Remains of a 20-metre-long Viking ship are discovered in Norway

Remains of a 65-foot-long Viking ship are discovered in an ancient burial mound in Norway by archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar

  • Scientists spotted a boatlike shape in a burial mound known as a tumulus
  • The mysterious shape was detected about 20 inches (50cm) underground
  • Vikings typically buries their kings and chiefs aboard a boat hoisted onshore and left under a mound of earth

Archaeologists have found what they believe are traces of a Viking ship buried in southeast Norway. 

The boatlike shape was detected about 20 inches (50cm)  underground in a tumulus, a burial mound, with the use of a ground-penetrating radar.

Scientists said the incredibly rare discovery could shed light on the skilled navigators’ expeditions in the Middle Ages.

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The boatlike shape (pictured) was detected about 2- inches (50cm) underground in a tumulus, a burial mound, with the use of a ground-penetrating radar

VIKING BOAT BURIALS 

Ships were a Viking’s most prized possession, and if a high-born Viking did not die at sea he would be buried in a ship on land.

The vessels used were real ships rather than models, and corpses were often laid to rest with a mixture of weapons, pottery, and drinking horns.

Ship burials had important religious meaning for the Norse people, and cremation was a key part of the holy ceremony.

Those buried in ships or boats were almost exclusively elite warriors and chiefs.

Scientists at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) detected the boat in Halden, a municipality some 90 miles (150km) south of Oslo.

‘In the middle of the mound, we discovered what is called an anomaly, something that is different,’ said study author Dr Knut Paasche.

The mysterious shape ‘clearly has the shapes and dimensions of a Viking ship,’ he added.

‘What we cannot say for sure is the condition of the conservation. Yes there was a boat there, but it’s hard to say how much wood is left,’ Dr Paasche said.

The Vikings were Northern European warriors and merchants who sailed the seas between the 8th and 11th century.

They typically buried their kings and chiefs aboard a boat hoisted onshore and left under a mound of earth.


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The Vikings (stock image) were Northern European warriors and merchants who sailed the seas between the 8th and 11th century. They typically buried their kings and chiefs aboard a boat hoisted onshore and left under a mound of earth

Only three Viking ships in good condition have been discovered in Norway in the past, including the well-preserved Oseberg ship discovered in 1903.

All three of them are now exhibited in a museum near Oslo.

‘We need more discoveries to explain what these boats looked like and how the Vikings would sail,’ Dr Paasche said.

Left without a bow and a stern, which is the back part of a ship, the traces were discovered in Halden prior to agricultural drainage operations.

They are about 20 metres long, potentially making it one of the largest Viking ships discovered in Norway, according to NIKU.

The institute says it now considering what to do with the discovery, but ruled out an excavation at this time of the year.

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