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Archaeologists Discovered A Viking Ship Beneath A Manor In Norway That May Have Been Used In The Burial Of A Viking King

Grigory Bruev - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

At a manor in Norway, a metal detector survey conducted in 2018 found hundreds of rivets buried underground, suggesting the presence of a Viking ship. Archaeologists suspected that the vessel may have been used in the burial of a Viking king named Bjørn Farmann.

The Jarlsberg Manor is located nearly two miles northwest of the town of Tønsberg in Norway. Traditionally, it has served as the residence of the Wedel-Jarlsberg family and the Count and Countess of Jarlsberg, who were the leaders of the County of Jarlsberg.

After the initial 2018 survey, archaeologists investigated the site at Jarlsberg Manor more thoroughly. They dug around the area for two weeks and were able to confirm what lay hidden beneath the flat, green fields.

“We can now say for certain that yes, here lie the remains of a Viking ship. This discovery adds a new landmark to the map, once a significant site during the Viking Age,” Christian Løchsen Rødsrud, the excavation leader, said.

During the dig, a total of 70 rivets were uncovered. However, the metal detector’s numerous pings indicated that there were at least hundreds, possibly thousands, of rivets. The large size of the rivets would have made them capable of holding together a Viking ship.

Some of the rivets were actually horse crampons, which are spikes that can be attached to horses’ hooves to make icy conditions easier to navigate. They also could represent Viking grave goods.

The site has suffered damage from years of plowing, but there is enough evidence to make archaeologists believe that it may have once been a Viking king’s ship grave.

In the ancient world, ship burials were practiced by many cultures, particularly the Vikings. These types of burials have been unearthed in Norway before, so it is likely that the rivets are of a ship burial as well.

The Viking king who could be buried at the site, Bjørn Farmann, was the son of Harald Fairhair. Farmann was killed around 934 C.E. by his brother Eric Bloodaxe at the Sæheimr estate. Now, the estate is known as the village of Sem, which is located near Jarlsberg Manor.

Grigory Bruev – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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