The remains of a Viking hall has been uncovered by archaeologists from the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland in Denmark. Unlike any other known in the area, it is the biggest building of its kind found in more than a decade.
“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 statement.
“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.
The hall would have measured at approximately 131 feet long by 30 feet wide, with a a roof held up by roughly ten giant oak posts. The massive structure likely dates to the era of Denmark’s king Harald Blåtand (“Bluetooth”) Gormsson, after whom modern Bluetooth technology was named.
Harald, who died in 985, was one of the last Viking kings to rule over what is now Denmark, northern Germany, and parts of Sweden and Norway. He is known for uniting much of Scandinavia and spreading Christianity in his kingdom during his lifetime.
The design of the hall is similar in style to castles constructed during Blåtand’s reign. Archaeologists suspect land on which the hall was built may have been a nobleman’s farm, possibly Runulv den Rådsnilde whose name is inscribed on a local rune stone.
“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.”
Excavations will continue, weather permitting, with radiocarbon dating and further results of the find expected at the end of this year.