The new Viking house at Bytoften will be finished by the summer

28. March 2018 | Landscape and Archaeology

Afdelingsleder Claus Frederik Sørensen holder tale ved første spadestik. Foto: Emil Andresen

In 2014, the replica of a Viking house built at Bytoften in Langeskov burned, and we had to admit, through our tears, that the building could not be saved. Now a new Viking house will be built where the remains of an authentic Viking-era house were found in 1979. The new Viking house will be provided with modern facilities and will be constructed using modern building techniques, but its appearance will be that of a Viking-era dwelling.

The new facilities will include handicap toilets, a place to eat your bag lunch or picnic, educational information and more. The new house will tie things together at this exciting, recreative area. It is an area with deep historical roots, where history can be both cozy and playful.

Who were the Vikings who lived at Bytoften?

Everyone knows that Vikings were warriors who travelled far and wide and fought bloody battles. At Bytoften, we will, for a change, also tell about another and perhaps even more important struggle the Vikings were engaged in - the struggle for daily survival. We will tell stories about: What did they look like? What did they live on? Did they till the soil? Did they have farm animals? Where did they live? What did they believe in?
These are the questions that will be answered at Bytoften by the Museums of Eastern Funen.

9000 years of history

Bytoften’s long history of human habitation was discovered in connection with the construction of a 4-lane highway across Funen. A fantastic find was made close by, which turned out to be the rich grave of a Viking prince. As a result of this find, archaeologists then searched for the Viking-era settlement that ought to be nearby. This led to the excavation of Bytoften in 1979, when they found the first indications from the Viking period in the form of potsherds and the traces of a house. In 1981, they finally discovered sure-fire remains of a large Viking house, the first found on Funen!

Using the dimensions of the Viking buildings from Bytoften as a guide, volunteer carpenters, in cooperation with the Museums of Eastern Funen, built a copy of a Viking-era house. The original plan was to cover the roof with wooden shingles, but for logistical reasons, this was changed to a thatched roof. It was this house that burned in 2014.

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