Identities in a Viking winter camp

Author(s): Dawn Hadley

Year: 2015


From 865, Viking raids on England intensified with the arrival of an army much larger than any previously known. This so-called 'Great Army' (micel here) raided northern and eastern England, spending the winter at a number of sites recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, but which, until recently, have remained archaeologically elusive. Recent fieldwork at a handful of these sites, some of which were first identified by metal detectorists, has now begun both to identify their precise locations and also to characterise them in terms of their landscape setting and the range of material culture that they have produced. This paper draws on the evidence from this recent fieldwork to characterise the impact of this period of raiding and associated interactions with the local populations on the formation of identities. The evidence from these briefly occupied overwintering sites presents a unique opportunity to explore identity - ethnic, gendered, social - in a very specific and chronologically precise context, offering a counterpoint to discussions of identity in the context of Viking-Age England which have hitherto tended to explore the subject by drawing on evidence that spans decades or even centuries; here, in contrast, identity formation over a period of months is addressed.

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Cite this Record

Identities in a Viking winter camp. Dawn Hadley. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395889)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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