According to poet Torarin Lovtunge, Knut the Mighty sailed by Tjernagelhaugen (the Sword Nail Cairn) at Norway’s Bømlo fjord in 1028. Sailors used the cairn as a landmark to aid with navigation for more than three thousand years. Then, in 1983, it was torn down, and a shortwave radio tower was erected where the cairn once stood. The radio tower became obsolete in just 20 years, leaving a modern scar where an ancient, important, cultural relic once stood.
This mound of stones was over 75 feet wide and stood taller than 8 feet. After the Ministry of the Environment revoked its protections in response to the building plans of Directorate of Telecommunications, the Bergen Museum of History excavated the area before the installation of the radio tower.
The archaeologists assigned to the task found three graves. The oldest contained bones and charcoal dating back 1,000 years before Christ. The other two grave sites contained stone coffins. No other artifacts survived the ravages of centuries long burial. With that, the Sword Nail Cairn was no longer. Now, the only place people interested in history can see the old waymark is in photos. The once timeless monument was needlessly ransacked in the name of short-term progress.
As a museum and registered nonprofit with an emphasis on historical education, this kind of wanton destruction for short-term, ephemeral gains goes against everything we believe in. We aim to bring Viking heritage to life so our guests can learn what it was like to live as the Vikings. More importantly, we will work to preserve our land and its cultural heritage regardless of its origin.
Asgard Alaska wants to bring history to the forefront, and we understand that the best way to do that is to preserve where it stands and enhance those areas where it is absent. Subscribe to our newsletter and be a part of the excitement.