Viking axe from Oslo found in south

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An axe dating from the Middle Ages or Viking period found in a cellar in south Norway is believed to be originally from an old estate in Oslo.

The axe was originally found when Reidar Kjeldstrup was cleaning up his deceased parents’ property in 1961. Kjeldstrup only guessed that the axe was ancient when he found it this year among his own belongings in Staubø, a village in south Norway.

“I saw from the shape and the object’s workmanship that it must have been forged in ancient times,” Kjeldstrup told newspaper Aftenposten. He believed that the axe came from the Nordseter farm estate in Oslo where his maternal grandfather once lived, and must have been dug up by the ploughs of tenant farmers, after which it was “hidden and forgotten.” Kjeldstrup himself had grown up in the area around Nordseter, Nordstrand in southeast Oslo.

After taking the axe to the Cultural History Museum, it was confirmed that it was an iron axe with a style that corresponds to those found in the Middle Ages and Viking period, and that Nordseter was a source of such “loose find” objects. They believe that the estate was cleared in the 13th century. A research fellow at the museum, Christian Rødsrud, told Aftenposten that “since it lacks context, it is difficult to date it any closer than the Middle Ages and Viking period, because the axe shape is similar across long time periods.”

Reacting to the confirmation of the age of his find, Kjeldstrup commented to Aftenposten, “I don’t let myself get carried away very easily as I have lived too long, but it was interesting to get it confirmed.”

Views and News Staff