What seems to have been a marketplace in the Viking era has been discovered on Klosterøy, a small island north of Stavanger. 

Known as the location for Norway’s best-preserved medieval monastery, Utstein Abbey, Klosterøy has long attracted researchers due to its rich cultural heritage. 

Many coins and weights have been discovered in this metal detectorists’ paradise, pointing to the fact that the island would have been a bustling trading hub 1,000 years ago. 

Now, archeologists attached to the nearby Archaeological Museum at the University of Stavanger seem to have found evidence of a marketplace at Utstein Gard. 

Investigating the area with new georadar surveying techniques, the experts hit upon a number of structures that could be interpreted as pit houses, as well as the foundations for a pier or boathouses. 

These findings lead them to believe that they are in the vicinity of what was once a marketplace. 

Further exploration will require the relevant permissions: Utstein Gard is a protected cultural environment and is privately owned. It closes to the public in winter. 

Utstein is set on the southern shore of Klosterøy island, in a protected bay that the local fishing community would have welcomed. Utstein Abbey was founded in the later 1200s, but the community is thought to have been established at least a century before. 

Medieval Utstein Church dates to the same era as the abbey and is still used for special occasions. The monastery can still be visited in summer, between May 15 and September. 

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