Archaeologists Have Just Discovered A Rare And Historic Viking Ship Burial In Norway

Using ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists have identified a Viking ship burial in Vestfold County, Norway.

Viking ship.
Axe20 / Pixabay

Using ground-penetrating radar, archaeologists have identified a Viking ship burial in Vestfold County, Norway.

After using georadar or ground-penetrating radar (GPR), archaeologists have identified what they believe is a rare and historic Viking ship burial in Borreparken, which can be found in Vestfold County, Norway.

As Forbes reports, this particular burial site is already quite famous for its many Viking treasures, including the Oseberg and Gokstad ships, which are now safely preserved in Oslo’s Viking Ship Museum.

Announcing the stunning find of the new Viking ship in Norway, Ola Elvestuen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, attended a press conference at the Midgard Viking Center in Horten. He called the discovery “historic.”

As Elvestuen also noted, while seven Viking ships dating from between 800 and 1,050 A.D. have already been discovered in Norway, three of these were found specifically in Vestfold.

“This is a new find that will be noticed throughout the world. In the past, fifteen ship finds from the Viking Age were found in Europe. In Norway, seven discoveries have been made, three of which are in Vestfold.”

The powerful GPR — which has helped archaeologists discover so many Viking treasures — was created by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology (LBI ArchPro), with its development helped along by the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) and Vestfold County Council.

“A find of this scale has never been made before by non-intrusive methods. It really shows the potential of this system in giving you a feel for the wider context of an archaeological survey. While you don’t find a Viking ship every day, I am optimistic that this kind of technology can turn up similar finds in the years to come,” NIKU archaeologist Lars Gustavsen, who also discovered another historic Viking site last year with this radar technology, explained.

The Mayor of Vestfold County has stated that despite the relative rarity of discovering Viking ships in Norway, the new find in Vestfold still isn’t a complete surprise. The mayor claimed that those living there are already well aware that there are numerous Viking treasures all around them, most of which haven’t been unearthed yet.

One of the reasons for so many Viking burials in this area of Vestfold is that this region is very close to one of the largest sailing routes ever used by Vikings. With the new discovery of another burial site, Vestfold’s leaders are now appealing to UNESCO to include this part of Norway in their World Heritage Site list.

Since Norway already has eight regions already on UNESCO’s list, the addition of Vestfold — especially with so many Viking treasures having been unearthed there — would certainly make sense.