A well has been found under the medieval Lund Cathedral, a well stemming from before the cathedral even existed. It has now been dug out with utter carefulness, as it’s important not to ruin the stability of the building itself. Archeologist Gertie Ericsson had the opportunity to examine this until now unknown well underneath the floor of the crypt. Her work is being followed with great interest by experts in the Cathedral’s history, and by the two who found the well.
Christer Persson and Mikael Forsberg were working with the draining of the place and they’d put heating pipes in the floor of the crypt. “We noticed that a stone had sat about 30 centimeters. When we lifted the stone, we saw a hole where the sand had fallen down and we raised the alarm,” says Christer Persson. Gertie Eriksson hurried over from the Kulturen Museum nearby, contacted the county administrative board and got the carte blanche for excavation. She explains that the well is around 2 meters deep (6.5 feet) and larger in area than she can dig. She could see the cultural layers and what’s in the pit.
“I found animal bones but no brick,” she says. And that’s what leads her to believe that the well was dug and used before the cathedral was built. The main altar in the crypt was opened in 1123, but there had already been another church in the same place, according to Knut the Holy’s deed of gift from 1085. During work in the crypt in the 1940s, the remains of this church were uncovered, but the well was not. “Or perhaps they didn’t realize what they saw,” Ericsson says. “The technique with which one analyzes cultural layers wasn’t available until the 1960s.” Ericsson believes the well was dug before the older church existed, which means sometime before 1050, when the city of Lund was fairly young; archeologists are fairly certain Lund was founded around 990. The well will most probably have to be filled in when the archeologists are done with their work, since it sits between two pillars at a vault and might otherwise lead to a collapse.