Brønnen på Sverresborg
The skeleton in the well Archaeologists at work in the well at Sverresborg in Trondheim

The Skeleton in the Well at Sverresborg

Archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) had to use untraditional methods when they were undertaking investigations in the well in the ruins of Sverresborg castle in Trondheim.

The water-filled hollow in the rock that has been used as a well is up to seven metres deep. Pumps have made it possible to get access, but in order to enter safely, the team from NIKU had to use climbing ropes and helmets.

The aim of the archaeological investigation was to expose and remove the skeleton of the Birkebeiner who was found in 2014. In addition to using archaeological and osteoarchaeological methods, the project was assisted by an expert in forensics from the Trondheim police during the removal of the skeleton and in securing information from the scene of the find.

The skelton was excavated and removed in June 2016. NIKUs osteoarchaeologists are now working with post-excavation analysis before revealing their findings on the man in the well towards the end of 2017.

There is a great deal of national and international interest in this project. After all, it is not every day that we are able to confirm part of King Snorre’s Saga!

  • Status
    In progress
  • Client
    The Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Skeleton NIKU's osteoarchaeologist Hanne Ekstrøm Jordahl removed the remains of the skelton piece-by-piece.
Sverresborg How Sverresborg may have looked at the end of the 1100s.
Anna petersen og media
Interest from the media Project Manager Anna Petersén discusses the find.
hele brønnen
Fall The archaeologists believe that the mann in the well was thrown in or fell from approximately where the man in yellow stands.
Collaborative work The archaeologists have had good help from the police on this excavation.
skjelettrestene
The skeleton The skelton as it lay at the bottom of the well.
skjelettfunn sverresborg
An amazing find Archaeologists Hanne and Anna with the skull, which was previously thought missing.

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