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The material evidence poses new questions and if we don’t take them up, then they’ll never be answered,” says Beck.“In this case, the material and written sources play well together, but sometimes they do not, and what is then the ‘right’ story?My claim would be that they both are - even if contrary.” But you cannot just ignore the written sources, says Kjartan Langsted, director of Museum Nordsjælland in Denmark.He did not partake in the new excavation but is familiar with the findings.Pollen analyses revealed a high concentration of insect-pollinated plants—flowers.

But Beck has chosen to not draw too heavily on these written historical sources.The archaeobotanists also discovered a high concentration of fly pupae in the same layer.Both results clearly suggest that the bottom of the hole were covered in a layer of—yes, that’s right, poo.In her own words she has chosen to turn a blind eye “a little on purpose” in favour of taking the archaeological discovery as the starting point for her interpretations.“Written sources such as the Icelandic sagas have always been considered “closer” to people—who they were and what they thought—than the material sources.Therefore archaeological finds are often used to illustrate the story.

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