thumbnail of Norwegian Sketches; 5
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Egads we invite you to join us for Norwegians getting a programme of music and a commentary produced from materials provided by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Heard on this program will be several light compositions in addition to a documentary on the harms the Arctic war in Bergen. We open with the Norwegian Droughns composed by writer Thomas and Levin bear conducts the Norwegian broadcasting orchestra.
The Norwegian broadcasting orchestra performing a Norwegian dance by Roger Thomas and Norwegians got juice continues with the final documentary in the series. The search for Norway's path was produced by Radio Norway. Our last program about the Viking Age brought us well into what we call historic times. And with that our series on archaeology in Norway might well have ended. But there is one great adventure in Norwegian archaeology which we would still like to tell you about and that is the excavations of the old medieval settlement in begging the Hanseatic war or Breggin as it is
called Still standing in a quaint row facing the waterfront in the seafaring town that in all the characteristic wooden houses of begin the old Hanseatic war. But about half of the original area was destroyed by a fire in 1955. A fire which destroyed the old houses but laid open the ground under them for archaeological investigations. And this is where the adventure started and the archaeologists began to ask questions whether German hands yes the original founders of the begin settlement or did they merely inherit an already existing structure. Where did the coastline in those days run compared with today. What kind of goods did the men trade and with whom. What kind of ships did they use and how did they load and arm load them. By and by through the 11 years of excavations most of these questions have been answered.
And the fuss about anyone else has found the answers is curator asked beyond her take in charge of the beginning excavations. So once again we took our recorder with us and went to back in to the site. We found Mr. heartache busy at work some three yards below ground level among the visible remnants of wood paved streets old houses and pillars and planking some keys jutting out beyond what was once the shoreline. Mister had to take this area is called the Hanseatic was right the Hanseatic League match the real founder of the braking area. It has been many times that the president drew a ball the ball and the game turning toward the arbor and so on. This is a typical continental or typical German way of building but no proof by
the archaeological material that this type of building and the layout of the will mention that it must go back to a period long before. And the time of going on in the tins at all had anything to say here and there again what is it we see in front of us here Mr. Houghton and here. Quite and I stayed in front of us we had been looking down along the line on the old wall from the time kings or from around about ten hundred and then we started to excavate here on the wall. We expected to find the oldest part of the habitation. But the means instead of finding
lemons. Apart from Hoess we found the keys wrong key. One wall above the other and this is one of the roles which we have excavated and it is in fact 55 meet their long and I think it piece there along this part of an old place that we will ever excavated in Northern Europe and the key line is not the earlier as well because the tone had been existing for many years and it became very important for us to excavate plodded back and. To see if it was possible to trace the earliest situation and to trace the shindy on the origin of the shoreline from the time of the foundation of the tone and then we have in fact not found the origin of the shoreline because it has been
so far back. I meant May in this connection mention that the piston key line here in baton rounds hundred and fifty meet that into the origin of the harbor Basin and that means that we need to find the original shoreline about the same distance and prodded it back but as yet we have not yet found it but we have found the beach just in front of the shoreline and this beach is connected by a payment so to say all the small stones all carried by hands and they have they have loaded and unloaded in the ships here by low voltage and down for to make them beats more of it with the boot to go on. They have painted the stones. And this is this is your original situation and the original harbor
conditions and homes or places with such conditions with Long Beach is very favored in the earliest or the early medieval period. Later on when the ships developed and they became deeper and they were forced to build out the harbor was a big key. That means then that the place where we are standing now was once the actual harbor that it was water here. Keys we see in front of it and the actual houses even further in. Yes do we know it or what the houses look like what what life was like here. Well we we know and as I mentioned earlier that the hoses of today aren't made of the same type as they were earlier and after each fire they simply rebuilt exactly the same site.
Placing the streets at about was three houses I have says and in this way we can draw the conclusion that the delay o all devolves for the layout of the town was exactly the same in the time jointly before the round about 200 as it is today and we have also succeeded in finding so much material from one single construction that we have been able to reconstruct the house from the first half of the 13th century and this hose is remarkable in this vein that it is exactly of the same type as the house to be had to devolve to day. Why is it that the construction was the same through or at least some trace was then development when it was in development in many ways it had then it kept different. It then got different colors and it got the windows
of glass and then and then to cover on the roofs was changed from that to all the materials and so on but the main reason or for the preservation of that layout then of the special type of building is perhaps also the social system which. Ross continued from age to age so from sensitive to essentially talking of the social setup this was and that society wasn't it. What countries devoted mainly trade with Bergen was one of the most important trading the centers in Europe in the medieval period well known among the subsidies as no go to be regaled Bruce Lee Beck
and many others. And then. In in Baghran or in Norway they plaited be in most European countries. This we know from written sources but the archaeological material has been has contributed with material all quite an unexpected character. We we know that. We have an IQ logical material from demented to Dany and from from Eastern Europe perhaps via God we have material from from the whole continent and from Greenland from Iceland and from north and Norway but did the strongest connections with those across the North Sea beside their connections of in England and Scotland. We have very strong contacts a lot of the countries of a continent especially live in
the Low Countries and Germany. And this is in fact interesting because we do know very little about India's context from the time between the end of the Viking at about 2000 after the prized and credit hundred then for the material from these two centuries becomes very important. We're talking about be actual fines. Could we go and have a look at the collection. OK and here we are. Among the collection of finds and I see here you have a collection of runic inscriptions could we go and have a look at those. They seem to be just bits of wood with runes on them what do you mean. Well them and then they are inscriptions from the daily life here on the wall.
A lot of these inscriptions which we know have more than 500 and it is the biggest collection of runic inscriptions ever found on one place. And them these a lot of these inscriptions merely label with the owner's. Name in the genitive case for instance book lave that means that and this this then that then where on which to which the label has been sticking has to have been owned by both. All this refers to two. The trade mercantile and so on we have rules in dealing with real issues of young boys and girls or young men and
we have a lot of them. And and the blessings as well. Could one say that these were really in a way letters then a few of them might be letters and the two are really little messages from different persons from a person to another person. There is one right in front of me here in translation. This seems to be a kind of love letter. It says love me I love thee. He kissed me. I know me these runic inscriptions gives one a picture of life in those days which I don't suppose the other fines can give. Now that brings us they bring us much. Into much closer contact with the people with their sorrows and and joys and
troubles and so on. And it is a very rich contribution and. Do you know that daily life from customs or any other of these runic inscriptions which you think we should read to our listeners is in front of us and all the so called love letter and we have also here a complete message Mercantile. But this level that refers to a man who boasts about the fact that he has met that girl in starving in the neighboring town also buying it and he has written on the piece in you be are you love me when I was in the banger we mentioned that this was a society. Have we any proofs of what people did in their free time. Works of on anything like that where there are some written descriptions of the
larger war. And besides that we have found a lot of pieces of different things which refer directly to this problem we have is we have in fact five or six different gaming boards but chess and all the. Place and a lot of gaming PC. Yes we have we have a chess board I think in front of a Saturn and they mutilate com and yeah some of these pieces are very nicely Kob with shapes all men and women and in metals and so on. And besides this we have skates. Made of bone on which they were running partly on the eyes partly on the snow or on the on the paved paved streets.
They were paid to do my bit of good playings and use the gate on the street. I think they also used this case skates in the streets or on the streets because the truth was sloped down to the harbor and the common cold weather though I think they were the better weather them through the fog. This pup was running on on the streets but we also have this instrument through bone from about 200. And all this morning it is more the troops of different kinds. We're standing now in front of a glass case with the objects which seem to have belonged to a woman or several women. Did women have their natural place within the society here. Now they did not. And because and especially in the
Hanseatic period the most and lived in the limousine. And the access of all women to the wall was from the regulated but in fact all of these we see and especially from these excavated finds that they have had access and some of all the way to the bottom. And with these notes from the 13th century Ben flute preserved for six centuries in the moist soil we must return to the present day. For the big an area that represents a problem to the authorities of Bakken. Like all modern expanding set is Dagen is in great need of building sites in the central areas of the town and many people have advocated a raising of the whole area to give room for a modern
regulated business quarter. Today the general public opinion has turned in favor of a preservation and restoration of the old buildings still standing. Whilst new houses which would blend with the old ones should be built on the back tot area. The plans include also a center for OTs and crafts which together with a begin museum would make a weapon a tourist attraction. Much of the credit for this change in public opinion must go to Mr heartache who in addition to his work to unveil the past has fought incessantly to make people realise the value of preserving the past for present and future generations. For as he said himself it's a very very rich. We ought to remember in our daily lives and lives might be buying in.
You have been listening to the hounds the Arctic wharf in Bergen produced by doll radio Norway No. 2 music selections clowns by stud m Fantaisie R by cost m gloom and Oyvind conducts the Norwegian broadcasting Orcus drop.
And why. The they. Are. Concluding this program of Norwegian sketches clones by Colbie on Ofsted and the Fantaisie by custom crewman. The Norwegian broadcasting Orchestra under the direction of Ivan bag this programme was prepared at the University of Michigan by Marianne boards of Dr. Nichols recruited from Dr. Robert Byrd. This is Brett Hundley join us again next.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Norwegian Sketches
Episode Number
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-f47gvp4s).
Series Description
Norwegian Sketches is a National Educational Radio Network program prepared by the University of Michigan . Each episode features a unique selection of music and commentary from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Musical selections are performed by the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, and commentaries include documentaries, lectures, and readings from Radio Norway.
Local Communities
Recorded Music
Media type
Host: Hindley, Fred
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-27-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:38
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Norwegian Sketches; 5,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 3, 2023,
MLA: “Norwegian Sketches; 5.” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 3, 2023. <>.
APA: Norwegian Sketches; 5. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from