Harbour at Birka
A gigantic Viking-harbour at Birka has been found…
Recent excavations has shown that the viking city of Birka outside Stockholm was 30% larger than hitherto believed. The newly found part of the city was moreover built on water.
Archaeologist Andreas Olsson who is responsible for the fieldwork is thrilled.
“Although we are as yet not quite certain of how it functioned – it looks as a mixture of piers and jetties together with a platform built on posts – we are convinced that what we have found is more like a real harbour than just a series of piers.
Poles and timber constructions has been found more than a 100 meter from the coastline. It is apparent that the city grew from land into the sea. But how it looked is quite another matter. One possible explanation is that the new finds have been part of some kind of a defensive construction. However, according to professor Johan Rønnby, it might very well be that the construction was something more; maybe even a kind of market or square located out on the water.
The excavation has been going on for some years and apart from the new breath-taking discoveries, the finds have been numerous – rope, bone-carvings, ceramics, amber and lots of wooden artefacts; some of them quite enigmatic, since they have never been seen before.
So far only fragments of one ship has been found, but the archaeologists are still dreaming of a bonanza like the one, which was excavated at Roskilde.
Find a preliminary English report on the excavations of the harbour here
Follow the excavations at the blog