In the village of Ose, Norway, archaeologists from the University Museum of Bergen recently uncovered the remains of an eighth-century “godhouse.” In its day, this structure was dedicated to the worship of the old Norse gods and housed ceremonies such as midsummer or midwinter solstice. This is a particularly special discovery as it is the “first temple of its kind identified in Norway,” according to Smithsonian Magazine. Through digital reconstruction, researchers were able to determine that it resembles similar temples found in southern Sweden and Denmark.
In recent excavations, archaeologists have unearthed animal bones and cooking pits; their theory is that the worshippers prepared the food in offering to Thor, Odin, and other Norse gods. These religious displays also doubled as feasts where “you would have a good mood, a lot of eating and a lot of drinking, “ archaeologist Søren Diinhoff explains. Researchers are still unclear as to what caused the demise of the godhouse, but they hope to uncover the truth as they continue their efforts.