Ailsa Mainman’s Anglian York encapsulates the allure and the frustration of researching this period in the city. Following the near silence of the 5th and 6th centuries, York blossoms from the 600s in written sources, emerging as the ecclesiastical heart of Northumbria, the 8th-century home of Alcuin and his precious library, and finally the thriving, tempting, high-status target for the 9th-century Viking army. But, archaeologically, York from c.410 to c.850 remains highly fragmentary and elusive.
Further investigation into the contents of one of the most significant Viking-Age hoards found in Scotland has revealed a man’s name etched onto one of the objects. Discovered in Galloway in 2014, the cache was buried at the start of the 10th century and consists of over 100 objects of silver, gold, and other material.
A large Viking-Age hall has been discovered during recent excavations at Skaill Farmstead on the island of Rousay, Orkney. Dating to the 10th-12th centuries AD, the outline of the structure was revealed by a team of archaeologists from the University of the Highlands and Islands’ Archaeology Institute, who have been digging at the site for a number of seasons.
In the 1970s and 1980s, investigations at Repton revealed evidence of a 9th-century Viking army camp, as well as a mass grave thought to contain their battle dead. Now new analysis and excavations have shed vivid new light on the nature of these remains, and given hints of a possible second camp nearby.
Three long-lost gravestones belonging to one of the most significant collections of Viking Age sculpture in Britain and Ireland have been found during a community dig in the churchyard of Govan Old Parish Church in Glasgow. The stones were (re)discovered by Mark McGettigan, a 14-year-old student volunteering on his very first excavation, which was run by Northlight Heritage.
Dublin is known for the exceptional anaerobic conditions that have preserved swathes of medieval archaeology there (see CA 328), and a recent dig at Dean Street in the Coombe area, just to the west of the city centre, was no exception. An investigation in advance of the construction of a new hotel had indicated that the site was likely to be archaeologically significant, and in October, when Aisling Collins Archaeology Services (ACAS) were brought in to fully excavate the site, this was proved correct after the remains of medieval building foundations were uncovered.
In February, Norsemen strode the streets of York once more in the city’s annual Viking Festival. Carly Hilts went along to see for herself.
In the course of excavations on the site of the former Beamish and Crawford Brewery in Cork City, Ireland, earlier this year, a perfectly preserved Viking weaver’s sword was discovered. It was a striking find, as it cements the idea that medieval Cork had a Viking presence. As Dr Maurice Hurley, a consultant archaeology, said, […]
For our first Science Notes outing, we bring you a recently published paper that has caused a bit of a stir in the archaeological world, as it claims to have identified a female Viking warrior.
York’s celebrated Viking museum was forced to close when its galleries were flooded in December 2015, but with repairs and renovations now complete, its doors are open to the public once more. Carly Hilts explores the new-look Jorvik. Last year marked an exciting anniversary for those interested in the Viking Age – the millenary of […]