Famous excavations that revealed the Viking Age


Since the 1980s, a number of important archaeological excavations in Dublin, Waterford, and more recently in Cork, have uncovered significant Viking remains.

One of the earliest Viking sites in the country was discovered at Woodstown, on the bank of the river Suir, about 5km up river from the city. This hitherto unknown site, dating to about 840, was discovered by archaeologists in 2003 in advance of the construction of the Waterford City bypass.

Earliest evidence of Viking activity in Waterford City has been dated to c.920.


The first, and to this date only excavation in Finland that revealed a Viking-Age harbour took place from 1992-1996 at the strait between the islands Rosala and Hitis, in the southwest archipelago.

The ancient name of this strait was Örsund, which is mentioned in a 13th-century itinerary found in a document belonging to the Danish king, Valdemar I. The itinerary describes harbours along Austrvegr – the Eastern Route.

The modern excavation, which was a great sensation at the time, unearthed many finds typical of a harbour and trading place, including weapons, jewellery, Arabic silver coins and weights for measuring silver.