The Royal Manor Terraces

The seats of power

North of the church in Old Uppsala are the so-called Royal manor terraces.

Both were subject to archaeological investigation in the summer of 2011.

The investigations showed that a vast hall, i.e. a house for ceremonial meetings and feasts had stood on the south terrace.

The hall was almost 50 metres long, with an inner dimension of almost 500 square metres.

Archways with iron ornaments

The walls consisted of two differently constructed walls, one outer and one internal with a 1 – 1,2 m space in between.

The outer wall consists of posts, planks. The internal wall was apparently a clay lined wattle and daub construction. Heavy burned well-preserved pieces of wattle and daub had imprints of wickerwork, planks and posts and traces of white paint.

A total of four doorways have been found, two in the south and two in the north. They were placed opposite each other, thus dividing the house into least in three large rooms.

The archways have probably been fitted with decorations of the many spirals of iron found in the house. Possibly it was adorned with iron decorations like the doors of medieval churches?

The imposing hall was destroyed in a probably intentional fire, sometime around 800.

Workshops for Artisans

The north terrace lies nearby and here archaeologists dug trenches as well to investigate the early settlement.

Not only glass beads were found here, but sensationally also almost 600 fragments of garnets, found in an area of only 3 square metres.

These red semi-precious stones were popular during the 7th and 8th centuries, both on the continent and in Sweden. They were often set in minute gold cells, using cloisonné technique, adorning clothing clasps and sword hilts.

The investigation is cooperative project involving Uppsala University, Upplandsmuseet and The Swedish National Heritage Board.

Read on about Offerings to the gods