The remains of a Viking ship have been found on a Norwegian island under a burial mound next to an old stone church, the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) announced earlier this week. The Scandinavian country’s climate minister, Ola Elvestuen, called the discovery one of “both national and international significance,” reports NRK’s Olaug Bjørneset, per a translation by the Local Norway.
Archaeologists spotted the boat’s 43-foot-long backbone while studying large-scale, high-resolution ground penetrating radar (GPR) scans taken at a field next to Edøy Church, located on the island of Edoeya around 70 miles west of Trondheim. The research team credits advances in georadar technology for making the find possible.
GPR sends electromagnetic waves into the ground to create an image outlining the spots where the waves move differently, as they do when encountering buried objects.
“Our equipment is getting better, so we can be pretty sure of what we have here,” a NIKU spokesperson tells Fox News’ James Rogers. “On top of that, the island itself is smack in the middle of Merovingian and Viking activity [dating to] more than a thousand year[s] ago. The locals were really happy with the find—but not really surprised.”