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Archaeologists Have Found a 1200-Year-Old Pagan Structure at Site of First Norse Temple

Image for representation. Credits: Pintrest.

Image for representation. Credits: Pintrest.

The feast of meat and drinks would have likely taken place at the manors hall building. However, the study suggests that this ritual came to an end right before the Viking era began and the Norse transitioned to animal sacrifices.

Archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen have discovered evidence of a1200-year-old pagan structure in Norway. Once a wooden construction, it dates back to the Viking Age. The large wooden temple is said to have been used by an ancient civilization to pray and make sacrifices to Norse gods such as Odin and Thor.

According to the archaeologists, the building was about 45 feet long, 26 feet wide and stood nearly 40 feet high. The temple was used for worship by sea fairing men and women during the midsummer and midwinter solstices.

This is the first old Norse temple discovered till date. According to research, the temple once had a curved longside with slightly rounded gables and four posts at the centre.

SørenDiinhoff, an archaeologist from the University Museum of Bergen was quoted by DailyMail.com as saying, “On the most important days of the year people would meet up at the god house and the priest ‘gode’ would perform rituals and prayers to gods (wooden statues of the gods)”.

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He further added that animals were slaughtered and the meat was prepared in cooking pits. The feast of meat and drinks would have likely taken place at the manors hall building. However, the study suggests that this ritual came to an end right before the Viking era began and the Norse transitioned to animal sacrifices.

Diinhoff and his team conducted the study for around two months on the Ose farm near Ørsta, in western Norway and have found several buildings from the Early Medieval Period.

They noted the buildings are from the Early Iron Age almost 2500 years ago. He further stated that at this time, they do not have any radiocarbon dating analysed, but the architecture testifies that the building must be from Late Iron Age (600 – 1000 AD) or belong to the Viking Age.

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