This summer, Norwegian archaeologists embarked on an ambitious, tricky venture last attempted in the country more than 100 years ago: the full excavation of a Viking ship burial.
In May, Norway’s government dedicated roughly $1.5 million USD toward excavating the Gjellestad ship—a time-sensitive project, as the vessel’s wooden structure is threatened by severe fungal attacks. After archaeologists set up shop in a large tent on a farm in southeastern Norway, they commenced the painstakingly slow process of digging, reported Christian Nicolai Bjørke for Norwegian broadcaster NRK in August.
Now, with the dig set to continue through December, new research continues to shed light on the burial site’s history. In a study published this week in the journal Antiquity, researchers from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) revealed that the Viking ship wasn’t buried by itself. Per a NIKU statement, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) identified a feast hall, farmhouse,