Gate to Viking 'Great Wall' Unearthed

8th-century structure was gateway to the Viking Empire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2010 4:13 AM CDT
The Danevirke is shown on a 16th-century map.   (Wikipedia)

(Newser) – The Vikings are known for their raping and pillaging but they were pretty good wall-builders, too, say archaeologists. A Danish team has uncovered the long-sought gate to a 19-mile "Great Wall" the Vikings built in what is now northern Germany, Der Spiegel reports. Millions of rocks were used to build the surrounding wall, which archaeologists believe was constructed to protect a Viking overland trade route.

It is the only such gate to the Viking empire ever discovered, though archeologists have been searching for more than a century. They were prevented from digging at this particular site until a roadhouse built over it went bankrupt. Ancient writings say horsemen and carts used to stream through the gate, which had a customs station and bordello nearby. The team plans to excavate the newly discovered gate down to the old street level.

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