“There have never been so many axes in a single deposit before in Norway, and they’re rare in the Scandinavian context,”said NTNU archaeologist Merete Moe Henriksen.
Henriksen said the 3,000-year-old ax heads may have been part of a sacrificial ritual or hidden away to be reused at a later date.
“There may have been religious reasons linked to a sacrifice, or they might have been cached temporarily, with the intention of recasting the metal later,” he said.
Pictures released by the university show soil covered hatchet heads being dug from numerous parts of a field near the village of Hegra.
The haul includes 15 pieces found April 22-23, as well as nine ax heads discovered by two brothers earlier this year.
n January, brothers Joakim and Jorgen Korstad were using metal detectors in a field when they uncovered a spearhead and a number of ax artifacts, Tronder Avisa reported.
The duo informed Eirik Solheim, an archeologist at the local Nord Trondelag County Council, who helped coordinate a larger search of the area.
“We know that there’s been a lot of activity in this area, but we’ve lacked artifacts,” Solheim said in a statement. “Now this shows up and it’s infinitely more than we could have asked for. It’s so spectacular and totally cool.”
NTNU archaeologists expect to carry out another excavation at the site later this year.