Archaeologists have discovered an ancient Viking drinking hall on a remote island in the Scottish Orkney archipelago.
The large Norse Hall was uncovered at Westness on the island of Rousay. Dating to sometime between the 10th and 12th centuries, the hall was discovered below the more recent Skaill farmstead, according to the University of the Highlands and Islands Archaeology Institute.
The building appears to be more than 42 feet long. Its sturdy 3-foot stone walls are about 18 feet apart. Items discovered during the excavation include soapstone from the Shetland Islands, pottery and a bone spindle whorl.
The name of the site offers a clue as to its history, according to archaeologists. “The name Skaill suggests the site was home to a Norse hall or drinking hall, and was a high status site,” explains the UHI Archaeology Institute. Although the site is only partly uncovered, archaeologists have already noticed parallels with Norse Halls in other parts of Orkney and mainland Scotland.
“The exciting news this season is that we have now found the hall at Skaill, as the place name suggests,” said project co-director Dan Lee in the statement. “You never know, but perhaps Earl Sigurd himself sat on one of the stone benches inside the hall and drank a flagon of ale!”
With most of us whiteys having Viking ancestors, this discovery is just the thing to confirm we follow in the steps of our ancestors. There has to be a reason why we like the odd scotch or two or three……..hic..