Viking 'Valhalla' Left Buried; Studied via Special Radar

Norwegian archaeologists analyzed a large, buried complex of cult halls and burial boats without disturbing the ground


NSFW    GJELLESTAD, NORWAY — Experts from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research found a complex Viking ship burial site at Gjellestad in southeastern Norway.

What makes the discovery even more interesting, is the fact that the archaeological team did not need to dig down to find the site and study its many parts.

According to a research article the team published in the journal Antiquity, the researchers used a giant ground-penetrating radar to analyze the ground deep under the surface of a field.

This radar pulses an electromagnetic energy signal that can penetrate deep into soil. The radar antenna has a transmitter that sends out the signal, and a receiver that receives the energy waves that bounce back.

A processing unit then analyzes the physics of the bounce-back signal to create a clear image of the types of materials that are located under the ground.

In this way, researchers have found that the undisturbed site contains many buildings and a longboat — buried long ago as part of the funeral of a tribal leader, to ensure "safe passage into the afterlife".
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