Enormous Viking hall unearthed in Denmark


Scientists have uncovered the remains of a huge building that likely dates to the era of Denmark’s first king. 

Researchers see similarities between the sprawling structure and those built during the reign of Harald “Bluetooth” Blåtand, for which the short-range wireless technology is named. 

Archaeologists at the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland report they’ve discovered an ancient Viking hall — the biggest one found in more than a decade, and unlike any other known to exist in the area. 

“This is the largest Viking Age find of this nature in more than ten years, and we have not seen anything like it before here in North Jutland, even though it has only been partially excavated,” archaeologist and excavation leader Thomas Rune Knudsen said in a press release. “We only had the opportunity to excavate part of the hall, but there are probably several houses hidden under the mulch to the east. A hall building of this nature rarely stands alone,” he added. 

In the hall’s late Viking Age heyday — the end of the 9th century to the beginning of the 11th — it measured in at 131 feet long by approximately 30 feet wide, the roof held up by some 10 giant oak posts. 

viking hall unearthed denmark
A photo of the unearthed hall.
Nordjyske Museer
A rune, which archaeologists believe may show a link between the hall and an area nobleman.
A rune, which archaeologists believe may show a link between the hall and an area nobleman.
Nordjyske Museer
viking hall unearthed denmark
An artist’s impression of Harald “Bluetooth” Blåtand.
Alamy Stock Photo

In contrast to modern structures, most brownstones and townhouses measure in at 40 feet long and 20 feet wide. Compared to homes of the Vikings’ day, the hall was much larger than one of those luxury New York domiciles, as it served as a gathering place for Viking guilds and political meetings. 

In terms of design, the hall is similar to Blåtand’s castles of the era. The archaeologists suspect the hall’s plot may have been the site of a nobleman’s farm, probably the nobleman named on a local rune stone: Runulv den Rådsnilde.

“It is difficult to prove that the found Viking hall belonged to the family of Runulv den Rådsnilde, but it is certainly a possibility,” said Knudsen. “If nothing else, the rune stone and hall represent the same social class and both belong to society’s elite.”



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