Viking Ship Is Being Excavated After Centuries
For the Viking enthusiasts, this must be the most exciting news coming to us in the middle of this tough year. The Viking ship which was discovered in 2018 is now being excavated.
Norwegian archaeologists confirmed last month about the excavation. This project was also funded by the government. The ship belonged to a part of the Viking burial mound. It is promising that the excavation will help us to understand more about the Viking culture and more importantly, we are going to have a golden opportunity to observe one more Viking ship in flesh.
The site where the ship is currently resting is Gjellestad. This site is said to have been very complicated in Viking Age. The ship must have been built when Scandinavian seafarers were raiding around Europe. But the ship was also a part of a tomb. Back in the Viking Age, not everyone could enjoy such a luxurious type of burial goods like a ship. Only those who were either wealthy or powerful; or both, could have a ship inside their tomb. The owner of the tomb was possibly a king or a queen at their time.
The Viking ship site Gjellestad
The story began when some construction was about to be carried out on the site. Realizing that the site was quite complicated during the Viking Age, a team of archaeologists decided to scan through the site with land penetrating radar. Surprisingly, they found out a perfectly round "thing" beneath the land. For a nation full of Viking traces like Norway, the archaeologists are not strange to this kind of round "thing". They realized they found out another Viking tomb and this tomb even consisted of a Viking ship inside.
The Gjellestad ship
From the radar images, the archaeologists learned that Gjellestad ship's keel and lower timbers are currently intact. However, the upper parts of the hull are no longer there. A possible reason is now attributed to the plow by the farmers after centuries.
Possible status of the ship inside burial mound
Since the discovery of the ship, there have been tons of conflicting opinions as to whether we should dig up the land or just let the deceased inside rest in peace. Many people believe that disturbing the burial by digging it up means we are showing disrespect to the deceased. But the point is if we don't bring the ship up and preserve it, we will forever lose it.
Last month, the archaeologists confirmed of the excavation when realizing that the ship was under a bad condition with fungus attacks. And at the end of June, the very first spade touched the land.