Wednesday, 16 October 2013


Peter Steen Henriksen and Sandie Holst excavate Denmark's oldest lime kiln. Photo: National Museum.

It was already known that Iron Age Danes whitewashed their houses and halls with lime to protect clay walls against wind and weather. However it wasn’t clear whether they created their their own lime, or if it was sourced from elsewhere.
Now Danish National Museum archaeologists have found the answer in the rich Viking settlement at Tissø, Zealand. In the spring of 2013 they excavated the first lime kiln from the Danish Late Iron Age, the oldest found in Denmark.

Burning slaked lime

The researchers examined a kiln used to burn slaked lime around the the middle of 800s CE. National Museum archaeologist Sandie Holst explained that, “We knew in advance that the great halls and buildings of Fuglede farmhouse were whitewashed because of previously excavated daub with traces of white chalk, but now we have proof that the limestone was burned in the immediate area” .
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