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Exploration News

New discovery about the Viking ship Oseberg!

2009-03-03
Researchers believe they have located the area where the Oseberg ship was built: it`s at Karmøy in northern Rogaland county. The ship is from the Viking age and was discovered for over 100 years ago in a large burial mound at the Oseberg farm near Tønsberg in Vestfold county, Norway.

Photo. The Oseberg ship displayed in the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.

It proves for the first time contact in the 800 century between the kings at Karmøy and the ynglinge-ætten in Vestfold county.

The ships internment into its burial mound dates from 834, but parts of the ship date from around 800, and the ship itself is thought to be older. The burial mound contained numerous grave goods and two female human skeletons. It was excavated by Norwegian archaeologist Haakon Shetelig and Swedish archaeologist Gabriel Gustafson in 1904-1905. The ship and some of its contents are displayed at the Viking Ship Museum, Bygdøy, Oslo.

When the Viking ships Oseberg-, Gokstad- and the Tune ship become dated in 1991–92, it shows that the Oseberg ship was not built by the same timber from the same zone around the Oslo fjord as the two other. Until now it has been unknown where the Oseberg ship was built.

Now it has been revealed that the timber comes from the same zone as the timber used in the two other ships and one boat fund in two neighboring mounds on Karmøy, called Storhaug and Grønhaug.

The Danish researcher, Niels Bonde, by the National museum in Copenhagen, is the person behind the discovery. He was also the person who dated the Oseberg ship, the Gokstad ship and the Tune ship.

Stein Morten Lund, 3 March 2009

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