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Last summer, a series of man-made Viking era caves were discovered southwest of Oddi in southern Iceland dated to the 10th century AD. Excavations have now revealed a massive system of interconnected caves that are both larger and older than previously thought. Much mystery still surrounds the caves and the true purpose for their construction.

Iceland’s Latest Viking Era Caves: Vast and Challenging!

"You really have no words to describe this," says archaeologist Kristborg Þórsdóttir about her experience of standing amongst one of the holiest and best-preserved man-made caves from the Viking era. “The size of these structures is just so vast, there hasn’t been a study of such large structures, and definitely not from this time period in Iceland,” she added. Kristborg has been leading the study and working on this site since 2020.

It was in 2018 when the man-made cave system was found in the Oddi area in southern Iceland, during a joint 3-year mission led by Kristborg and the Archaeological Institute, after the making a test ditch, reports Iceland Review . The mission had been initiated in 2017, as per a report published last year published by MBL.isThe man-made cave had an adjoining, even larger cave connected to it, which became the focus of Kristborg and her team’s research.

Securing the cave and ensuring it doesn’t collapse on people working in it has been a huge challenge for her team. The texture of the rock is prone to crumbling and the cave is deep, which can lead to dangerous outcomes.

Time is of the essence for the team, who feel any delay would result in the loss of precious artifacts and data. The entire system of man-made caves was not used for very long because they are inherently unstable.


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