Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Archeology news!!

And potentially history news, too. Ooh, it's so exciting. For those joining us from abroad: Norway is a monarchy, as you may know, and has been throughout our entire history. We count our history back to the 9th century, to the reign of our first king, Harald I Halvdansson, called Hårfagre, which means Fairhair. I know, what a name! But he supposedly swore an oath that he would make himself king of the entire country, and would not cut or comb his hair or beard until he had achieved this. It took ten years, and during this time he supposedly had a different name, Harald Luva, 'tanglehead'. This is of course a legend, we have no way now of verifying such a story, and it has the hallmarks of legend, too. But what is supposed to have happened is that he did succeed in being hailed as king by the entire country, and that he then cut and brushed his hair and beard and became a rather handsome fellow, so then he got his new name, which is the name he is now known under.

Handsome fellow indeed, btw - if you look at his Wikipedia entry, under 'spouses', there is no info listed; it simply says 'see separate list'. :-D

What definitely did happen is that such a man did live - Harald, son of Halvdan the Black, born in or around the year 850. He was a great warrior and he did become the acknowledged high king of all Norwegians. His residence - and considering that this was medieval Norway, of course the royal residence was a farm - was at Avaldsnes at Karmøy in Rogaland. Some years ago, post holes were discovered and dated to the Viking age ... this was in the summer of 2006 ... and a few months later more evidence was found which showed that this is indeed the site of the home of king Harald I. And now, today's news. :-)

FINALLY the site is going to be excavated. OMG!! That is seriously exciting. The excavation will probably begin in May 2011. Here's what the site may well have looked like:

Not quite a royal palace, I know ... but who cares. What a place. And what an excavation this is going to be. Imagine what we'll learn ... !! :-)