Norse Hall Found in Skaill, Rousay, Orkney Recently

Posted by Ms Elly on

Norse Hall Found in Skaill, Rousay, Orkney Recently 

Good news is the archaeologists have found a Norse hall at Skaill Farmstead, on the island of Rousay, Orkney. After some research, the archaeologists concluded that this hall dated back to the 10th to 12th centuries AD. And it has been unearthed recently. 

An archaeologist team from the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institue along with Rousey residents and the students have been digging a the site for the last few years. They aimed to investigate the practices of past diet, farming, and fishing techniques. 

Viking settlement in Orkney

This summer has marked an important event for both the team and the Viking enthusiasts as well. The walls beneath the extensive settlement mound have been confirmed to be a huge Norse building. It is likely to be a hall. Some stone benches were found along with the site. 

The building was possibly 13m long. The hall was likely to be built to face the sea. Some other finds included steatite, pottery, and a bone spindle whorl. A fragment of Norse comb also appeared in the site, which didn't surprise us much because the Vikings once cared about their appearance a lot. 

Viking comb artifact found in Skaill

Viking comb found in the site

With the size of this hall, the archaeologists can say that the Skaill hall has parallels with other Norse halls in Orkney. The find also offered the evidence of earliest phases of habitations on this farm and settlement. The farm could have been inhabited more than 1,000 years ago. 

This excavation was a part of an archaeological project to learn about the site from the very first Viking settlement to its abandonment. The name "Skaill" suggested that this site once belonged to the Vikings, and more importantly, it once was the Norse hall or drinking hall with very high status. 

The remains of  a Viking building in Skaill

In the Orkneyinga saga, the home of powerful chieftain Sigurd was had a home in Orkney. So it was always possible that a Norse settlement was located at Skaill. The project co-director proudly said that SIgurd the Hero might have been sitting on those stone benches along with his men and drank a flagon of ale. 

After all, we have to wait for the archaeologists to unveil layers of secrets of the site. 

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