The Jellestad ship gets to rest this winter

Viking ship in Halden Jellestad shipViking ship located at Gjellestad in Halden .Photo: Tore Meek / NTB scanpix

The archaeologists have put away the equipment. During this winter, plans will be made for further exploration of the Jellestad ship from the Viking era, which has just been found in Østfold.


-“What we wish, is to continue with an intervention-free method of exploration with geo-radar and magnetometers in the spring when the frozen ground layer has defrosted. Nevertheless, there will be areas where we will have to use an excavator, especially in places where we can not see. We need to know if the wood is preserved,” says conservator and archaeologist Sigrid Mannsåker Gundersen in the cultural heritage section of Østfold County Municipality.

Once all the information has been collected, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren) determines the way forward.

Found in April

The first tracks created by a geo-radar of the Jellestad ship was made in April. The findings were made at the burial mound Jellhaugen at the Gjellestad farm in Berg in Halden municipality in Østfold.

However, the ground was so wet that the geo-machine had to be pulled out off the ground with the help of the farmer’s tractor.

In August, the archaeologists resumed after the scorching summer, and this time they found clear traces of the 20-metre-long Viking ship. The find can be compared to the Oseberg ship, the Gokstad ship and the Tune ship.

Much could be destroyed

The archaeologists are not surprised if a lot of the ship is destroyed. The hope is that the bottom may be located in clay and is preserved.

Jellhaugen (the Jellestad mound), which is the grave of the ship, was levelled and ploughed in the 19th and early 20th century. Today it has been reconstructed.

It is the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) that performed the research that led to the findings.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today