Viking-Age archaeology has seen tremendous change over recent years: a result of a wealth of new archaeological discoveries, the application of advanced scientific techniques (aDNA, stable isotope analysis, material provenancing techniques), and the field’s embrace of new theoretical and geographic perspectives, all of which has developed alongside growing public engagement with the subject. These developments have challenged established narratives concerning the social structure, landscape and economy of the Viking Age. This course provides students with an opportunity to consider and debate the field’s most dynamic and controversial topics.
Through a combination of lectures, small group discussion, and museum-based classes, students will discuss topics including:
- the timings and motivations of the Viking expansion;
- the construction of gendered and other social identities;
- urban networks and outland resources
- the slave and fur trades
- migration in the Viking Age
- the silver economy
- the materiality of belief
We will evaluate evidence from urban and rural settlements, burials, monuments and portable antiquities, both from within Scandinavia and the Scandinavian overseas settlements. We will assess the latest archaeological and scientific discoveries, developing a source-critical awareness of the limitations of different strands of evidence.
Module convenor: Dr Jane Kershaw