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Buried Viking ships found with ground radar

Archaeologists in Norway have found what they believe to be two large Viking ships, buried south of Oslo.

Road construction near the old Viking trading center at Kaupang has led to the discovery of two large ship silhouettes on ground radar pictures. The pictures have been made possible through a venture involving the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning, NIKU) and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archeological Prospection and Virtual Archeology.

They portray some “exciting” images with the help of high tech methods including satellites, laser scanning, magnetometers and georadar, according to NIKU officials. The methods can avoid or minimize destructive excavations by allowing archaeologists to register what the Norwegians call kulturminner (cultural antiquities) under the surface with a high degree of precision.

Here’s georadar being used to scan the farmland near Kaupanger, where archaeologists think more Viking ships lie buried. PHOTO: LBI ArchPro / NIKU
The images of Viking ships, along with several burial mounds, could be the biggest discoveries of their kind for more than a century, and some call them potentially “sensational” while officials urge restraint.

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