A group of British archeologists have started looking into a possible Viking longboat which is allegedly buried under the parking lot of a pub to find out its exact age and origin, expressed the University of Nottingham in England in a press release announcing this past week.
This boat was reportedly first found in 1938 by a group of workmen, but they were ordered to cover the find back up. The story of the discovery has since interested the local populace. Due to a bit of luck, one of the original workers who first found it took very precise notes, including the drawing of a map and a sketch of the outline of the design, thusly letting research teams made guesses regarding its function, condition, and age.
“There has been intense local interest in this buried object for many years,” explained the chair of the Wirral Archaeology Community Interest Company Dominga Devitt. “It has been thought that the boat dates from the Viking era but no professional investigation has ever been carried out to establish the truth, so everyone is really delighted at the prospect of what we might discover.”
The boat is thought to be buried deep underneath the parking lot of The Railway Inn, which is located in northwest England in the Wirral Borough. This particular dig first started on Saturday and is being conducted by Wirral Archaeology Community Interest Company after being given permission by the owners of the pub, as reported by Wirral Globe. Also taking part in the event is Stephen Harding, a professor from the University of Nottingham, who is an expert on Vikings in the Wirral region.
As stated by Harding, the description from the worker from the 1938 unearthing showed a clinker-built boat — a design that was normally favored by the Vikings and is known to come from Scandinavia. Clinker-built ships make use of overlapping planks, which differs from planks that are flush with each other in standard carvel-designed ships. the description also pushed researchers to think that the boat was roughly 20 by 30 feet and was fully buried a significant nine feet below the surface in what has been found to be heavily waterlogged blue clay. Harding thinks it is either a boat for transport or a fishing vessel.
The clay is the ideal substance for the preservation of the boat, explained Harding, due to it keeping bugs away from the structure, keeping the original wood mostly intact. He also stated that a find like this in this type of clay is extremely rare. The Nottingham press release stated that the archeological team is planning on making roughly 100 narrow boreholes down to the boat, which has been previously examined via radar scans. Nottingham explains that this particular style of dig assists in the reservation of the vessel while minimizing any damage caused as opposed to exposing the entire boat via a complete dig.
— Wirral Globe (@WIRRALGLOBENEWS) February 17, 2023