View from the Oseberg ship. Oseberghaugen. Queen's grave. Archaeological excavations in 1904 uncovered history's largest and richest example of craftmanship from the Viking Ages. The beautiful 21,5 metres long Oseberg ship, Oseberg carriage, five beautifully carved bed-posts shaped like animal heads, four sledges, beds, chests, weaving-frames, household utensils and much more. For a long time it was thought that this was the grave of Queen Åsa, grandmother of King Harald Hairfair.
New scientific examinations in 1992 now date the buriel to 834 AD, and indicate that it is Queen Alvhild, who was the first wife of King Gudrød, who lies buried here. The barrow, 40 metres in diameter, was restored in 1947. A newly opened path along the Velle Creek has posts which inform of the excavation. Acopy of the beatifully carved bow of the ship can be seen in front of the Vestfold County Museum.
Tønsberg, founded in the Viking-Ages, is Norway's oldest town. The world renowned Oseberg ship which was found just north of Tønsberg centre bears proof of this. In the Middle Ages Tønsberg was one of the centres of power.
Tunsberghus, the churches and monasteries and the Earldom of Jarlsberg, have influenced Tønsberg which was, until 1671, Vestfold's only town. As well as being a commercial and shipping town since the Viking ages, Tønsberg renowned as a Hansa town and also as a whaling town.