Almost 1000 years of continuous service and yet Stavanger Cathedral in Norway has not finished revealing its secrets.
As part of restoration work, archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research and the Archaeological Museum of the University of Stavanger have discovered under the slabs of the nave new clues detailing the history of the site hosting the religious building.
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In the north chambers of the church, we found layers of thin, dark earth with a completely different character than the other areas we have studied so far,
” said Kristine Ødeby, chief operating officer, at the
Life in Norway site
. In addition to this discovery, the team of researchers also got their hands on remains of animal bones dating from the first half of the 11th century, just before the construction of the cathedral.
According to Halldis Hobæk of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, these findings confirm a theory put forward almost 60 years ago.
This states that the site was once home to a Viking settlement.
In 1968, they found a layer of burnt wood under the altar area.
This dates from the Viking Age and is interpreted as the vestige of a burnt building
, ”explains the researcher.
Further proof that the religious monument was built not in an isolated area, but in law occupied with developed human activity.
In addition to the layers of earth and the bones, many burials have also been unearthed.
According to the first estimates, these date from the Middle Ages and from the 16th to the 18th century.