It has been more than 60 years since archaeologists have found a new Viking fortress, but thanks to laser technology a circular fortress in Denmark was recently identified.
"The Vikings have a reputation as berserkers and pirates. It comes as a surprise to many that they were also capable of building magnificent fortresses," Soren Sindbaek, a professor at Aarhus University, said, according to Past Horizons.
The lasers helped archaeologists figure out exactly where to dig at the site near Koge, a news release from the Danish Castle Center stated. Materials found at the fortress are being analyzed to establish a more precise date, but its design, which is similar to the "Trelleborg" fortresses constructed under King Harald Bluetooth, leads archaeologists to think it could go back to 980 A.D.
“Fortresses built like this one were only built in the Viking Age, and the burnt timber in the gates enables us to fix the date using radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology," Nanna Holm, archaeologist and curator with the Danish Castle Center, said in a statement. "The date will be vital. If we can establish exactly when the fortress was built, it will help us to understand the historical events with which it was connected.”
Sindbaek, who was involved with the excavation, said fortresses like this help piece together early history of Denmark.
“The discovery of the new Viking fortress is a unique opportunity to learn more about the battles and conflicts of the Vikings, and gives us a new chance to study the most famous of our Viking monuments," Sindbaek said in a statement.
Once a date is established, Sindbaek said the researchers also have to figure out if any large buildings were constructed inside the circular walls.
Then, "you also have to ask yourself if there are any more hidden ringed fortresses out there,” Sindbæk added.