Viking imported finds discovered in cemetery works

Viking imported finds discovered in cemetery works

Viking imported finds discovered in cemetery works:

It was supposed to be a simple, routine expansions work at Byneset Cemetery, adjacent to the medieval Steine Church in Trondheim, Norway.

As in several other Europeans countries, Norwegian law mandates that such work have to be preceded by archaeological studies — and in this case, it paid off in spades.

Archaeologists have found a trove of Viking artifacts, including one which is of a foreign origin: they come from Ireland, researchers say.

 Jo Sindre Pålsson Eidshaug and Øyunn Wathne Sæther, both research assistants at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) University Museum, say that what really drew their attentions was a small brooch — a Celtic, gold-plated silver fitting from a book.

It might have been part of a bigger, religious ensemble, or a stand-alone book fitting. Right now, any such claims are little more than speculations. But what’s interesting is how it got there.

It’s no secret that Viking roamed Europe’s seas, plundered the coast of England for centuries. Crossing over to Ireland, while not easy, was certainly possible for the skilled seamen.

But even so, finding Celtic items in Vikings sites is not common, with only a few similar sites previously discovered.

In archaeology, this is technically called an import. It does not necessarily mean that it was bought or traded for, and again — taking into consideration the well-known habits of the Vikings.

This isn’t to say that the item was definitely stolen. Whether or not the Vikings voyages to Ireland were peaceful or not is anyone’s guess right now.

“Yes, that’s right. We know that the Vikings went out on raids. They went to Ireland and brought things back. But how peacefully it all transpired, I won’t venture to say,” he said.

The site itself holds great promise for future. Archaeologist also came across a belt buckle, a key, and a knife blade, so they have high hopes for upcoming digs.

The church itself dates from the 1140’s and used to be connected to a large, old farm estates from the time of the Vikings, which will also be studied next year.

“This is a decorative fitting,” Eidshaug said of his discovery. “It almost looks like it’s gilded. It’s a kind of decorative fitting, I would guess.”
“This is a decorative fitting,” Eidshaug said of his discovery. “It almost looks like it’s gilded. It’s a kind of decorative fitting, I would guess.”

Erecting tents at the excavation site with Steine Church behind
Erecting tents at the excavation site with Steine Church behind