The medieval letter, bearing a seal from the pope, that was recently found during excavations in Oslo, will be opened on Wednesday. Only then will the name of the pope become visible.
The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) applied for the analysis committee at the Cultural History Museum (KHM) to open the seal.
‘KHM has treated this as a matter of urgency, and their application should be honoured. There are many people who are interested in finding out more about the seal, or the papal bull,’ said project manager, Egil Lindhart Bauer, at NIKU.
Now it’s clear that the seal will be opened. It will take place on Wednesday at the Cultural History Museum.
‘The backside of the seal will probably give us a name of the pope, and thus a probable dating. If we are lucky, we can place the seal in the context of well-known historical events,’ said Bauer.
The sealed document will be unfolded by a competent conservator at the museum, but if the seal itself appears to burst, the opening process will be interrupted.
The seal derives from a medieval book, that was sent in correspondence to the bishop of Oslo. Such findings are almost unknown from the Norwegian Middle Ages. The seal, a so-called ‘bull’, was found during excavations in Bispegata in Oslo.
‘We are aware that many letters were sent from the pope in Rome, but finding the seal from one of these is extraordinary.
This excavation is the first discovery that links the Bishop of Oslo’s administration directly to the Papal organisation during the Middle Ages’, explained Bauer.
The discovery was made by NIKU’s archaeologists working at the Bispeborg excavation in connection with the Follobane Project. The excavations are the largest undertaken in the medieval city for over a hundred years.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today