intriguing experts.

MYSTERIOUS DOUBLE VIKING BOAT BURIAL DISCOVERED

In another project, a Swedish grave containing the skeleton of a Viking warrior, long thought to be male, was confirmed as female.

Illustration from Le Petit Journal, 1911.

Illustration from Le Petit Journal, 1911.

In 2018, a Viking “Thor’s hammer” was discovered in Iceland. Separately in 2018, an 8-year-old girl discovered a 1,500-year-old sword in a Swedish lake and an incredible trove of silver treasure linked to the era of a famous Viking king was discovered on an island in the Baltic Sea. Hundreds of thousand-year-old silver coins, rings, pearls and bracelets were found on the German island of Ruegen.

In 2017, an incredibly well-preserved Viking sword was found by a reindeer hunter on a remote mountain in southern Norway. Archaeologists in Trondheim, Norway, unearthed the church where Viking King Olaf Haraldsson was first enshrined as a saint in 2016.

VIKING ‘THOR’S HAMMER’ DISCOVERED IN ICELAND

Separately in 2016, a tiny Viking crucifix was found in Denmark. The wreck of a 12th-century ‘Viking-style’ ship discovered in a German port is also revealing its secrets thanks to high-tech 3D-scanning technology.

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Experts are also unlocking the secrets of a mysterious Viking treasure trove that was discovered in Scotland. The “Galloway Hoard” was found by a man using a metal detector in 2014. It was acquired by National Museums Scotland in 2017, which describes the trove as “the richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.”

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers.

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