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Pre-Christian Cult Sites

Up until a few decades ago the fascinating world of Norse mythology was only known about from the written sources of the Early Medieval period, whereas the religion’s actual role amongst the population was not understood.


Recent archaeological excavations and interpretations mean that we can now recognise remains from pre-Christian rituals and thus begin to understand how the pre-Christian cult was organised in the first millennium AD. 

Archaeological remains at several magnates’ estates include evidence of the late pre-Christian religion in a period when Norse mythology’s pantheon takes shape and changes occur in the way the religion is practiced. We are now beginning to be able to identify the archaeological evidence of cult buildings, sacrificial structures and various ritual activities. 


However, it is a significant step from recognition to understanding and it is this step that the project will help us take. Over a five year period the aim is to examine and describe the development of the pre-Christian religion in the first millennium AD in an international, interdisciplinary collaboration involving both humanistic and scientific disciplines.