Medieval castle uncovered on Samsø

Discovery on Kattegat island provides missing historical link

When archaeologists from the National Museum discovered the foundations of a small building at Bispegård on the island of Samsø, they did not realise initially that they had uncovered the remains of a castle that had belonged to a medieval king.

The discovery of the castle of King Erik Menved, who reigned between 1287 and 1319, helps to fill in a hundred-year gap in the island’s history, according to Nils Engberg, head of the National Museum, and the person who headed the dig.

Speaking to national broadcaster DR, he said that there were few written sources from that period of Danish history. ‘The find is a very significant one for the history of Samsø and it is by far the biggest find we have made during our three years working here,’ he added.

When the archaeologists uncovered foundations measuring 20 metres square, they thought that it belonged to a minor building. But as they continued the dig they realised that the initial find was just a small part of a larger complex.

The researchers dated the find to 1290, and concluded that the castle was a replacement for a previous fortress on the island that was destroyed around 1289.

Engberg believes that the castle was abandoned by the king’s men in 1420, and hopes to uncover more of its secrets as the dig continues.

Source: The Copenhagen Post

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