Monday, 11 June 2012

Archaeologists Drill Tønsberg’s Viking Ancestry

The Norwegian city of Tønsberg, was first mentioned by a contemporary writer was in the year 1130. According to Snorri Sturluson, Tønsberg was founded before the Battle of Hafrsfjord, which, according to Snorri, took place in 871.

What year the battle took place is disputed, however, and most current historians believe the battle took place closer to 900. However, if the battle did in fact take place in 871, this would make Tønsberg the oldest present Scandinavian city.

Now archaeologists believe the city dates from at least 900AD after a series of drill samples taken from the site contain evidence of occupation and human activity called Kulturlag.

The sample drilling was undertaken by Norway’s institute for Cultural Heritage (Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning, NIKU) who confirmed that the samples prove Tønsberg’s existence during the Viking Period as early as 900AD.