7,000-Year-Old Eпigma: Iпvestigatiпg the Dark Tales of Bυrials iп Eυrope’s Wetlaпds

Whether we think in terms of exchange and mobility, gender, violence, migration, political evolution, ethnicity, or cosmology, the Viking Age is a focus of recent debates in archaeology.

Có thể là hình ảnh về xương, Hầm mộ Paris và văn bản

Today, studies of this period are equally invigorated by a range of new conceptual explorations as well as scientific approaches. Viking Age research also attracts attention as a globally known topic in popular history and is claimed as a historical heritage by diverse groups—from nationalists to internationalists, capitalists to environmentalists, atheists to neo-pagans. Yet, this reception serves as much to distort recognition of a period that holds genuine importance as a transformative historical trajectory.

Iron Age Skull Suggests Sinister Story of Severed Heads Tossed into Wetlands  | Ancient Origins

The cultural and political transformation of northern Iron Age societies in the centuries following the dissolution of the Roman Empire along with the consequences of maritime expansion following the widespread adoption of sailing vessels make the Viking Age a lynchpin of developments across much of northern Europe. From the first documented maritime raids and explorations in the North Sea and on the Baltic shores shortly before AD 800, seafaring Scandinavian armies were a prime political concern in western Europe by the mid-ninth century.

The following century saw Scandinavian communities settle and maintain trading networks that stretched from England, Ireland, and Atlantic Scotland to Normandy and European Russia, along with settlements in Atlantic Scotland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands.

This process culminated in the establishment of colonies in Greenland and ventures into Newfoundland shortly before AD 1000. Meanwhile, societies in Scandinavia experienced profound changes, including the creation of larger and more powerful kingdoms and the adoption of Christianity, especially from the mid-10th century onward. While the military and political roles of Scandinavians waned after the mid-11th century, Scandinavian (or Norse) diasporas maintained a strong cultural presence in coastal areas into the high Middle Ages, and the Viking Age remained a cultural memory expressed by sources such as the Icelandic sagas and Skaldic poetry.

This paper explores changes during the last decade in the archaeological analyses of Scandinavia and the wider Viking world during the Viking Age (c. AD 750/800–1050). Our aim is to review trends and tendencies, not to make an exhaustive list of research on the period. Viking Age archaeology refers to Scandinavia, parts of northern Germany, and the North Atlantic islands, including Iceland and Greenland, as well as to diasporas in western Europe, Ireland, the British Isles, and even as far west as Newfoundland. Furthermore, the activities of settlers, traders, and travelers of Scandinavian origin have been studied in Polish, Finnish, Baltic, and Russian areas as part of Viking Age archaeology (Fig. 1). In this paper, we emphasize developments and challenges in Scandinavia, with the ambition to also cover the main achievements relating to diasporas in the west and east. While the study of the Viking world is a highly interdisciplinary field, the main focus here is on archaeology. Achievements within philology (i.e., Old Norse studies), place name studies, history, and history of religion—subjects that mainly refer to written sources—thus mostly remain beyond the scope of the present paper.

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