New research involving a combination of geophysical mapping, sediment sampling, and the study of place-names has identified a network of waterways that ran through West Mainland Orkney in the Viking and late Norse period.
In this column Joe Flatman explores the heritage sites of Merseyside, Liverpool, and Greater Manchester visited by CA over the years.
This report is about one of the most important Viking sites in England – one that remains shrouded in some confusion and secrecy. Mark Ainsley and Geoff Bambrook had been metal-detecting at the site (known here as ARSNY) since 1996, but it first came to archaeological attention in late 2003 when they approached the Yorkshire Museum with what was described as a Viking hoard.
Ireland is undoubtedly full of history – a fact made abundantly clear in Turtle Bunbury’s new book, which sets out to explore some of the less well-known aspects of Ireland’s past through a series of fascinating and engaging tales.
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.