It was in this rural field it once all went down, from the Bronze Age to around the 18th century. Thanks to discoveries made by metal detectorists, even more traces of the historical power centre at Sem in Norway have now been uncovered. (Photo: Fylkeskommune / Frank Rødberg)
Archaeologists in Norway report they have discovered what seems to be a massive Viking house that has the length of almost two tennis courts.
The discovery was made when scientists excavated at an ancient royal estate site where they also unearthed an exquisite sword and many remnants of lavish parties.
“A finely ornamented handle for a knife or fork was found here during a metal search a few years ago,” says Christian Løchsen Rødsrud, the leader of the nearly three-month-long excavation at Sem in Eiker this summer.
The knife or fork is associated with King Christian IV, who was the king of Denmark and Norway from 1588 to 1648. He stayed at the royal estate at Sem several times.
Archaeologists have found a rare female Viking grave in the Swedish mountains. Credit: Adobe Stock - Fotokvadrat
"My first thought was that I had found a mine, but then when I had dug around, I understood that it can't be, Nyström told TT.
Nyström took the brooch home and asked around, but no one knew what it was or where it came from. One year later, he came in contact with the museum Jamtli in the city of Östersund and understood the archaeological and historical value of the brooch he had found.
At the site in Jämtland, Anders Hansson, chief archaeologist at Jamtli, also found another oval brooch which is not much of a surprise because such pins are usually unearthed in pairs.
"What has been established is that it is a cremation grave from the Viking Age and "most likely" a woman's grave, Hansson says. Previously, only five other Viking graves have been found in the mountains, and all have belonged to men.
While trying to expand their home, a Norwegian couple found a Viking Age grave and sword in their garden.
It’s not always necessary to travel far to make a remarkable archeological find, but few of us anticipate discovering something of historical significance in our homes. However, this rather strange scenario does occur on occasion. A Norwegian couple was expanding their home when they noticed something strange sticking up from the ground. Sword-like in appearance, and it was exactly that.
Oddbjørn Holum Heiland and his wife Anne were digging behind the Setesdalshouse from 1740, which they wish to extend on June 30.
“I wasn’t going to dig a lot, just a little bit in the slope behind the house, to get some more space between the house and the land,” Heiland told to Science in Norway from Setesdal in Southern Norway.
The Ellestad stone, inscribed between AD 500 and 700, appears to include encrypted runes
People living in Scandinavia may have written encrypted messages in runes – the alphabet later used by the Vikings – several centuries earlier than previously thought.
In runic writing systems, each rune can represent both a sound and a word. For example, in an early runic system called the Elder Futhark, the rune that corresponds to the letter S also means “sun”.
It is generally possible to translate runes into modern languages. But we have long known that in the Viking period, starting in roughly AD 800, runes were sometimes encrypted, so the text isn’t decipherable. One of the most famous examples is the Rök runestone in Sweden, which was erected in the late 800s and contains a lengthy, encrypted runic text. No one has been able to convincingly decipher it.