Remains of Viking Ship Found Near Church on Norwegian Island

Ground penetrating radar helped discover the vessel

Edøy Church
Scientists recently discovered a Viking ship buried near Edøy Church.
Cybersin/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / November 29, 2019 3:12 pm

Travel west from the Norwegian city of Trondheim and you’ll eventually reach the island of Edoeya. It’s home to Edøy Church, which has been standing since 1190 and is still in use today. But Edøy Church isn’t the only piece of history to be found on Edoeya. At Smithsonian, Theresa Machemer reports that the remains of a Viking ship were just discovered on the grounds of the church — offering a deeper understanding of the region’s history.

The boat was over 50 feet in length, and was discovered by a group of scientists using ground penetrating radar, or GPR. That’s the same technology that’s helped archaeologists discover evidence of ancient mammoths and unearth historical sites in New England, among many other accomplishments.

Machemer reports that the ship is unlikely to be excavated any time soon. It’s situated in a part of Norway where the local government has been deeply supportive of efforts to delve into the past. 

The process behind this recent discovery echoes the way the same technology was used to discover the location of the Gjellestad Ship last year. As for the ship near Edøy Church, it may be over 1000 years old, according to Machemer’s report.

What the future holds for this buried ship is uncertain, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we see references to it cropping up in heavy metal lyrics before too long. Metal bands do love Vikings, after all. 

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