Article by Ancient Origins
On a secluded Iron Age farm in Southern Norway, archaeological findings show that it was common to cultivate cannabis in the Viking Age. The question is how the Vikings used the fibers, seeds and oil from this versatile plant.
For more than fifty years, samples from archaeological excavations at Sosteli Iron Age Farm have been stored in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen, according to an article on research portal Forskning.no.
Analyses show that in the period between the years 650 and 800 AD, i.e. the beginning of the Viking Age, hemp was cultivated on the remote mountain farm.
This is not the first time that traces of cultivation this far back in time have been found, but Sosteli stands out.
“In the other cases, it is only made individual findings of pollen grains. Here, it is discovered very much more,” archaeologist and county conservator Frans-Arne Stylegar told forskning.no.
Sosteli is located much less centrally than other places where similar findings have been made, indicating that cannabis cultivation was common throughout the Viking Age.
Hemp is the same plant as the cannabis plant used for hashish production. It is however uncertain whether the Vikings used cannabis as a drug.
The plant was most likely used for production of textiles and ropes.