In 1904, archaeologists discovered a Viking grave, containing wooden artifacts including a richly decorated ceremonial wagon, at Oseberg near the Oslo fjords. Since then, the wood fibers have begun to disintegrate, causing worry among officials at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, who have decided to use state-of-the art technology to save the artifacts.
Norwegian scientists are using very high resolution infrared spectroscopy to determine changes in the composition of the wood, and are seeking ways to stabilize it. "Our aim is to develop an artificial wood. This could be a type of lignin that will form a new wood structure inside," project leader Dr. Hartmut Kutzke says.
The 9th century Viking treasures are some of the most visited exhibits in Norway.