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Archaeologists in Ribe, Denmark have been excavating a real life Viking city and say that “Deep beneath street level are thousands of Viking finds.”

(Ancient Origins)

Denmark is the spiritual and historical home of the Vikings. They were feared across Europe for their raiding and pillaging but there is more to the story than that. According to a report in Phys.org, the ‘Northern Emporium Project’ consisting of a team of archaeologists from Aarhus University and Southwest Jutland Museums (Denmark) “have dug down to three meters," finding traces of what the researchers have called “the first cities of the Nordic region.”

Around 700 AD, maritime trade in the North Sea was being developed and Ribe was a logistically advantageous departure point for sailing ships. By 800 AD, when the ‘Viking Age’ officially began, Ribe was a crucial port in Scandinavian shipping and this is why archaeologists are reporting “changes in the remains of workshops” and stacks of evidence of artisans and craftsmen.

The project, "Northern Emporium,” has excavated about 100 square meters (1076.39 sq. ft.) of cultural layers in the oldest part of Ribe. So far, Archaeology.org reports; “ runic inscriptions , amulets, beads, coins, combs, dog excrement, gnawed bones” and even “a piece of a lyre (a harp-like stringed instrument), complete with tuning pegs” have been found.

Ribe has actually been known about for many years , but the results of earlier excavations using less advanced technology were "difficult to interpret” and suggested that Ribe was “a seasonal market town for generations before people started to settle there more permanently.” However, new life was breathed into the project in 2016 when the Carlsberg Foundation brought new funding, thus enabling “a new and bigger excavation.”

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