Geophysical Survey Reveals Lost Viking-Era Manor in Sweden

Viking-Era Manor pic

Viking-Era Manor

A resident of Westbury, NY, Valerie Varnuska spends her free time studying topics that interest her. Valerie Varnuska’s favorite topics include archaeology, paleontology, and paleoanthropology.

For centuries, Nordic scholars have debated and speculated over the location of a great manor in Sweden’s oldest town, Birka. This manor belonged to Herigar, a royal bailiff of Birka, according to the influential text Vita Anskarii.

In the spring of 2016, teams conducted a noninvasive geophysical survey in the Korshamn area. Using ground-penetrating radar, the teams discovered a large Viking hall, measuring 131 feet, from around AD 810. In this process, surveyors also identified the remains of what is almost certainly the manor in Birka.

This discovery is significant because it dates back to the first Christian missions to Viking Scandinavia during the time of the archbishop Ansgar. Research conducted with help from the Stockholm County Museum and the Stockholm University Archaeological Research Laboratory will be published soon.


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