Norwegian archaeologists have carefully studied the mound at Gellestad using GPR and have discovered a feast building, a house of worship and a real ancient ship buried underground. According to scientists, the finds indicate that people who belonged to the elite of the Viking society were buried in this place.
“We knew there was something special, but we had no idea that there would be a ship burial, it’s pretty unique,” Lars Gustavsen, lead author of the study told CNN.
He added that usually with ground penetrating radar, archaeologists get images of gray, black and white spots, but this time the dataset amazed scientists.
Researchers discovered 13 embankments, including one above the ship. The mounds are over 30 meters in diameter. The architecture of the buildings suggests that they include a farmhouse, a cult building and a hall where ancient Vikings feasted.
The boats symbolized a safe passage into the afterlife and were usually provided to the elite of Viking society. Based on the data obtained, the vessel is at a depth of 0.3 to 1.4 meters. Currently, work is underway to extract the ship from the soil.
Presumably, a settlement was founded on this place in the fifth century AD, which was then transformed into an elite cemetery.
“By doing more research, we can get a more complete picture of Gellestad, we can explain why it appeared and why people eventually left here,” Gustavsen concluded.