Lindholm Høje (translated:
Lindholm Hills) is a major Viking
burial site and former settlement situated to the north of and
overlooking the city of Aalborg in Denmark.
Lindholm Høje, June 2004, view
overlooking Nørresundby and across the Limfjord to Aalborg
first major excavation of 700 graves began in 1952, although
earlier excavations, such as that in 1889, had been
The southern part of Lindholm Høje dates to 1000 – 1050 AD, while
the northern part is significantly earlier, dating back to 700 –
settlement is at an important crossing over the Limfjord, a stretch
of water which divides what is now Jutland. During the Viking
period, it was only possible to make the crossing at this point
or much further along the fjord at Aggersund because of the swamps which then edged the fjord on
The settlement was abandoned in circa 1200 AD, probably due to the
sand which drifted from the western coast, which was a consequence
of extensive deforestation
exposed sand then being blown inland by the rough westerly winds.
In large part, the sand which covered the site served to protect it
over the intervening centuries.
Because of its location and transportation links, the settlement
was obviously a significant centre for trade
at the time, and this is more than borne out by the artifacts
which were uncovered by
The majority of the burials
, although a number of inhumations
were also discovered, and it
appeared that the tendency towards cremation or burial was split
dependent upon the period of the inhumation. Most of the graves are
marked with stones placed roughly in the traditional shape of a
boat (Stone ship), indicating the
importance that the Vikings placed upon water, both their shape and
size being indicators of the status and gender of the persons
inhumed – all of which is reminiscent of the ship burials of the Anglo-Saxons, Norwegian and Swedish Vikings and
other north-European societies.
The site is extensive and impressive to behold. There is a museum
adjacent to the site donated by Aalborg Portland A/S
company to commemorate their centennial; the
museum opened in 1992. In 2008 the museum was enlarged, and a new
exhibition of pre-history in the area of the Limfjord opened.