Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark


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In what is being described as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Denmark in recent times, archaeologists have uncovered several chamber-graves in the hamlet of Hørning near Skanderborg in Jutland.

Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark
Site cleared in preliminary excavation, 2012 [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]

What is of particular interest is that one of the chamber-graves contains the remains of a high-level person from the early Viking Age, as well as a number of spectacular items that confirm the individual’s high standing. He has been dubbed the ‘Fregerslev Viking’.

Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark
Two cross-shaped fittings and a rectangular buckle [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]

“The artefacts that we’ve already found are exquisite gilded fittings from a horse bridle. This type of bridle would only be available to the most powerful of people in the Viking Age, and we believe it might have been a gift of alliance from the king,” said Merethe Schifter Bagge, a project manager and archaeologist at the Museum of Skanderborg

Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark
Gilded bridle fitting [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]

“The fittings date to circa 950 AD, which means that the Fregerslev Viking could have been the confidant of the king, Gorm the Old – or alternatively a rival.”

Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark
Cross-shaped bridle fitting [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]

The Viking find has been compared to two other sensational finds in recent times: the Tollund Man and Egtved Girl. In fact, a comparable find has not been made in Denmark since 1983.

Archaeologists make sensational Viking discovery in Denmark
Reconstruction of the bridle showing placement of the fittings [Credit: Museum of Skanderborg]

The initial discovery of the graves took place in 2012, but only a small area has been examined so far. Next month, the archaeological excavation will continue once again.

“Only a small part of the grave has been examined, but on April 19 we’ll start uncovering the rest of the Viking grave’s goods in an excavation managed by the Museum of Skanderborg,” said Ejvind Hertz, a museum inspector and manager of the museum’s archaeological department.

The excavation will feature daily guided tours, so keep updated at the website (in Danish only). Meanwhile, some of the beautiful discoveries will be exhibited at the Museum of Skanderborg from April 7 until May 7.

For more information see the Fregerslev Viking excavation website (in Danish).

Author: Christian W | Source: The Copenhagen Post [March 17, 2017]



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