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Lindholm høje

Stavnsager, Denmark · August 2008

The dig was began in 2005 (see this link at Stavansger).
At that time, trenches 1 and 2 were opened.
In 2008 trenches 3,4, and 5 were opened, each 30x30 meter trenches.

First day: opening Trench 5

The digger, about to take his first bite

Chris and Gareth

First features emerging: the large dark area in the foreground possibly a craft hut (Grubenhaus), or, if not, a large pit.

Yossi & Rauna pushing the radar

Karen & Allen

Lloyd, Ed, Garetth on the spoil heap of Trench 5.

Second day: Trench 4.

Third day: Trench 3.
This seems to be by far the richest and most complex of the three trenches opened in 2008. Enough with the digger, I know, but finally some decent light! The big yellow machine reminded me of a crane I played with when I was a kid.

The large black area, clearest in the first photo below, contains ash and burned rock (and no doubt much more), suggesting that this area, which slopes downward, was used for disposal. There seems to be a large number of postholes on the opposite side of the trench, visible on the right of the 2nd photo and also in the 3rd photo below.

Deeper cuts were made on two sides of the trench, one seen in the photo below. Both cuts revealed yellow soil beneath the black area and contained neolithic pottery, suggesting something of the age of the settlement.

Trench 3 is shallow at the top. There are at least 5 layers here--1) yellow at top, 2) then black, 3) then gray, 4) then black again, and, as we see in the yellow cut on the left, 5) yellow beneath layer 4.

The white markers in the photo above, are in the second deep cut (opposite side of trench from the one shown in the 5-level picture). The markers indicate finds of neolithic pottery and worked flint beneath the black burn area.

Ann, Allen, Lloyd, Trench 5

Gareth and Ed, Trench 4

Immy, Lloyd, Ann. Those wheelbarrows were seldom idle.
Pottery, Trench 5.

Around the summer house in Føllestrand, about 20 minutes from the dig.

At Follestrand (near the rental house)

Ed, Gareth, Immy, Ann, Allen

Lindholm høje

One of the most famous excavations in Danish history, Lindholm høje was much-discussed and much-dug by amateurs before the Danish government stepped in and supervised a major excavation in the 1950s. It is a remarkably well-preserved village (series of villages, really) with a celebrated cemetery, the graves laid out as circles, triangles, and ship-shapes outlined with large stones.

Inside the museum, models showing the village and the cemetery (at right, top picture)
and village and the field system.


Outside, looking down the hill from the cemetery towards the fjord
and remains of the 11th-century village; building postholes are marked by cement.

Garth, Ann, & Ed among the graves.

A ship-shaped grave

Inside the museum, the interior of a longhouse:

A large pot with turned rim, and a pot with stamped decoration, from a grave

Drinking cups

Iron handles for pots
A wooden scoop

Out of doors, so to speak

A plow, beautifully reconstructed, and a plow at work.

Animal bones and small finds.


Firkat, a Viking center, includes an extensive farm, near Hobro. This is about everyday Vikings. The museum curator, Anna Mette Gielsager, has written about Viking food, including a cookbook.

A long house, looking in from the storage area, neatly divided into compartments left and right.

The very keen can rent the longhouse and spend the night there.

A craft hut (sunken-floored building, SFB)

Allen grinding some corn--not a job for a hot summer day. Gareth baking a corn cake.

Nearby, a large enclosed fort, with the ground plan of four houses clearly visible.

Dec. 2008