A new Tune Viking ship

Reconstruction project aims to bring new life to 1,200-year-old ship

a man in a Tune Viking shirt by a Viking era ship

Carl Henrik Lampe is the founder and CEO of TUNE VIKING. TUNE VIKING aims to build a full-scale reconstruction of the original Tune ship using the same materials and construction techniques.

Editorial Assistant
The Norwegian American

A new archaeological reconstruction project in Oslo is finding its way to open waters. Inspired by previous Viking ship reconstructions like the Gokstad ship and based on the Tune Viking ship built around the year 900 A.D., the project plans to build a copy of the Tune ship fit to sail the seas. The project is led by the TUNE VIKING AS company.

The original Tune ship was discovered in Sarpsborg, Norway, in 1867 in a burial mound on the Haugen farm. One of the first major archaeological Viking discoveries in the modern era, the Tune ship has been an important piece of Viking history preserved. However, due to grave robberies at the site in Sarpsborg and a less than careful excavation, the ship and the burial goods did not preserve well; the ship itself is just a fragment. Since 1930, the Tune ship has been one of the Viking ships exhibited at the Viking Ship House on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo. 

TUNE VIKING aims to build a full-scale reconstruction of the original Tune ship using the same materials and construction techniques. The goal is that young people from across Norway will be able to help build the boat and learn how to sail it together. With a focus on archaeologically based construction and the social aspect of the building and sailing of the ship, the project hopes to bring together education, teamwork, and fun.

“The value of a project like this is immeasurable, but one can see it for instance in the youthful joy of sailing, the healthy sound sleep of an exhausted participant, and the social bonds tied on all levels of the organization,” said Carl Henrik Lampe, founder and CEO of TUNE VIKING. “It is also historically interesting in an experimental archaeology context and a contribution to our understanding of an era that saw expansion of the Nordic culture. For the TUNE VIKING company, it is also a small piece of the puzzle of the Norwegian way forward in a world that increasingly wants to reduce the carbon footprint.”

The reconstruction project is still in planning and preparatory stages—“No tree has been felled,” said Lampe—but the company is working to build partnerships and find a suitable building site. The coronavirus pandemic caused some challenges for the project, but it continues to push ahead.

TUNE VIKING is currently holding a fundraiser to support the reconstruction project. Find more information about the fundraiser and where to donate at www.spleis.no/tunevikingfundraiser. Further information about the project can be found at: www.tuneviking.com.

This article originally appeared in the June 4, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Courtney Olsen

Courtney Olsen is a writer based in Tacoma, Wash. She is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma and the University of Oxford in England and has been writing for The Norwegian American since 2020. A historical fiction enthusiast, she spends her free time working through her ever-growing reading list with a cup of tea in hand.