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Possible Viking settlement in the Ålands found

According to archaeologists aerial infrared images suggest the existence of a late Iron Age settlement, possibly the largest such find ever in the Åland Islands or all of mainland Finland.

Possible Viking settlement in the Ålands found
The highest point of Åland Islands: summit of Orrdalsklint, in Saltvik
[Credit: RainoL/Panoramio]
The aerial imaging highlighted a depression 40 metres deep and 12 metres wide which might have been the site of a massive hall used to host gatherings of ancient Vikings. No other similar find of this size has ever been discovered in the Åland of on the Finnish mainland.

The imaging project followed observations of depressions which resembled the outlines of late Iron Age structures from other parts of Scandinavia. Once the images revealed the outline of the hall, cautious excavation turned up personal ornaments cast in silver and bronze, and which point to the site as an important location in the Viking world.

Possible Viking settlement in the Ålands found
Pictures of a brooch shaped as a bird of prey, an equal armed brooch depicting the head 
of a human or an animal and a Viking silver finger ring. [Credit: Museum of Åland, 
Ålands Landskapsregering]
Researchers working under the leadership of archaeologist Dr. Kristin Ilves found that the items had been forged in the shape a bird of prey as well human or animal heads. These findings they say, give weight to the theory that the site was visited by persons of elevated status. The jewelry has been dated back to between the 5th and 10th century.

The research project, "The Hall at the Crossroads of Baltic Waterways" was initiated in 2012 following the results of the infrared imaging.

Source: Yle.fl [May 15, 2014]

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