One of the fun things about conferences is stumbling across little gems of presentations – things that may not be earthshattering news, but are just fun to listen to for 15 minutes. Today, Niels Schroeder of Roskilde University in Denmark served up such a little talk, entitled “Tales and Facts: Beowulf and Lejre”.
Danish archaeologists have apparently conducted a couple of excavations over the past decade trying to see whether the city of Lejre, in ancient Denmark, is in fact the site of the royal hall mentioned in the epic medieval poem Beowulf. In just the past couple of years, the archaeologists have uncovered remains of a large hall that they say may be the legendary hall of Heorot. And geologists have tried to pinpoint lakes or swamps that could have been the location for the lair of the monster Grendel.
A medieval research center at Arizona State University has more information about a new book on this topic on its webpage.