Viking graves found with laser

How it looks when the mounds are scanned with a laser. The picture shows Svepstad in Steinkjer.

How it looks when the mounds are scanned with a laser. The picture shows Svepstad in Steinkjer.

Archaeologists sitting in front of a PC, dig up one of the largest burial mounds from Viking Age.

Recently they have discovered seven new mounds in an area that already has many others.

“Sparbu of Nord-Trøndelag is about to become the richest of these historical relics,” said county archaeologist Lars Forseth.

Power Center

He is in little doubt that it was a center of power here for 1000 to 1500 years ago.

“Concentration of collectibles are so much greater than elsewhere,” said Forseth.

He has recently been out in the wild to see the hills in reality, piles that are uncovered with new laser technology. And on closer inspection it seems that the images from the laser scan really shows what archaeologists believe, burial mounds from the Viking era.


A laser scanner sending radiation out, and when these returns from the ground gives the computer information about what is available here. They can strip away all the vegetation and make it possible to see what’s under the ground.

“There is a special experience to only be able to sit in front of the monitor and record the burial mounds. I must say that we have to go out and check that it matches later, because there are a number of natural phenomena that can look like burial mounds, but so far we have not been fooled once,” said Forseth.


Skeifeltet at Sparbu is interesting, even without the other burial mounds in the area. The evidence of early settlement, nurtured and power. It contains well over one hundred registered burial mounds, three stones, a ring-shaped yard and large cooking pits – from the Viking Age.

To date, the technology provides to reveal over 20 new burial mounds from the Viking period in the area. Seven of those came last week.

“In addition, we find many paths we have not seen before. They show a traffic pattern through the cemeteries that we have not been aware of previously. It is surprising that the patterns are so solid, and we must try to interpret,” he says to NRK.

Can change history

Mære, located a few kilometers away Sparbu, has in many ways been assumed to be the center of power in the Viking Age. It tells the story of collections, trade, sacrifice and struggle. But the new findings show that the areas around Skei field were actually important.

“The total number of burial mounds indicate a very strong area, and the step a lot more clearly in the light now,” said Forseth to NRK.

Become available

The data on this is available on the Internet as map data. Here it is possible to get an idea of the extent and location of historical memories.

But what are the things under the earth that can give a picture of an exciting past, will not be revealed soon.

“The areas shall not touched yet,” said Forseth.

Source: NRK

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