Silkeborg site reveals traces of activity spanning over 3000 years

Excavations at the Silkeborg site in Denmark revealed remains of graves and buildings that were dated back to Neolithic, Bronze Age, Viking era and Medieval times. Among the find two high status Viking burials and Trelleborg-type homes were found.

Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)
Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)

Excavations revealed at least 14 houses and five graves that were created on the course of 3000 years of activity at the site. Pit-houses and residential homes in the so-called Trelleborg style (a type of a long-house first discovered within Trelleborg Viking ring fortress), together with several graves attest to activity in the Viking age at the site. At least two of the graves contained high-status burials of the Vikings. The graves were located close to a church dated to the Middle Ages. In a corner of  one of the graves two red patches of rusty soil were discovered. With use of a metal detector it was possible to locate a metal object in the opposite corner of the grace – a special type of a nail, called klinker nail, which indicates  that the grave could have contained a wagon. Wagons were usually present in burials reserved for women of high social status, nobility or great wealth.

Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)
Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)

Another grave was marked by small, round pits indicating presence of wooden poles in construction of the tomb’s chamber. This type of grave is likely to reveal another high-status burial as excavations continue. So far a metal object in size of a dice was found, that might have been an ornament on a horse harness. Both graves are dated to between 800 and 900 AD.

Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)
Excavations at Silkeborg (by Science Nordic)

Other finds from the site include an axe head from the Neolithic, a chisel or hammer-like case, which is probably from the Bronze Age, small spindles from the Viking era, and a key from the Middle Ages. In one of the houses a mica slate stone, possibly imported from Norway, was discovered, indicating community’s trading links overseas. The import of millstone began in the Viking era and continued up until the Middle Ages. One of the buildings provided a mystery as it had a a ditch dug all the way around.

Neolithic stone axe (by Science Nordic)
Neolithic stone axe (by Science Nordic)
Bronze Age chisel or hammer tool (by Science Nordic)
Bronze Age chisel or hammer tool (by Science Nordic)

As the excavations continue the archaeologists look forward to new find and hope to discover a well-equipped grave with a wagon-body, rare jewellery, caskets, and glass beads in the near future.

Medieval key (by Science Nordic)
Medieval key (by Science Nordic)

(after Science Nordic)

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