Long jetties for trade ships discovered underwater
Birka is already known as one of Sweden’s most important Viking sites – a once thriving town and naturally defensive trading port on the lake island Björkö near Stockholm. Now divers there have discovered 100-metre-long jetties, giving the impression of a much bigger trading marketplace and a town 30% bigger than had previously been imagined. The archaeological team onsite will use this information to build a picture of how the port might have looked.
“We found stone piers in deep water and these were rare for this age – timber, logs and poles as well,” marine archaeologist Andreas Olsson told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter. “Previously, it was not thought that the Vikings could build stone piers at a depth of eight meters. […] The remains of the port structures show that it was actually a port, not just small jetties jutting out onto the beach.”
[pictured: Birka; photo by Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se]