Borgring: 1000-Year-Old Viking Fort Uncovered

Posted by Ms Elly on

Borgring: 1000-Year-Old Viking Fort Uncovered

During the 1930s, four Viking ring-shaped forted were brought to the public eyes. This shifted the stereotype of the Vikings to a more positive side. Unravelling the layers of Viking history, we find more interesting things about them. They were not merely the savage raiders but they were also the shipbuilding master which made them superior to the people at their time. Moreover, the Vikings were also good at building their defensive ring-shaped forts. The fifth ring fort has been excavated, revealing more about the gifted warriors. 

Borgring is the name of the fortress. Thanks to the help of LIDAR a new surveying method - remote sensing to measure the object using laser pulses. This Danish Viking fort is located on Zealand. The diameter of the ring fort measures 144 meters (472.5 ft). Four main gates crisscross with roads inside the fort. The earth-and-timber wall surrounded the fort. Studying the tree rings, the researchers concluded the fort might have dated back to the 970s during the reign of King Harald Bluetooth Gormsson. 

In fact, the researchers scanned the whole Denmark with LIDAR. Then they searched and found out an impressive feature which is the fifth Viking ring fort. 

Without the hi-tech LIDAR, the archaeologists would never find out the Borgring Viking Fort in Denmark

Viking Borgring fort excavated as the fifth Viking fort

The Viking Borgring fort was found thanks to the LIDAR. It was allegedly built in the 10th century during the reign of King Harald Bluetooth. (Credit: Goodchild et al./Antiquity 2017])

The agricultural activities were quite hectic during the Middle Ages in this site. It led to the destruction of the fort as the peasants continued to plough and level the field. When the researchers came to the site, the rampart was about 1m (3.3ft) above the surface. It could not convince them that there was something just under their feet. That it all thanks to the LIDAR image. 

After the result of the tree rings, the Borgring fort was believed to have dated back to the time of King Harald Bluetooth. A ring was the perfect shape for a fort at that time. Because it covered the largest area with the smallest circumference. The builders of the Viking ring fort must have had outstanding land-surveying skills as well as building skills to make it a circle though not perfect. 

Probably, the Vikings learnt this type of fort from England where they exposed to during their invasion. The people in England built ring fort 100 years before and it worked as a defensive wall against the outsiders. 

Viking Borgring Fort

Archaeological dig site of Borgiring fort where the outsiders can visit now

Life inside Borgring was peaceful. It made a statement that foreign armies should not try join the fort. Previous excavation in and outside the fort revealed no trace of soldiers. Rather, there were only the women and children graves. 

However, the site was attacked as the archaeologists found out that the gates got burnt down. But while other forts were abandoned after 2 decades, the Borgring fort was inhabited for more than a generation. 

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