Traditionally when Viking Age houses are shown, then they are natural wood – and it is only with Middle Age buildings that the characteristic whitewashed or lime painted walls are represented. However, it had long been believed based on fragments of buildings recovered that this tradition already started in the Viking Age.
The discovery and excavation of a lime burning oven at the great hall at Tissoe in Zealand, Denmark provide archaeological proof that Danes were producing their own lime for whitewashing. The method was most likely learned from Germans or English. It would however have been expense to produce, and therefore used by the nobles on their great halls.
The archaeologists from the Danish National Museum hope that more ovens will be found in connection with Viking Age excavations around Denmark – to increase the understanding of how widespread it was and how the methods evolved.