Stockholm, 22 November 2019 (dpa/MIA) – Norwegian researchers have discovered a Viking-era ship at a burial site in western Norway, estimating it could be over 1,000 years old.
“The ship is important for our common history,” Ola Elvestuen, minister of climate and environment, said in a statement on Friday. “Now we have to investigate how best to preserve it.”
Ground-penetrating radar was deployed when the remains of the vessel were detected on the island of Edoy off western Norway. The location is near a historical coastal sea route to the city of Trondheim.
The region has a rich archaeological heritage. The Kulisteinen, an over 900-year-old runic stone with an inscription featuring the oldest known mention of Norway, was found on a nearby island.
The vessel’s remains were detected in what was a burial mound, and the images suggest the keel is 13-metres long. The vessel was likely several metres longer but ploughing could have damaged the stern and bow, researchers said.
The discovery was reported by archaeologists with the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), working with counterparts from the county of More and Romsdal, and Smola municipality.
“It is too early to say anything certain about the age for the ship, but the ship must be from the Merovingian or Viking Period, which means the ship is more than 1,000 years old,” Knut Paasche of NIKU’s department of digital archaeology, and an expert on Viking ships, said in a statement.
The Merovingian era spans circa 570-800 AD, while the Viking era is circa 800–1050 AD.