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Artistic impression: Anders Kvåle Rue’s illustration of Harald Halvdansson in the very moment he realizes that the battle of Hafrsfjord has been won and the resistance among all the petty kings has been broken down. He has gathered all the Norsemen of the North Way under his rule!

Most historians have dated the Battle of Hafrsfjord to around year 872 AD. The battle has been judged to be the larges and the decisive battle in the long power dispute initiated by Harald “luva” Halvdansson’s claim for being a king above all other kings of the various firths of the North Way.

The date of the Battle of Hafrsfjord can be seen as the “conception” of the modern state Norway. The final decisive battle between Harald’s forces against a coalition of chieftains of Hordaland, Rogaland, Agder, Telemark, probably supported by Danes, and further reinforced by auxiliaries from the British Isles, became a naval action fought in the Hafrsfjord, in Rogaland at the southwest Norway.

After this battle, rather than submit and pay tribute to Harald, many nobles left the land with all their kin and possessions, settling in the Western Isles or in the newly discovered Iceland. Here, these new settlers took part in shaping the new nation Iceland.

On the basis of the sagas and their associated research work, it is believed that the overall campaign of Harald took place over a period from around 866-872 AD. The result of the battle initiated the gradual process of forming the kingdom of Norway, the start of the Norwegian nation where everyone gathered under the same monarch; Viking King Harald “fairhair” Halvdansson.

Nevertheless, there has never been done any marine archaeological survey that confirm or deny whether Hafrsfjord has been the scene of this battle or not. Was there ever a great naval battle in Hafrsfjord around year 872 AD? This question still remains to be confirmed today. Funn i Hafrsfjord is determined to find the answer to this. Based on the description from the old sagas, and with the aid of modern technologies and equipment, we will reveal the secrets of the Hafrsfjord seabed. Do you want to join us?