Norwegian archaeologists find late Iron Age longhouses

COPENHAGEN (AP) — Norwegian archaeologists said Monday they have found a cluster of longhouses, including one of the largest in Scandinavia, using ground-penetrating radar in the southeastern part of the country — in an area that researchers believe was a central place in the late Nordic Iron Age.

The longhouses — long and narrow, single-room buildings — were found in Gjellestad, 86 kilometers (53 miles) southeast of Oslo near where a Viking-era ship was found in 2018 close to the Swedish border.

“We have found several buildings, all typical Iron Age longhouses, north of the Gjellestad ship. The most striking discovery is a 60-meter (197-foot) long and 15-meter (49-foot) wide longhouse, a size that makes it one of the largest we know of in Scandinavia,” archaeologist Lars Gustavsen at Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research said in a statement.

The importance of Gjellestad during that time period wasn’t immediately known. But the body, known by its Norwegian acronym NIKU, said it was working on finding that out.

This autumn, archaeologists covered 40 hectares (about 100 acres) south, east and north of were the Gjellestad ship was found with the radar system, and one of the next steps are archaeological excavations, NIKU said.

The surveys are the first part of a research project called “Viking