Amazing

A Viking banquet hall was found in Norway

The ancient Viking burial site in Estefall in southeastern Norway was in fact a whole complex, including a feast hall and a religious building.

This discovery was made by Norwegian archaeologists using geological radar to study the burial mounds.

The burial mounds in Gjellestad were known back in the 19th century. There is evidence that locals damaged one of them and burned a lot of wood found there. In 2017, they decided to start a major construction project near the burial mounds. Archaeologists were commissioned to scan the area to see if the new construction could damage any artifacts underground.

The first high-profile discovery was made in 2018. Under one of the hills, scientists looked at the outlines of a Viking burial ship from the 9th century, about 19 metres long. The ship symbolised a safe passage into the afterlife. This is how Viking elites were usually buried.

Over the next 2 years, archaeologists have identified a total of 13 burial mounds using geological radar, some of them over 30 metres wide. Next to the tombs, the ruins of a feast hall, a cult house and a village house were found. It is possible that all these structures were used during funeral rituals.

Researchers believe that from the 5th century A.D. onwards, there was not only a cemetery of high-ranking Vikings, but also a settlement in Gjellestad.

In the summer of 2020, archaeologists conducted full-scale excavations to restore and preserve everything that can be recovered from a decaying ship. In October, the group discovered something unexpected: bones from large animals. Most likely the remains of a horse or bull sacrificed during a funeral ritual.

The latest findings of archaeologists are described in the latest issue of Antiquity magazine. Excavations are continuing in Gjellestad. Source, edited by Michael Walsh

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