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In the coming years the Jelling Project will carry out both archaeological and natural science fieldwork at Jelling. The investigations are planned against the background of the documentation produced by previous years of archaeological research and the results of the most recent analyses carried out in 2008.

Archaeological excavations

In 2009 the project focus turns toward the area of the monuments and the surrounding landscape. With the cooporation of Vejle Museum and Aarhus University the area north and east of Jelling Church is being archaeologically investigated. The aim is to identify structures and areas of activity, which can give an insight into the area’s character and function.

As the archaeologically responsible body, Vejle Museum has attempted, since the beginning of the 1980s, to establish the sequence of settlement at Jelling. However, it was not until 2006 that traces of an enormous palisade and several buildings appeared. These must date to around the same time as the large mounds. Further archaeological remains may be located north of the palisade in the area next to the group of mounds known as “the Many Mounds”.

The natural landscape of the Viking Age

In 2009 the National Museum’s Department of Danish Prehistory/Natural Science and the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Copenhagen, will also undertake an investigation into the composition of the two mounds using boreholes. The boreholes are expected to give information on the natural landscape of the Viking period and perhaps locate the areas where the turfs for the mounds were cut.

The results will involve mapping of the landscape and settlement in the area surrounding Jelling. The information from the archaeological and natural science investigations will be stored electronically for use in research undertaken by the project, but also for the benefit of others. One aim is to build up a 3D model of the landscape and monuments to give an impression of the area as it looked in Harald Bluetooth’s time.