In collaboration with the diocese of VallÃ¸, archaeologists from the Danish Castle Centre and Aarhus University have discovered a previously unknown Viking fortress in a field west of KÃ¸ge, Denmark. The discovery could be an important piece in Denmark’s historical jigsaw puzzle.
Archaeologists have discovered traces of a circular Viking fortress and embankments in a field in the diocese of VallÃ¸, west of KÃ¸ge. The circular fortress is similar to the famous “Trelleborg” fortresses built by King Harald Bluetooth around the year 980 AD.
“This is the first time for more than 60 years that a new Viking ringed fortress has been discovered in Denmark,” explains Nanna Holm, an archaeologist and curator at the Danish Castle Centre. Her colleague on the excavation SÃ¸ren SindbÃ¦k, who is a professor of medieval archaeology at Aarhus University, adds: “The discovery of the new Viking fortress is a unique opportunity to learn more about the battles and conflicts of the Vikings, and gives us a new chance to study the most famous of our Viking monuments.”
Found by laser
It was new, precise laser measurements of the landscape that put Nanna Holm from the Danish Castle Centre in Vordingborg on the track. These measurements showed that an almost imperceptible mound in the field had a clear circular outline, so Holm and SindbÃ¦k decided to call in an expert in archaeological geophysics from the University of York in the UK.
“Measuring small variations in the magnetic field of the soil enables you to identify old pits or embankments without destroying them. The technique gave us a surprisingly detailed image of the fortress in no more than a few days. So we knew exactly where to dig the excavation trenches with a view to learning as much as possible about the fortress,” explains SindbÃ¦k.