Norwegian archaeologists think that treasures from the Iron Age and the Viking Age may be lying under the grass of a residential neighborhood in Oslo. They’re about to start digging, into what may be an intact Iron Age grave in the midst of stately old homes at Ullevål Hageby.
The leafy Ullevål Hageby neighborhood is one of Oslo’s most popular and, lately, pricey. From the years 500BC to 1050AD, however, the districts of Ullevål, Berg and Tåsen were the site of ancient life, and death. Newspaper Aftenposten reported Thursday that archaeologists from the University of Oslo believe they contain the largest graveyards of their time in Norway, with a collection of Viking weapons found buried there in 1927 during homebuilding in the area.
Now they have permission for what they call a “unique opportunity” to dig into what may be an intact grave, since all of those from before 1530 are under preservation orders and aren’t to be disturbed. Officials relented in this case, given the possibility of unearthing items that can shed new light on the era, including ceramic, weapons, tools, jewelry and skeletons.
“There’s no doubt we view this as a unique opportunity,” Ingar Mørkestøk Gundersen of the university Museum of Cultural History told Aftenposten. “There can be some explosive discoveries here, if the grave is intact.” He and his colleagues were waiting for a rezoning of the area to allow excavation, and then the digging will begin.