The Aska Barrow Is A Huge Building Platform

It’s been a busy couple of days with a lot of publicity. Monday morning a paper I’ve co-authored with my friend, geophysics specialist Andreas Viberg, was published in the on-line version of Archaeological Prospection. For reasons of scientific priority (which I myself like to establish by spilling everything I do onto the blog immediately) I’ve been sitting on this since April of 2013, so it feels real good to finally blog about it. Here’s a brief summary.

  • There’s a huge weird barrow at Aska in Hagebyhöga near Vadstena in Östergötland. It’s oval and flat instead of round and domed.
  • My old teacher Anders Carlsson has suggested that this may not be a grave mound but a Late Iron Age building platform like the ones in Old Uppsala.
  • Andreas and I drove down with a ground-penetrating radar device and surveyed the thing. We found the floor plan of an almost 50-metres-long mead-hall, very similar to one of the royal halls excavated at Old Uppsala.
  • This lends added support to the interpretation I advanced in my 2011 book Mead-halls of the Eastern Geats: Aska in Hagebyhöga was the residence of a Viking Period petty-royal dynasty in Östergötland that has left no trace in the written record.

Anyone who wants the (sadly pay-walled) paper, please email me!