Reproduction Viking boat at Birka. By Sven Isaksson / Stockholm University’s Archaeological Analysis Laboratory

Archeologists from Stockholm have positioned a distinctive Viking Age shipyard web site at Birka. The discovery difficulties preceding theories about how the maritime routines of the Viking Age had been organized.

The web site consists of a stone-lined depression alongside what experienced been the shore at that time, and a sequence of picket slides for launching boats. Finds incorporate substantial quantities of the two unused and used boat rivets, whetstones created from slate, and woodworking resources.

“A web site like this has never been discovered before, it is the first of its type, but the finds convincingly exhibit that it was a shipyard,” says Sven Isaksson, Professor of Archeological Science at Stockholm University, and venture direct.

“The finds of artifacts from the space reveals with good clarity that this is where men and women have served their ships,” he added. (See the web page in the online video under.)

Birka has extended been a treasure trove of insight into the Viking Age, and the former trading submit on the island of Björkö in Lake Mälaren has been regarded as a Earth Heritage Web page.

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Wealthy maritime cultural landscape

Earlier investigations have observed a number of of the remains ahead of, but it’s through the latest finds that it has become feasible to get a in depth look at.

“Through systematic study, mapping and drone investigations, we can now clearly show that Birka, in addition to the urban surroundings, also has a extremely prosperous maritime cultural landscape with stays of everything from jetties to boat launches and shipyards,” states Isaksson, who performs at the University’s Archeological Research Laboratory.

Jetty or boat landing continues to be in pink – Sven Isaksson / University of Stockholm Archeology Exploration Laboratory

Ships and shipping and delivery are characteristic of the Viking Age in the Nordic countries, equally for warfare and for trade. One expression of Viking Age very long-length trade is the metropolis-like buying and selling posts that sprang up in the Nordic nations at the time.

“It’s not just about the initial urban environments, but exhibits an intense trade of trade items and ideas involving people today,” says Sven Kalmring, Isaksson’s lover on the job.

Conclusions increase new inquiries

The city ramparts around Birka functioned not only as a defense, but also as a lawful, economic and social boundary.

Previous investigations of harbor amenities in Birka have typically been carried out inside of the town rampart, in the place acknowledged as the Black Earth harbor region, and below the so-referred to as Garrison. The shipyard, in an space identified as Kugghamn, is found as a substitute exterior of the walls.

In get to secure supply product that can add nuance to the understanding of Birka’s maritime cultural landscape, the archeological investigations are continuing. Amid other matters, independent excavations are beginning in a similar site—the continues to be of a boat landing situated exterior the town rampart.

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Another issue the archeologists are striving to remedy is who was permitted to dock in which.

“Could any person land anyplace, or did it matter if it was inside of or outside the town rampart? There is considerably to ponder below. But for us, the investigation doesn’t stop with the fieldwork, we continue in the lab. By using analytical laboratory techniques, we get much more information and facts out of the fragmentary source content than is normally probable,” suggests Isaksson.

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Andy Corbley


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