Archeologists uncover Copenhagen's oldest church

An uncovered archaeological site in Copenhagen, which was previously dug in February, might actually be the city's oldest church. The archeologists believe that a recently exposed stone wall could hold more clues to the site's history.

Experts dug out at least 30 skeletons of men, women and children on the archeological site near the city center's Town Hall Square in Rådhuspladsen a few months ago. The discovery suggested that the site was once an ancient graveyard.

Pixabay/PhotoramaArcheologists found ancient stone walls in Copenhagen, which could be part of its oldest church.

The ongoing excavations, however, revealed more clues to the remnants. The archeologists now believe that the area could actually be a church.

"If it is a church then it supports the idea that Copenhagen was an established city at the start of the Middle Ages," Lars Ewald Jensen from the Museum of Copenhagen who led the dig told Science Nordic. "You can have a grave yard without an established city, because you need more elements in place before you can call it a city. But conversely, you cannot have a city without a church," he added.

King Valdemar gave Copenhagen, described as a small fishing village in history books, to Bishop Absalon as a gift during the 12th century. The bishop then erected the Absalon Castle, which the Danish Parliament actively uses today.

According to the archeologists, locals during the Viking and Middle Ages might have used the Town Hall Square as part of a churchyard. The challenge now is to find out how big this yard actually stretched and to uncover more remnants that point to the existence of a church.

"We hope that we've discovered the foundations of a church building," archeologist Stine Damsbo Winther said. "In this case, it would be older or perhaps was around at the same time as St Clement Church, which was excavated in 2008."

The experts are also expected to conduct tests and extract DNA samples on the skeleton to provide more clues on their discoveries.

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