Viking skeletal remains in northern Europe: a survey


This paper presents the preliminary findings of a systematic survey of Viking skeletal remains in northern Europe. The survey covers Viking Age skeletons from the homeland countries of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, as well as putative Viking skeletons from several countries subject to Scandinavian colonization, including England, Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland. Among the attributes we are recording are the degree of skeletal completeness, chronological age of the specimens, and the evidence that supports their identification as Vikings. We are also including the results of previous osteoarchaeological work, with a particular emphasis on sex, age, stature, and pathology. Lastly, we are noting whether the specimens have been subjected to radiocarbon dating, isotopic analysis or ancient DNA extraction. The survey is not yet complete, but it is already clear that there are significant gaps in the literature. Perhaps most importantly, in a number of countries little attention has been paid to Viking skeletons. They have been reported as existing, but osteoarchaeological work has either not been performed or not been published. In the talk’s final part, we will outline the steps we intend to take in light of the results of the survey.

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Cite this Record

Viking skeletal remains in northern Europe: a survey. Claire Greenlow, Ben Raffield, Neil Price, Amelia Barker, Mark Collard. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395274)


Osteology Viking

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;