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“The discovery of two massive Viking halls in Borre in Vestfold County gives archeologists reason to reassess the distribution of power in Viking Norway.
Vestfold County archeologists presented finds on Wednesday that show there are two great hall buildings underneath the ground about 100 meters from the major burial mounds at Borre.
The Borre mounds are the largest grouping of monumental burial mounds from the late Iron Age, between 560-1050 AD. There are seven large burial mounds at Borre, and over 30 smaller mounds, all have been opened or plundered.
One of the halls is believed to be up to 40 meters (131 feet) long and 12 to 13 meters (39-42 feet) high, the largest found in Vestfold.
“The finds show that Borre was more than a burial place, but a true royal power center in Viking times. There have been tribes here from all of northern Europe for sacrificial ceremonies,” archeologist and information leader at the Midgard Historical Center, Lena Fahre, told Aftenposten.
The larger, “King’s Hall”, is dated to around 700-800 AD.
“The halls found are the forerunners of the stave churches for which Norway is so well known,” said archeologist Terje Gansum at a press conference.
According to the archeologists historians must now reassess the role of Kaupang as the seat of power than, now that another such center has been found further north.
The halls were found using a magnetometer and ground penetrating radar that can visualize what is below the ground.
The first Viking ship found in Norway was discovered during the excavation of one of the major mounds at Borre in 1852, but very little of the vessel remained due to the sandy moraine (glacial debris) conditions that are not conducive to the preservation of wood.”
The Halls at Borre
Borre Geophysical Survey