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Halls at Borre: the discovery of three large buildings at a Late Iron and Viking Age royal burial site in Norway

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2020

Christer Tonning*
Affiliation:
Vestfold Fylkeskommune, Tønsberg, Norway Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, University of Vienna, Austria
Petra Schneidhofer
Affiliation:
Vestfold Fylkeskommune, Tønsberg, Norway
Erich Nau
Affiliation:
Norsk Institutt for Kulturminneforskning, Oslo, Norway
Terje Gansum
Affiliation:
Vestfold Fylkeskommune, Tønsberg, Norway
Vibeke Lia
Affiliation:
Vestfold Fylkeskommune, Tønsberg, Norway
Lars Gustavsen
Affiliation:
Norsk Institutt for Kulturminneforskning, Oslo, Norway
Roland Filzwieser
Affiliation:
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Wien, Austria
Mario Wallner
Affiliation:
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Wien, Austria
Monica Kristiansen
Affiliation:
Norsk Institutt for Kulturminneforskning, Oslo, Norway
Wolfgang Neubauer
Affiliation:
Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science, University of Vienna, Austria Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Wien, Austria
Knut Paasche
Affiliation:
Norsk Institutt for Kulturminneforskning, Oslo, Norway
Immo Trinks
Affiliation:
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, Wien, Austria
*
*Author for correspondence: ✉ christert@vfk.no

Abstract

Borre in Norway is famous for its Late Nordic Iron and Viking Age (AD 400–1050) monumental burial mounds. Recently, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys have revealed three large structures close to the mound cemetery. Their unusual layout and size, and location within such a prominent burial site, suggest that they were halls—high-status buildings mentioned in the Nordic sagas. The authors present the GPR results, discuss the buildings’ typological classification and provide a preliminary chronological framework. The latter suggests that the buildings coexisted with some of the burial mounds, and raises important questions about the significance of such buildings in Nordic mound-building societies.

Type
Research Article
Information
Antiquity , Volume 94 , Issue 373 , February 2020 , pp. 145 - 163
Copyright
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2020

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