A Viking house of the same type as those found at Trelleborg has been found on Munkebo Hill

26. June 2017 | Landscape & Archaeology

Udgravning på Munkebo Bakke i 2017

New find gives strength to archaeologists’ theory that Munkebo Hill was used in the Viking period as a strategic lookout to monitor trade routes in Odense Fjord and in Kerteminde Fjord.

Archaeologists from the Museums of Eastern Funen have found the traces of a 26 m. (85.3 ft.) long and 8 m. (26.2 ft.) wide house from the Viking period on Munkebo Hill.

Archaeologist Malene Refshauge Beck, The Museums of Eastern Funen, reports:

“The house or hall is of the so-called Trelleborg type, which means it is curved on the long sides and has indoor columns to support the roof. It looks like the houses we’re familiar with from the Viking ring forts like Trelleborg. The house is larger than the one we found here in 2015, which could mean that we’ve found the main building, though I can’t say that with any certainty. There could be much more up here.”

Surveillance and defense

There is no doubt that the building could be seen from afar, and that people could, from here, keep an eye on a wide area.

“Right down the hill, there was an underwater blockage in Kerteminde Fjord, which makes us believe that this spot could have played an important role in surveillance or defence of the important trade routes or settlements around Odense Fjord and Kerteminde Fjord,” says Malene Refshauge Beck.

Sword bead from the Viking period

In addition to the Viking house, archaeologists have found a so-called cultural layer, which in this case refers to the settlement’s dunghill. The dunghill is interesting because it contains well-preserved animal bones, so we can see what was on the menu in the Viking hall over 1000 years ago. Other things were thrown on the dunghill, too, among other things several rivets and the most interesting find so far, a sword bead from the Viking period.

“The sword was a prestige weapon and definitely not for everyone. The same is true for the spur found in 2015. The two objects tell us that we are in what one could call the upper social level of the Viking times,” says Malene Refshauge Beck.

Added bonus: cooking pits from the Bronze Age

As an added bonus, the Museums of Eastern Funen have also found a so-called cooking pit area from the late Bronze Age (900-500 BC). Cooking pits are a kind of earth oven where food could be roasted, probably in connection wtih ritual gatherings held between the two burial mounds on the hilltop.

Calendar

Meet the Vikings at the Cherry Festival
July 21-22, 11 AM - 4 PM
Kerteminde

Meet the Vikings at the Cherry Festival.

Ghost ship in Kertinge Bay
September 8 - October 21, 7-10 PM
Munkebo Harbour

A Viking ghost ship will be created out of light and water alone, on the water off Munkebo Harbour.

 

News

The Ladby Dragon launched for a new season
18. June 2018
Vikingemuseet Ladby

The Ladby Dragon was launched along with a demonstration of Viking fighting and special holiday buns.

The new Viking house at Bytoften will be finished by the summer
28. March 2018
Landscape and Archaeology

The first turf has been dug for the new Viking house. It will tie things together at this exciting, recreative area with its deep historical roots.

The Ladby Dragon was in the finals of the Funen Culture Prize
5. December 2017
The Viking Museum at Ladby

We can say, with pride, that our beautiful Ladby Dragon, launched on May 11, 2016, was one of five finalists for the Funen Culture Prize 2017.

The signal made it!
5. December 2017
The Viking Museum at Ladby

It worked! It is possible to send a message over long distances with the help of beacons with signal fires - and it is fast!