Archaeologists from Stockholm College’s Archaeological Analysis Laboratory have positioned a novel Viking Age shipyard website at Birka on Björkö in Lake Mälaren. The invention challenges earlier theories about how the maritime actions of the Viking Age have been organised.
“A website like this has by no means been discovered earlier than, it’s the first of its variety, however the finds convincingly present that it was a shipyard,” says Sven Isaksson, Professor of Archaeological Science at Stockholm College, who led the investigations along with Sven Kalmring, affiliate professor at Stockholm College and skilled on ports and urbanisation within the Viking Age on the Zentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie in Schleswig.
The location discovered consisted of a stone-lined melancholy within the Viking Age shore zone with a picket boat slip on the backside. The finds on the website consist of enormous portions of each unused and used boat rivets, whetstones produced from slate and woodworking instruments. “The finds of artefacts from the realm exhibits with nice readability that that is the place individuals have served their ships,” says Sven Isaksson.
Earlier investigations have noticed a number of of the stays earlier than, however it’s by means of the most recent finds that it has change into attainable to take a complete view. “By systematic survey, mapping and drone investigations, we will now present that Birka, along with the city surroundings, additionally has a really wealthy maritime cultural panorama with stays of every thing from jetties to boat launches and shipyards,” says Sven Isaksson.
Ships and transport are attribute of the Viking Age within the Nordic international locations, each for warfare and for commerce. One expression of Viking Age long-distance commerce is the city-like buying and selling posts that sprang up within the Nordic international locations on the time. In Sweden, the best-preserved instance is the UNESCO World Heritage website of Birka on Björkö in Lake Mälaren. “It is not simply in regards to the first city environments, however exhibits an intensive trade of commerce items and concepts between individuals,” says Sven Kalmring.
The city ramparts round Birka functioned not solely as a defence, but in addition as a authorized, financial and social boundary. Earlier investigations of harbour services in Birka have largely been carried out contained in the city rampart, within the space referred to as the Black Earth harbour space, and under the so-called Garrison. The newly found shipyard at *Kugghamn is positioned, together with a variety of different maritime stays, exterior Birka’s city rampart, alongside the northern shore of Björkö. “By investigating numerous maritime parts in reference to a attainable home website in Kugghamn, we at the moment are making an attempt to get an general view of a really thrilling and beforehand archaeologically utterly unexplored surroundings,” says Sven Kalmring.
So as to safe supply materials that may add nuance to our information of Birka’s maritime cultural panorama, the archaeological investigations are persevering with. Amongst different issues, the stays of a ship touchdown website positioned exterior the city rampart are being investigated, much like the shipyard website and in contrast to the beforehand investigated harbour stays within the Black Earth. One other query the archaeologists are attempting to reply is who was allowed to dock have been. “May anybody land wherever, or did it matter if it was inside or exterior the city rampart? There’s a lot to ponder right here. However for us, the investigation does not finish with the fieldwork, we proceed within the lab. By utilizing analytical laboratory methods, we get extra info out of the fragmentary supply materials than is in any other case attainable,” says Sven Isaksson.
*Kugghamn is a quite common identify related to the Cog and Hanseatic interval reasonably than the Viking Age. Nonetheless, the identify will be traced again to an authentic Kuggholmsudd and doesn’t essentially level to a harbour location.
The report, “A Viking Age shipyard at Kugghamn, Birka. En vikingatida varvsplats vid Kugghamn, Birka: Arkeologiska undersökningar av L2022:2719, Birka, Björkö,Adelsö socken, Uppland, augusti 2020 och 2021” (in Swedish with summary in English) is accessible at: http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/report.jsf?pid=diva2percent3A1669064&dswid=2583