Divers operating near the Swedish village of Birka announced the discovery yesterday of underwater jetties dating back to the Vikings. The stone foundations found by the dive team were deeper than historians had believed Vikings could build. The discovery is causing archaeologists to re-examine some of their basic understandings of the Birka village and Viking building techniques. Historians have long thought Birka to merely have had small jetties and a trading post, but the foundations now lead them to believe the village could have been 30% larger than previously thought. They also now believe that it functioned as a port with a marketplace near the wharf
The village of Birka on the Swedish island of Björkö has long been the site of archaeological excavations because of its Viking history. Work in the area first began in the late 19th century and continues today. The village is a UNESCO world heritage site and contains a reconstructed Viking village and museum.