A Viking ship has been discovered in an open field along the Oslo Fjord, among burial mounds from the Viking Age, national broadcaster NRK has reported.
The ship was found inside Vestfold County's Borreparken, just south of Horten, which is known for its many grave mounds from the early Iron Age that are believed to bear witness to the political power that was vested in the area nearly a thousand years ago.
Norway's Environment Minister Ola Elvestuen announced the discovery together with local Vestfold County governor Rune Hogsnes, calling it a "historic day".
"This is unique Norwegian history, and it's not possible to over-exaggerate it", Elvestuen said. "It will be noticed all over the world", he added.
"It's not every day we find a new Viking ship, so this is really exciting", Hogsnes chimed in. "For us locals it's no surprise. A lot of treasures from the Viking times are hidden under the turf in our county".
The discovery was made with the help of georadar. Terje Gansum, in charge of cultural heritage for the county, explained the georadar pictures show a "boatform" believed to be at least 15 metres long. However, as of today it still remains unclear how much of the vessel has been preserved. The ship's form was actually first spotted nearly two years ago, but many examinations were needed in order to confirm that it's another Viking ship.
Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) archaeologist Lars Gustavsen hailed the new non-intrusive methods, voicing optimism that technology can result in similar finds in the years to come.
Vestfold has an exceptionally high concentration of Viking era heritage. Norway's most famous and best-preserved Viking ships in the world were also found here, including both the Oseberg and Gokstad, which are both on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo.
Only one of the mounds, however, known as Skipshaugen ("Ship Mound"), has been thoroughly excavated. That was in the 19th century. Inside, a Viking ship was found along with rich decorations and objects believed to have belonged to Viking aristocracy. Much of the findings are on display at the Midgard Viking Centre located nearby.
Another buried Viking ship was discovered on the other side of the Oslo Fjord last autumn, but excavations are yet to begin.
In total, only seven ship mounds dated to the Viking Age (AD 800-1050) have been found in Europe, and three of these are located in Vestfold. The two recent discoveries increase their number to nine.
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A fourth vikingship is found in Vestfold, Norway, with the use of georadar. I am very curious about the content of it. Previous findings: 1. Osebergship (from year 820), when found there were two skeletons of women on board. 2. Gokstadship (end of year 800), when found there were skeletons of one man, twelve horses, six dogs and a peacock on board. 3. Klåstadship, a cargoship (end of year 900), the picture on page two is a reconstruction called “Saga Farmann”. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤❤️❤️🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤❤️🖤 #vikingships #vestfold #norway #harbourlife #norwegianvikings #vikings #vikingage #osebergship #longboat #midgard #norse #asgard #ship #northsea #vikinglife #gokstadship #dragonboat #woodship #sailors #raid #travellers #klåstadship #nordic #sailing #rowing #knarr #instavikings #vikinghistory #vikinger #sagafarmann