Monday, September 08, 2014

The Vikings - a new Viking castle found

A Sensational Discovery 

Aggersborg Viking castle,

In the fields of Vallø Stift (district) west of the town Køge archaeologists have uncovered the traces of a circular castle with earth banks. The circular castle bank is similar to the famous Trelleborgs which were built by Harald Blåtand (Bluetooth) around year 980.

The museums inspector and archaeologist connected to Danmarks Borgcenter, Nanna Holm, says that it is the first time in 60 years that a new ring castle from the Viking period is found in Denmark. Her colleague, professor in medieval archaeology at Aarhus University, Søren Sindbæk, says that the discovery of the new Viking castle is a unique opportunity to get new knowledge about the fights and the conflicts of the Viking period. There is now a new chance to examine the most famous buildings of the Vikings.

New exact laser-measurements of the landscape led to the traces of the castle which was an almost leveled castle bank in the field of Vallø district - it showed to have a clear circular area. An expert in archaeological geophysics from the University of York in England was summoned.

By measuring small disturbances in the magnetism of the earth it is possible to identify old excavations or banks without destroying anything. In this way an amazing detailled shadow picture of the castle was achieved. After this it was known precisely where to start the excavation to get as much knowledge as possible about the castle.

Fyrkat, wikipedia

Nanna Holm emphasizes that this castle was a reel military plan and there might have been a fight. There is no doubt that the castle is from the Viking period.

Castles like this are only known from the Viking period. The burnt wood in the gates make it possible to verify the age of the wood by radiocarbon-dating and dendrochronology. The result of the analysis will be ready in late September, first October ( 2014) . It is possible to find out exact when the castle was built and maybe get a better understanding of the historic events connected to these ring castles.  

The find might show to become an important factor in the understanding of the Danish history  The archaeologists are excited to confirm if the castle is from Harald Bluetooth's time or maybe from the time of an earlier king. A military fortification from the Viking period can enlighten how Sjælland's connection was to the oldest part of Denmark and to the Jelling dynasty, and at the same time bring new knowledge to the understanding of the time when Denmark became Denmark
Trelleborg, wikipedia

Until now only small parts of the ring castle are excavated, but the list of unsolved questions is long. The excavations have confirmed much more than hoped, but there is still much to be found. The next big question is if there were buildings inside the ring like in the wellknown Trelleborgs. At the same time there is another  question: Are there more ring castles like this hidden somewhere in the Danish  landscape? 

 Source: Danmarks Borgcenter, Aarhus University.
photo ring castles: wikipedia
photo Viking house: grethe bachmann 2010.

Viking house, Fyrkat, photo: gb 2010

Ring castles in Denmark:

Aggersborg, North Jutland
Fyrkat, East Jutland
Trelleborg, Sjælland
Nonnebakken, Odense; Funen


Out on the prairie said...

What an interesting find. It seems hard to have remained hidden so long.

Thyra said...

Hello Steve,
- yes, I'm beginning to look around in the landscape to see if there is more !!

Well, I think the new methods with the laser-technique might bring more interesting things to light which were not easy/possible to find else.

Grethe ´)