Monday 19 December 2022

700-Year-Old Viking Shipwreck Found at the Bottom of Norwegian Lake

A shipwreck at the bottom of Norway's largest lake, Mjøsa

During a government research mission researchers stumbled upon what they believe to be a 700-year-old shipwreck at the bottom of Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, reported Live Science.

The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment launched Mission Mjøsa after officials discovered unexploded bombs from World War II in the lake. They quickly drew up a plan to carefully map the lake bed to track the presence of these bombs and study their potential health effects on the water, as the lake provides 100,000 people with potable water.

Though previous research missions have turned up 20 shipwrecks in this lake, this was the first time that the deepest parts of the lake—some 1,350 feet deep—were explored with sonar technology.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers

The University of Oxford online course: Vikings: Raiders, Traders and Settlers is currently enroling for Trinity Term when the course will begin on 25 January.

Find out more about this course...

Monday 12 December 2022

Great Viking Fortresses Built By King Harald Bluetooth

Aerial view of the Viking ring fortress of Aggersborg. The similarity in design with Trelleborg near Slagelse, is clearly evident. Image credit: View author information - CC BY 2.0

About 1,000 years ago, legendary King Harald Bluetooth built several impressive Viking fortresses. Today, there is not much left of these once powerful ancient buildings, but re-constructions give us a unique glimpse of what life was like inside the circular ringforts.

Harald Bluetooth was the Viking king of Denmark between 958 and 970.

King Harald was famous for uniting parts of Denmark and Norway into one nation and converting the Danes to Christianity.

The impressive remains of one of the Vikings’ great ring fortresses were originally constructed around AD 980 by King Harald Bluetooth, and the museum at Trelleborg has models, archaeological finds, and reconstructions that hekp to experience some of  Trelleborg’s history, its inhabitants and the function of the fortress in the distant past.

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Revisiting one of Scotland's rarest Viking burials

One hundred and forty years ago Victorian antiquarians excavated a rare Viking boat grave in the Inner Hebrides.

What they uncovered on the coastal meadow, called machair, at Kiloran Bay in Colonsay remains Scotland's single richest male Viking burial site to be found so far.

The finds included weapons, a silver dress pin and a set of scales and elaborately decorated weights for trading.

A boat had been placed over the top of the man's grave chamber and buried next to it was his horse, which had been sacrificed. There was also possible evidence of a human sacrifice having taken place.

"The grave was discovered after rabbits, digging in the soft machair, scooped up some boat rivets," says Prof James Graham-Campbell, an expert on pagan Norse graves of Scotland.

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