Archaeologists have uncovered traces of a ship probably from the Viking Age or maybe older, in Smøla on Nordmøre.
“This is a discovery of both national and international significance,” said Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen (V) in a press release.
The archaeologists from Møre and Romsdal county municipality and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) used georadar to find the ship.
“The ship is important to our common history. Norway as well as Møre and Romsdal have a great responsibility in managing the discovery. Now we have to find the right way to handle it,” said Elvestuen.
The ship was found during the survey of Edøy, through “A bit of history”, a project led by Møre and Romsdal county municipality.
“The discovery is quite unique and in line with the Tuneskipet. This is a fantastic find that underlines the central position this island has held in history,” said archaeologist Arve Nytun in the county municipality.
17 meters long
Edøy is located at the shipping lane to Trondheim where Harald Hårfagre fought two sea battles close by in order to win sole royal power in Norway in the late 800s.
The area is very rich in cultural monuments, including the Kulisteinen, where the name ‘Nóregi’ is mentioned for the first time in Norwegian sources.
“It is too early to say anything certain about the date of the ship, but we know that it is more than a thousand years old,” said archaeologist Knut Paasche.
“The remains of the Edøyskipet were discovered just below cultivation land where there has previously been a burial mound. The burial mound is a marked circle of 18 meters diameter. In the middle of the mound you can see a clear 13 meters long keel but in total the ship may have been 16 to17 meters long. The grave is probably from the Merovingian or Viking times,” added Paasche.
Merovingian times are estimated from about 570 to 800. The Viking times are from 800 to 1050.
More discoveries expected
It has been about a year since the Gjellested ship was found in Halden with georadar.
“Again, it is the technology that helps us find a ship. I think we will find more in the future as technology continues to take a quantum leap,” said Paasche.
“The finding is very interesting. It is exciting to think that there may be a connection between the Viking king and the person buried here,” said National Antiquarian Hanna Geiran.
The National Antiquities Authority has national responsibility for cultural heritage management and is a partner in the project.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today