Archaeologists search for Viking settlement under saint king’s church
Archaeologists in Norway are using laser scanning technology to help reveal the ancient Viking settlement hidden beneath a saint-king’s church.
|The excavation site in Trondheim, Norway [Credit: NIKU]|
Olaf Haraldsson, or Olaf II of Norway, is the country’s patron saint and the discovery was heralded as a significant find.
The church, St. Clement’s, dates from around 1015, but it was demolished in the 13th century. Its location remained a mystery until Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) archaeologists unearthed the site, which was dated to the time of Olaf’s rule.
"We have identified rich remains of an Iron Age settlement on the site, most likely belonging to a Viking Age ‘kaupang,’ sealed under thick deposits of natural sand that have been formed by a flooding of the river Nidelva,” NIKU’s excavation leader Anna Petersén explained in a statement emailed to Fox News. A kaupang was a Viking trade center.
Before accessing the kaupang site, however, experts have a lot of work to do.
|The likely foundation for the altar where St. Olaf’s coffin was placed in 1031 [Credit: NIKU]|
“We will soon begin to remove the remains of the upper church and are eager to find more posts and postholes relating to the previous building in the sand,” Petersén explained. “And as the last of many highlights from this spectacular site we will explore the Viking Age settlement."
Excavation work at the site is expected to finish by the summer.
Author: James Rogers | Source: Fox News [April 07, 2017]