Gjellestad: Livestream Uncovering of a Viking Ship Burial

Archaeologists in Norway are excavating for the first time in 100 years a Viking Ship burial in a field in the Halden area.

Test pits were conducted last year on the Gjellestad ship and this year, 2020, the full excavation has gone ahead. The burial dates to the late 700AD to early 900AD and the ship was probably built in Western Norway or Southwest Norway.

Håkon Glørstad Director at the Cultural History Museum said:

“There are very few preserved Viking ships in the world, and all new knowledge about these contributes to an expanded understanding of society in the Viking Age.”

Funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and the Environment with NOK 15.6 million, the excavation has been crucial due to the degradation of the site.

2020: Removal of the plough soil layer over the Gjellestad ship (covered in cloth) with an excavator, first weeks of the 2020 excavation. Photo: Margrethe K. H. Havgar/The Museum of Cultural History, UiO

Before the excavation got underway Archaeologist Christian Løchsen Rødsrud spoke of his hopes. He said:

“We hope to find find details that provide new knowledge about ship technology and vessels from the Viking Age. We know that a high-ranking person has been buried here, and that they brought with them everything they could need when they were going over into their next life. We therefore expect to find, among other things, jewelery, weapons and household utensils.”

2020 Glass bead discovered during the sifting of the plough soil, third week of the 2020 excavation. Photo: Margrethe K. H. Havgar/The Museum of Cultural History, UiO

To find out more you can visit the archaeological dig through a livestream. The stream is a part of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK’s project Alltid viking (Always Viking).

The project will be mostly in Norwegian but if you wish to ask questions in English there is an opportunity to do so.

Click on this link to visit the livestream

And some more information here in English : What we know about the Gjellestad ship

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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