Vikings and Their Settlements

In northern Scotland, about thirty miles north of Inverness, archeologists believe they have found evidence of a monastery raided by Vikings.  The finds - at Tarbat - are extremely important.

There is evidence that Christian items were smashed at this site.  Because so many parts could be pieced together again, scholars believe the artifacts had been smashed with hammers.

There is also evidence of burned-out buildings.  "The heart," according to archeologists, "had been torn out of this monastery."  Scholars think the burning layer provides compelling evidence of a ninth-century monastery which had been attacked by Vikings.

Additionally, archeologists found the skeletons of three monks.  (Scroll down 60% on this link.)  Two appear to have died sometime during the period of Viking attacks.  The injuries show the men sustained sword cuts.  One of them likely died as a result of a massive strike.

What is even more exciting about this evidence, to scholars, is that the raid on this monastery - if it actually occurred - was never reported (or, if it was, the records did not survive).  How many other, similar raids happened which no one knows about?

Viking silver, weights and other objects suggest a trading post - and perhaps a Viking settlement - particularly on the island of Anglesey.  Pagan grave goods, place names and other items also suggest the existence of other Viking settlements elsewhere in Britain.

In addition to archeologists, who are attempting to find evidence of Vikings in Britain, scientists working with the Humane Genome Project are trying to determine whether they can find DNA evidence placing Vikings in both their homelands (such as Norway) and in the British Isles and Ireland. 

Modern technology, in other words, is helping experts to solve ancient mysteries and to answer centuries-old questions.

See, also:

Vikings Invade England

Vikings at Anglesey

Viking Ships

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Nov 20, 2019

Media Credits

Clip from the 2001 BBC series - "Blood of Vikings" ("First Blood" episode), presented by Julian Richards - online courtesy BBC Worldwide Channel at YouTube.  Copyright, BBC, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the series.


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