The 'Viking' Burial Grounds at Alden.


There are 12 visible grave sites on the SE side of the mountainous island of Alden, with one more grave which can no longer be seen. Two of the graves have memorial stones. The nine graves in the 'Gjotene' area have all been disturbed and robbed. The last record of this was around 1865 when two men from 'the university' came and ’excavated’ one urn with burnt bones and some weapons. The 13th grave, the one that can't be seen anymore, was under the house of the main farm at Alden. The memorial stone was used to make walls for the basement.

During the summer of 1936, Axel Landsem, an engineer married to a woman from Alden, did a survey of the graves on behalf of Bergen Museum.

The map that Axel Landsem made you can see here. He made a dotted line where he thought the sea level was a 1000 years ago.

You can download his documentation as a PDF file here.

This survey was done following the discovery of an arrow/dagger made of red-brown flint by the landowner of Alden, Johan Fredrik Alden, when he was digging to enlarge his basement. He gave the dagger as a gift to Bergen Museum.

We believe that Axel Landsem found it peculiar that Bergen Museum and the University of Bergen showed so little interest in this finding and in the graves in Alden in general. Consequently he decided to do the work himself. He wrote that: "..... I am not an archeologist. However, my findings might inpire the right person to come and do a scientific survey".

Axel Landsem undertook a huge task that really was the state's responsibility. Thanks to him, we now have at least some documentation of something that should have been scientificly examined and documented a long time ago!

Johan Fredrik Alden, who was the landowner at the time when Axel Landsem did his investigations, believed that these graves had to do with a big battle that must have taken place close to Alden.

As far as the knowledge of the webeditors go, no archeological surveys have been done at Alden. The burial sites have never been dated. Can we be sure that these are really Viking graves?