A Viking Ship is Discovered on a Farm Thanks to Ground Penetrating Radar

Archeologists found what could be a 1,000-year-old Viking ship burial in Norway.

Thanks to a high-resolution georadar, a ship dating back to the Viking Period was discovered at Edøy in Møre and Romsdal County in Norway.

Archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) made the discovery of the ship burial and a settlement on a farm. The archeologists said it dates back to the Viking Period or the Merovingian period. 


Remains found just below the surface

The remains were found just below the topsoil in an area that was previously home to what was a burial mound. The mound showed up in the georadar data as a circle that was 18 meters in diameter.  In the middle of the mound, the archeologists spotted a 13-meter long keel and what could be the first two strakes on each side of the keel, according to NIKU. 

 The Ship traces was found by a Georadar. Photo: Manuel Gabler, NIKU
 The Ship traces was found by a Georadar.  Source: Manuel Gabler, NIKU

The archeologists concluded based on the length of the keel that the ship could have been as long as 16 or 17 meters. The ship is likely more than 1,000 years old. The archeologists also found traces of settlements in the data but said its too early to say when the settlement was from. 

The ship as it is seen in the data. Illustration: Manuel Gabler, NIKU
The ship as it is seen in the data. Illustration: Manuel Gabler, NIKU

Georadar proves successful again 

The archeological prospection approach in which it uses large-scale high-resolution georadar measurements was created by the LBI ArchPro research instituted and its partners, which NIKU is one of.

"This is incredibly exciting. And again, it’s the technology that helps us find yet another ship. As the technology is making leaps forward, we are learning more and more about our past," said  Dr. Knut Paasche, Head of the Department of Digital Archaeology at NIKU, and an expert on Viking ships in a press release announcing the discovery. "We only know of three well-preserved Viking ship burials in Norway, and these were excavated a long time ago. This new ship will certainly be of great historical significance and it will add to our knowledge as it can be investigated with modern means of archaeology."


 The team will now explore larger parts of the area to see what else can be unearthed. 

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