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Merovingian ship burial found in Norway

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During 2023, archaeologists conducted an investigation at Leka in the northern region of Trøndelag County, Norway, revealing the presence of a ship burial within the Herlaugshaugen burial mound.

The burial mound has a diameter of over 60 metres and was thought to be the ultimate resting site of King Herlaug, a Norse king who, as legend has it, opted to be interred alive along with eleven companions instead of yielding or fleeing from the advancing King Harald.

Excavations of the mound were conducted in the late 1700s, yielding reports of discoveries  such as iron rivets, a bronze cauldron, and a seated skeleton accompanied by a sword. However, conflicting narratives arise, and both the tangible evidence and human remains have since disappeared without a trace.

“Unfortunately, these finds disappeared in the early 1920s. The skeleton was exhibited for a while at Trondheim Cathedral School as King Herlaug, but no one knows what happened to it. All the other finds have also disappeared. It is said that the bronze cauldron was melted down and made into shoe buckles,” said Geir Grønnesby from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) University Museum.

A recent study has revealed that the mound contains the remains of a ship burial which actually dates from around AD 700 during the Merovingian period, predating the Viking Age and also King Herlaug by centuries.

The discovery has also pushed back the accepted tradition of ship burials in Norway and aligns with early ship burials like those at Vendel and Valsgärde in Sweden, known for their ornate weapons and elaborate burials.

“Moreover, the burial mound itself symbolises power and affluence, not derived from farming in Ytre Namdalen. It’s plausible that the region’s inhabitants engaged in extensive trade, possibly across vast distances,” added Lars Forseth, an archaeologist from Trøndelag County Authority.

Header Image Credit : Hanne Bryn

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Researchers find that Żagań-Lutnia5 is an Iron Age stronghold

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Archaeologists have conducted a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey of Żagań-Lutnia5, revealing that the monument is an Iron Age stronghold.

Żagań-Lutnia5 was first discovered in the 1960s near the town of Żagań in western Poland, with previous studies suggesting that the monument could be associated with the Białowieża group of the Lusatian urnfield culture.

The Lusatian culture existed in the later Bronze Age and early Iron Age (1300–500 BC) in most of what is now Poland. It formed part of the Urnfield systems found from eastern France, southern Germany and Austria to Hungary, and the Nordic Bronze Age in northwestern Germany and Scandinavia.

A recent study led by Dr. Arkadiusz Michalak on behalf of the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder River has revealed two parallel sequences of magnetic anomalies at Żagań-Lutnia5 that represent the remnants of earthen and wooden fortifications.

The course of the fortifications were recorded in the northern, western and southern parts of the study area, however, a study of the eastern section was limited due to a sewage collector built in the 1990’s.

Exploratory excavations found four cultural layers with remains of huts and hearths, in addition to a burnt layer from the last phase of occupation that suggests a period of conflict.

According to the researchers, the monument was likely built by the same people who constructed the stronghold in Wicin and a number of verified defensive settlements within the area of the Elbe, Nysa Łużycka and Odra.

As a result of the study, Żagań-Lutnia5 has been added to the catalogue of verified Early Iron Age strongholds located in today’s Lubusz Voivodeship.

Header Image Credit : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments

Sources : Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments – Archaeological research at the site of Żagań-Lutnia5

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Rare copper dagger found in Polish forest

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A rare copper dagger from over 4,000-years-ago has been discovered in the forests near Korzenica, southeastern Poland.

Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław made the discovery during a metal detector survey in Jarosław Forest.

Upon realising the significance of the find, Mr Gorlach contacted the Podkarpacie conservator of monuments in Przemyśl and the Orsetti House Museum.

The dagger dates from over 4,000 years ago, a period in which objects made from copper were extremely rare in the Central European Plain.

A preliminary study indicates that the dagger may originate from the Carpathian Basin or Ukrainian steppe, and predates the development of bronze metallurgy for the region.

This transition is traditionally known as the Copper Age and marked a gradual incorporation of copper while stone remained the primary resource utilised.

Dr. Elżbieta Sieradzka-Burghardt from the museum in Jarosław, said: “This is a period of enormous change in the main raw materials for the production of tools. Instead of flint tools commonly used in the Stone Age, more and more metal products appear heralding the transition to the next period – the Bronze Age.”

Daggers during this era were a universal attribute of warriors, however, being made from copper suggests that the owner held a high social status. This is further supported by its size measuring 10.5 cm in length, which for this period is actually very large when compared to other metal objects from the same era.

The dagger has already been added to the collection of the Orsetti House Museum in Jarosław.

Header Image Credit : Łukasz Śliwiński

Sources : PAP – A dagger from over 4,000 years ago found in the forest.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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