It’s spring 2018 and archaeologists are exploring the area around a 30-foot high Viking-era mound southeast of Norway’s capital, Oslo. Rather than digging, though, they are using georadar technology. The researchers have little hope of finding anything of significance as farmers have worked this land for generations. But their pessimism turns to elation when they discover a buried Viking ship.
Before we describe in detail the discovery the archaeologists made that day, it’s worth recalling who the Vikings were. This seafaring people sailed from the Scandinavian countries from the late 700s to around 1066. They had a formidable reputation as raiders of European coastal settlements. In fact, the name Viking comes from an Old English word, “wicing,” meaning pirate.
In fact, Viking seamanship was of the highest order. Their mastery of sailing in their distinctive longships and their incredible knowledge of navigation allowed them to explore far and wide. Some reached North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Famous Viking Leif Ericson and his men even made it to Newfoundland, Canada.