A new book containing some of the latest
fascinating research into the Viking Age has been published by experts from The
University of Nottingham, Oxford University and the Chester Grosvenor Museum.
‘In Search of
Vikings: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Scandinavian Heritage of
North-West England’ is a unique collection of new discoveries from the arts
and sciences about the presence and influence of these famous Scandinavian
invaders in a region considered as a Viking ‘hot spot’.
Joint editor Steve Harding, Professor of Applied
Biochemistry at the University’s National Centre for Macromolecular
Hydrodynamics and member of the University’s Centre for the Study of the Viking
Age, said: “The book contains 12
contributions from top experts covering a broad range of disciplines including
history, archaeology, biochemistry, isotope technology, laser technology,
genetics and linguistics in a concerted attempt to shed new light on the Viking
history of the north west of England where the Vikings are known to have
settled. This is one of the first times
such diverse approaches have been brought together in one volume on the Viking
Steve’s colleague from Wirral and co-editor Dr
David Griffiths, Reader in Archaeology at the University of Oxford, said:
“Historians and archaeologists have sometimes worked together in the past but
this is the first time they have teamed up with bioscientists and people
writing from a community and outreach perspective”.
Professor Judith Jesch, Director of The University
of Nottingham’s Centre for the Study of the Viking Age has contributed a
chapter on the language and cultural interaction of the Vikings in the lands
bordering the Irish Sea. Professor Jesch said: “The diversity of approaches in
this book enables a much more in-depth understanding of the Viking phenomenon
than is possible through just history and archaeology.”
Other contributors from the University’s Centre for
the Study of the Viking Age include Dr Christina Lee writing about new theories
and evidence about Viking Age women. Dr
Paul Cavill shows how fresh appraisal of the evidence means the location of one
of the country’s largest and bloodiest of battles – Brunanburh in 937 – seems
to have at last been identified with a high degree of confidence and
Dr John Quanrud considers the resonances for
the north-West of another famous Viking battle – Tettenhall in 910.
The book also contains contributions covering:
- stratographical and
carbon dating analysis for identifying Viking Age rural settlements
- how chemical isotope
and other analyses are unravelling fascinating sites in Cumbria at
Workington and Carlisle
- how metal and silver
analysis of coin and treasure hoards, together with the tremendous
advances in modern genetic analysis, is telling us about how people in the
Viking Age traded and the great strength of the north-west settlements.
The final chapter shows how modern laser image
technologies are helping to preserve and reconstruct many artefacts from the
Viking Age and how this has provided a superb forum for interacting with schools
and the general public.
In Search of
Vikings – Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Scandinavian Heritage of North
West England by S. Harding, D. Griffiths and E. Royles is
published by CRC Press, ISBN 1482207575 and is available from all good
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