From mass graves of Viking warriors to their incredible Vikings ships remains, Archaeologists around the world have been blessed with countless opportunities of knowing about the famous Vikings and the lives they lived.
These findings have given the world a chance to think differently about the Norse invader by revealing another side of the Viking warriors, contrary to their portrayal as brutal and marauding invaders in pop culture.
With a growing interest in Viking archaeology, experts have discovered evidence regarding many skills the Vikings possessed, apart from raiding and pillaging. They created trading networks, went on overseas expeditions to faraway lands aboard their masterfully crafted ships, and excelled at metalwork, farming, crafts, jewellery, and ship-building.
This article will explore some of the most extraordinary archaeological Viking discoveries ever made. Here is a list of some of the recent and riveting findings made on the legendary Vikings.
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#1 – The Skuldelev ships of Roskilde Fjord (Denmark)
During the 1960s, underwater excavations at Skuldelev by the Danish National Museum unveiled five Viking ships, becoming one of the biggest viking archaeological finds of the century. These ships were intentionally sunk across the deep water channels of Roskilde Fjord in the 10th century.
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These ships, ranging from small cargo carriers to deep-sea warships, provided the world with a detailed look at Viking shipbuilders’ sophisticated and exquisite craftsmanship. Further excavations later on located ten more ships, including the famous ‘Roskilde 6’, one of the longest Viking ship (length 36 meters) ever found.
#2 – Boat graves at Vinjeøra (Norway)
In 2019, archaeologists at NTNU had found an unusual Viking grave during excavation at Vinjeøra, in Central Norway. One of the most recent viking discoveries left people amused when two bodies were found buried together despite dying 100 years apart.
The team first excavated the boat grave of a woman, and when digging a bit deeper, another grave of a man was seen, buried in a slightly bigger boat of length ten meters. Experts say that during the woman’s burial, the Vikings had excavated the man’s body and cautiously placed the new boat grave inside the old one before burying them again.
#3 – Viking boats and graves in Uppsala (Sweden)
The year 2019 was fruitful for the archaeologists as they made some fascinating Viking archaeological finds. In Sweden, archaeologists were thrilled on stumbling upon Viking graves during a routine excavation in Old Uppsala last year. Remnants of recovered Viking boats, artefacts will be put on display at the Old Uppsala Museum and Stockholm’s Swedish History Museum after complete analysis.
#4 – The Gjellestad ship (Norway)
In yet another sensational discovery, a 1000-year old Viking ship was found at Norway’s Ostfold County last year, making it one of the rarest finds in more than a century.
Though it is in a deplorable condition, archaeologists believe that with the help of modern technologies like ground-penetrating radar in these recent Viking discoveries, they’ll be able to discover its original shape.
This Viking ship, buried just 20 meters below the ground, is estimated to be about 65ft long, making it one of the longest Viking ships known to date. Various longhouses and several burial mounds have also been unearthed in this region.
#5 – Viking town of Kaupang (Norway )
Built around AD 800, the Viking town of Kaupang derives its name from the Old Norse word ‘Kaupangr,’ meaning ‘trade’ or ‘port’ and has been extensively excavated since the 1800s.
Around 100,000 findings on the Viking era have been unearthed, including artifacts like silver coins, bronze, gold jewelry, and various tools used by the Vikings. These findings have provided beneficial insights as to how the Vikings lived in that era.
#6 – The Oseberg ship burial, Kaupang (Norway)
A beautifully preserved Viking ship was found in the Kaupang area in 1903 and instantly became popular when graves of two women were found aboard. Experts believe one of them to be Queen Asa, mother of Halfdan the Black.
However, no vital proof could indicate the identities of the two women buried on the ship. Many other precious Viking artifacts were also recovered during excavation, including farming and textile tools, clothing, precious metals, and jewelry. The ship is on display at the Viking ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.
#7 – Ancient Viking Trade Route (Norway)
Melting glaciers and ice patches of Lendbreen in Norway have revealed new insights on the Viking trade routes. This newly found ancient trade route, taken by the Vikings thousands of years ago, is profusely rich with relics of the Viking age, like leather shoes, wool, horseshoes, feathered arrows, and other such troves of about 800 artifacts. This discovery was made on the mountain range of Innlandet County of Norway, thanks to global warming.
#8 – L’Anse aux Meadows (Canada)
Located against a stunning backdrop, L’Anse aux Meadows in Canada is a world heritage site and the first and only proof of Vikings presence in North America. Centuries ago, a group of Vikings overseas expedition let them towards this breathtaking Newfoundland peninsula.
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Now at an internationally renowned archaeological site, one can find proof of the 11th century Viking encampment. Remains of wooden peat-turf buildings built by these Norse invaders, along with remnants of artifacts used for ship-building, offer some of the fascinating glace at the human history of settlement.
#9 – Viking graveyard at Repton (England)
During an excavation at St Wystan’s Church in Repton Abbey in the 1980s, led by Martin Biddle and Birthe Kjølbye –Biddle, about 300 mortal remains of the Great Danish army were discovered.
The team uncovered a double grave of Viking men, including the body of a Viking warrior, buried with Thor’s hammer and a Viking sword. The marks on his fractured skull revealed that he was killed brutally before his soul entered the Valhalla- Viking afterlife.
With this list, you must have got a reasonably good idea of who were Vikings in reality. If you’re intrigued to know the Vikings more closely, make sure to include these sites whenever you plan your next trip.