Extracting fact from fiction in the Norse Sagas has been an ongoing effort for archaeologists and a new viking hall discovery could hold the key to solving more ancient mysteries. A giant hall dating back to the reign of Harald Bluetooth was found in Denmark during a routine subdivision on a detached house plot of land. The structure is dated back to the late 10th century when Harald famously introduced Christianity to the area, a date which coincides with a nearby runestone.
There are believed to be more structures in the surrounding area because it would be extremely rare for a hall such as this to exist as a stand-alone building. This is a major archaeological find and excavations are likely to turn up more runic messages from the past which can shed further light on what fueled the nation’s conversion to Christianity. There are currently conflicting historical accounts, the most interesting of which purports King Harald performed a miracle to prove his faith in Christ. The miracle claimed is that he was able to carry a great weight of fire-heated iron without being burned.
The miracle of being “untouched by fire nor iron” may tickle another Norse myth in your brain - the legendary Berserker warriors. These apex fighters were said to go into a frenzied fighting trance that allowed them to go through fire and swords without harm. They were associated with wolves and bears, sometimes being thought to transform into these creatures with supernatural abilities. This has led some to believe they may have even inspired the original werewolf mythology.
Very little is known about these mysterious figures as few historical attentions survived, however it is shown they went from prized and highly valued warriors and royal guards to being outlawed at the beginning of the 11th century on the heels of Christianity being introduced to the region. The pagan worship of the Norse god Odin was associated with the Berserkers, so these tales of King Harald would be consistent with religious appropriation of pagan beliefs to lend credence to the Christian religion.
Excavations on the newly discovered Viking hall are set to resume after the new year with expected reports to be released by the end of 2023 for updates.