Nordland County

Couple's Home Renos Turn Into Full Archaeological Dig After Finding Viking Grave

Home renovations are terrible inconveniences while they're going on - they're loud, messy, dusty, and the source of many arguments in a relationship. But the end results usually make the agonizing process feel worthwhile.

However, a couple in Norway got a whole lot more than they bargained for while doing renovations on their home, and it goes well beyond noise, dirt, or expense.

The pair weren't quite sure what they had discovered at first after they pulled up their floor boards and saw a glint off a small object.

Nordland County

As Mariann Kristiansen told Norway broadcaster NRK, "It wasn't until later that we realised what it could be. We first thought it was the wheel of a toy car."

However, their house was built in 1914 and the floors hadn't been taken up in all that time, making it highly unlikely the shiny little object they'd found part of a toy car.

Rather, it was an astoundingly old glass bead.

Rather than putting down insulation as they intended, the homeowners kept digging.

Instagram | @krestiansen

Their curiosity piqued, the pair decided to look further, and they were soon rewarded with some iron objects, including an axe head.

That was when they knew it was time to contact their local county authority about the possibility of an archaeological find.

Archaeologist Martinus Hauglid went out to visit the couple a few days later.


After examining the scene, he determined that the couple's house had likely been built over top of an old Viking grave.

"It was found under stones that probably represent a cairn. We found an axe dated from between 950AD and 1050AD and a bead of dark blue glass, also of the late Viking period," he told The Local.

Such graves or cairns are not uncommon, but for a house to be built over one definitely is, in Hauglid's experience.

Instagram | @krestiansen

"I never heard of anything like that and I've been in business for nearly 30 years," he said. "They did a magificent job, they reported it to us as soon as they got the suspicion that it actually was something old.

"I guess, they will get some reward, that is normal in Norway, that people that find old artefacts get a reward from the state."

However, as nice as a reward sounds, the home renos have been put on hold.

Instagram | @krestiansen

The renos have instead turned into a full archaeological excavation. The iron objects and the glass beads have already been transferred to Tromsø University for further evaluation.

h/t: The Local, TV2