Borgring. Uncovering the strategy for a Viking Age ring fortress in Denmark

Authors

  • Jonas Christensen Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Aoife Daly Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen
  • Peter Steen Henriksen Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, The National Museum of Denmark
  • Nanna Holm Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Catherine Jessen Environmental Archaeology and Materials Science, The National Museum of Denmark
  • Sofie Jørgensen Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Line Olesen Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Jesper Olsen Aarhus AMS Centre (AARAMS), Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aarhus University
  • Maja Kildetoft Schultz Museum Southeast Denmark
  • Søren Michael Sindbæk Aarhus University
  • Jens Ulriksen Museum Southeast Denmark

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.7146/dja.v10i0.121920

Keywords:

Viking Age, ring fortress, fortification, war, monument symbolism

Abstract

In 2014, Borgring, near Køge, Denmark, was identified as the fifth geometrical Viking Age ring fortress in Denmark, complementing an exclusive group of monuments including Trelleborg. Excavations and surveys in 2016–18 allow a detailed reconstruction of the site and its history. Borgring is a fortification with the same geometry, construction, and location as other Trelleborg-type fortresses, though exhibiting notable differences. Finds, including beads, ornaments, and iron tools, reflect activities and links to other fortress sites. The dating of Borgring is established with reference to wiggle-matched 14C dates.

References

Blake, M. and Sargent, A., 2018. ‘For the protection of all the people’: æthelflæd and her burhs in northwest Mercia. Midland History, 43, 120-154. https://doi.org/10.1080/0047729x.2018.1519141

Bronk Ramsey, C., van der Plicht, J. and Weninger, B., 2001. ‘Wiggle matching’ radiocarbon dates. Radiocarbon, 43, 381-389. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033822200038248

Callmer, J., 1977. Trade beads and bead trade in Scandinavia ca. 800-1000 A.D. Acta Archaeologica Lundensia, series in 4°, 11. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag.

Christensen, J., Holm, N., Schultz, M.K., Sindbæk, S.M. and Ulriksen, J., 2018. ‘The Borgring Project 2016-2018’. In: J. Hansen and M. Bruus, eds. The fortified Viking Age: 36th interdisciplinary Viking symposium. Odense: Odense City Museums and University Press of Southern Denmark, 60-68.

Christensen, T., Larsen, A-C., Larsson, S. and Vince, A., 1994. Early glazed ware from medieval Denmark. Medieval Ceramics, 18, 67-76.

Christie, N., 2016. ‘Creating defended communities in later Saxon Wessex’. In: N. Christie and H. Herold, eds. Fortified settlements in early medieval Europe: defended communities of the 8th-10th centuries. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 52-67. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctvh1dh3x.12

Dobat, A.S., 2013. Kongens borge: rapport over undersøgelserne 2007-2010. Højberg: Jysk Arkæologisk Selskab.

Geodatastyrelsen n.d. Historiske kort på nettet. Available from: https://hkpn.gst.dk/ [Accessed 17 April 2020].

Goodchild, H., Holm, N. and Sindbæk, S.M., 2017. Borgring: the discovery of a Viking Age ring fortress. Antiquity, 91, 1027-1042. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2017.118

Hedegaard, K.R., 2016. The Gotlandic box brooch from Fyrkat grave IV: a research into the casting technique and work methods associated with multi-piece brooches. Danish Journal of Archaeology, 5, 3-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/21662282.2016.1199235

Hollstein, E., 1980. Mitteleuropäische Eichenchronologie. Trierer Grabungen und Forschungen 11. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp con Zabern.

Jacobsson, B., Arén, E., Arén, E. and Blom, K.A., 1995. Trelleborgen: en av Harald Blåtands danska ringborgar. Lund: Trelleborgs Kommun.

Jessen, C., Henriksen, P.S., Hald, M.M. and Ulriksen, J., In press. The lost landscape of Borgring: geoarchaeological investigations into the navigation to, and location of, the Danish Viking age ring fortress. Submitted to Danish Journal of Archaeology.

Jessen, M.D., Holst, M.K., Lindblom, C., Bonde, N. and Pedersen, A., 2014. A palisade fit for a king: ideal architecture in King Harald Bluetooth’s Jelling. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 47, 42-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/00293652.2014.921239

Jouttijärvi, A., 2017. Værktøjskisten fra Borgring. Heimdal-archaeometry Report 17-5.

Kilmurry, K., 1980. The pottery industry of Stamford, Lincolnshire, c.A.D. 850-1250: its manufacture, trade and relationship with continental wares, with a classification and chronology. BAR British Series 84. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. https://doi.org/10.30861/9780860541097

Ljungkvist, E., Thomsen, B., Sindbæk, S.M., Christensen, J., Holm, N., Schultz, M.K. and Ulriksen, J., In press. Coldest case ever: fire investigation at the Viking age ring fortress of Borgring, Denmark. Submitted to Danish Journal of Archaeology.

Mortensen, M.F., Baittinger, C., Christensen, J., Nielsen, A.B., Nielsen, S., Pihl, A., Prøsch-Danielsen, L., Ravn, M., Sindbæk, S.M. and Ulriksen, J., In press. Turfs and timbers – resource use in the construction of a Viking Age ring fortress. Submitted to Danish Journal of Archaeology.

Nørlund, P., 1948. Trelleborg. København: Gyldendal.

Olsen, J., Tikhomirov, D., Grosen, C., Heinemeier, J. & Klein, M., 2017. Radiocarbon analysis on the new Aarams 1MV Tandetron. Radiocarbon, 59, 905-913. https://doi.org/10.1017/rdc.2016.85

Olsen, O. and Schmidt, H., 1977. Fyrkat: en jysk vikingeborg. 1: borgen og bebyggelsen. København: Det Kgl. Nordiske Oldskriftselskab.

Perry, G., Early glazed wares from Borgring, Denmark. University of Sheffield.

Reimer, P., Austin, W.E., Bard, E., Bayliss, A., Blackwell, P.G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Butzin, M., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Friedrich, M. and Grootes, P.M., 2020. The IntCal20 Northern Hemisphere radiocarbon age calibration curve (0-55 kcal BP). Radiocarbon, 1-33. https://doi.org/10.1017/RDC.2020.41

Roesdahl, E., 1977. Fyrkat: en jysk vikingeborg. 2: oldsagerne og gravpladsen. København: Det Kgl. Nordiske Oldskriftselskab.

Roesdahl, E. and Sindbæk, S.M., 2014. ‘The purpose of the fortress’. In: E. Roesdahl, S.M. Sindbæk and A. Pedersen, eds. Aggersborg: The Viking-age settlement and fortress. Højbjerg: Jysk Arkæologisk Selskab, 383-414.

Runge, M., 2018. ‘New archaeological investigations at Nonnebakken, a Viking age fortress in Odense’. In: J. Hansen and M. Bruus, eds. The fortified Viking Age: the 36th interdisciplinary Viking age seminar, Odense 2017. Odense: Odense City Museums and University Press of Southern Denmark, 44-59.

Sindbæk, S.M., 2014. ‘The fortress’. In: E. Roesdahl, S.M. Sindbæk and A. Pedersen, eds. Aggersborg: the Viking-age settlement and fortress. Højbjerg: Jysk Arkæologisk Selskab, 139-208.

Sindbæk, S.M., 2020. ‘Borgring and Harald Bluetooth’s Burgenpolitik’. In: A. Pedersen and S.M. Sindbæk, eds. Viking encounters: proceedings of the 18th Viking Congress. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press, 529-543.

Stuiver, M. and Polach, H.A., 1977. Reporting of C-14 data. Radiocarbon, 19, 355-363. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033822200003672

Svanberg, F. and Söderberg, B., 1999. Den vikingatida borgen i Borgeby. Arkeologiska Studier kring Borgeby och Löddeköpinge 1. Lund: Riksantikvarieämbetet.

Thunmark-Nylén, L., 2006. Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands III:2. Text. Stockholm: Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien.

Ulriksen, J., 2011. Fremmed indflydelse i vikingetid og tidlig middelalder (700-1150 e.Kr.). Historisk Årbog for Roskilde Amt, 2011, 79-120.

Ulriksen, J., Schultz, M.K. and Mortensen, M.F., 2020. Dominating the landscape: the emblematic setting of Borgring and the Viking age ring fortresses of Denmark. Danish Journal of Archaeology, 9, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.7146/dja.v9i0.116110

Vogel, J.S., Southon, J.R., Nelson, D.E. and Brown, T.A., 1984. Performance of catalytical condensed carbon for use in accelerator mass spectrometry. Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section B-Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 5, 289-293. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-583x(84)90529-9

Downloads

Additional Files

Published

2021-07-22

Issue

Section

Research Article