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Throughout this could suggest that more raids

Throughout the history of Britain, there seems to be four periods of Viking activity. Firstly, there is the raiding and pillaging period that was around the dates of 789-864. Records of the first raid note that Norwegians landed at Portland in 789. When king Offa orders Kent to start building new and preparing old defences this could suggest that more raids happened but weren’t recorded in 792. (Richards 1991) More formal record taking began after the year 835 when the Anglo-Saxon was dominant over Britain. The coastal towns suffered the most to the raids of the Vikings, Southampton, London and Canterbury fell victim to these raids the most frequently. This period of raiding slowly faded out because the Vikings decided to start colonising which formed Danelaw in 865-896. (Richards, 1991) This colonisation developed the 5 Viking towns, Lincoln, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Stamford which were all positioned on an important river and Roman routes. “However, sawyer and Roesdahl state that raids on western Europe is what gave and give the age its name.” (Christiansen, 2008) this means that they do not believe that the Viking brooches and weapons are not as important as the raiding on the period because when the raiding ends so do the Vikings in Britain ends too. (Richards, 1991)The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle is one of the most important sources we have on information about the Vikings. The Chronicle provides us with much information, about such things as the raiding sites and what was taken. (Blackwell, 1994) However, this data was recorded by the victims of the raids so it is believed by historians that some data could have been exaggerated. According to the chronicle, the Vikings set up many camps in England during their colonisation period, these camps always had one side of the camp facing water because it gave them protection from one side and ease of access. (Blackwell, 1994) Furthermore, these camps were big enough to house an army of hundreds of men. During the 730s the raids on Britain where mostly at Northumbria because it was a very wealthy kingdom in England at this point and the whole reason the Vikings invaded other countries was for the sole reason of the attainment of wealth, once the Vikings had got a taste for the wealth they decided to start permanently settling in Britain to further increase their wealth but also, they found out the soil was very rich and good for growing food. (Christiansen, 2008)Monasteries are seen to be the high target of raids by the Vikings due to the gold and silver offerings they give to god and their defenceless nature, however, there is little evidence to support this. (Martin, 2001) Some evidence has been unearthed in Anglesey which was a popular target around the date of 855. This data was made up from a collection of broken stone fragments with evidence of burning, which may suggest a Viking raid. There has been significant archaeological data found in Repton in Derbyshire about Vikings settling in Britain. (Martin, 2001) This was a camp on the river Trent which contained a mass burial of over 200 people which has been dated to around 873 due, to some coins that were buried with the Vikings. The bones found in this mass burial show signs of injury and healing which means that they have not died from their wounds but could suggest they died from the illness and infection that came after. All the bones that were found in the burial site were male ranging between the ages of 15-45 suggesting that they could have been a raiding party that settled down because of the lack of females. (Martin, 2001)There appears to be absolutely no ship burials on the mainland of Britain, even though them being very significant because they were very common in the Viking culture. However there have been some ship burials on the Orkney Islands and the Isle of man, these were normally a boat-sized grave with the remains either male or female, fully clothed with everything apart from weapons with them. (Greg and Walter, 2004) One site on Orkney called scar found evidence of a ship burial that had a male, a mature female and a child with grave goods, jewellery and everyday items. Furthermore, archaeologists have noted that it is difficult to find Viking burials on mainland Britain. It is also noted that it is difficult to depict what is a Viking settlement on Britain because they have not been many items that can be directly distinguished as Scandinavian. (Greg and Walter, 2004) More evidence of Viking presence on mainland Britain through the finds of treasure hoards that have been discovered by archaeologists. The largest one to be found is the Cuerdale hoard which has been linked to the pay chest of the whole Viking army of that settlement. The chest even contained some Arabian coins which show that the Vikings had been to further lands to raid seaports as well. (Greg and Walter, 2004) Archaeologists use the most recent coin to date the treasure trove because some of the coins could have been from hundreds of years before the event, therefore these coins were dated to around 872 which seems right to the timeline because this was the colonisation period. The lack of hoards found after the tenth century could suggest that the Vikings didn’t seem concerned with raiding and looting after settling in mainland Britain.  Archaeologists believe that the names of certain areas in Britain could be significant in telling us if Viking influence has been apparent in these areas. (Godfrey, 1970) There are very few places in the south that have been affected by the Vikings, however, in the north, you have the five boroughs and Jorvik that have Scandinavian names. This suggests that during the colonising period the Vikings decided to concentrate their colonies more to the north of Britain due to it being geographically closer than the south. (Godfrey, 1970) Also, parts of names can hint Viking influence, towns ending in by, which can mean village and Thorpe meaning hamlet. (Godfrey, 1970) Furthermore, another settlement called Caithness has been confirmed to have had Viking influence because it also has place names that seemed to have been affected by the Viking presence. (Heald, A 2006) For example, it has names like Lybster which in old Norse bster meant farm or settlement and also Freswick which the old Norse vik meant bay. (Heald, A 2006) This shows that the Vikings didn’t only just invade Britain during the raiding and pillaging stage and that they settle in Scotland too because there are obvious signs of Viking influence. Archaeologists have also found pagan graves and a silver hoard which further proves the point that there was Vikings in Caithness. (Heald, A 2006)Viking presence has also been linked to a change in some of the artwork in Britain at the time of colonisation and after. This change of art consisted of interweaving patterns and birds and animals, an example of this is Borre, who used a simple interlacing ring chain. (Jones, 2001) Then other artists began to expand on this art form by making it more complex by the use of birds and animals in-between the simple interlacing chains. The new style of artwork can be easily found on jewellery, metalwork and stonework eg. Tombstones. (Jones, 2001) Some tombstones have been found that depict Viking warriors and some that have been suggested to show Viking landlords. (Jones, 2001) In Scotland when excavating at Kiloran bay they found a set of weighing scales which were beautifully decorated which shows that the Vikings where amazing craftsman but they also set up some sort of barter economy which suggests that they did a lot of trading and maybe not just other Vikings. (Scran.ac.uk.2018) They also found an elaborate chess set with 93 pieces made up of four sets, they were made of walrus ivory which may have originated form Greenland. Therefore, it has been suggested that they were Viking crafted which was probably made in Norway and brought over to Britain during the colonisation period. (Scran.ac.uk.2018)One town that was influenced the most by the Viking culture was probably York. Firstly, a mint was found in York, which was used commonly by the Vikings to store a large amount of coin that would have been gathered through their raids all down the coast of Britain, this is a good thing because archaeologists have been able to use these coins to date when the Vikings were active in York. (Jones, 2001) The expanding of York has given archaeologists a lot of evidence relating to Vikings in Britain. Many of the streets in York end with a gate which can suggest Scandinavian influence because in old Norse gata means street. The area of Coppergate was very fruitful in the amount of evidence it gave to archaeologists once excavated because it showed a massive are of Viking houses and workshops which show they settled down in York during their colonisation period. (Jones, 2001) It is suggested due to York having a massive area of workshops and houses along with the mint for storing and making money that it was actually the capital for the Vikings that settled down in mainland Britain. There has been many pots and textiles found in York which suggests that it was also responsible for domestic manufactories like clothes and cooking essentials further showing that York was a major settlement for the Vikings that settle on Britain. (Christiansen, 2008)In conclusion, I believe that there are many pieces of significant evidence that suggest that the Vikings raided and settle in mainland Britain. With all the data like treasure hoards, names of towns, artwork and evidence of raiding all link to that archaeological record show that the Vikings were in actual fact in Britain with a heavier presence in the north-eastern parts like Northumbria. Furthermore, the evidence found in York has an endless amount of archaeological data because they haven’t even excavated half the town and already have found some much stuff from pottery, textiles to weapons and coins that all date back to either the raiding period or the settling period. The chronicle is also another huge data mine about Viking presence in Britain because it dates the time when they landed, where they raided and looted and also the victims of the raids. One of the examples I talked about was Anglesey. The change of artwork style during the Viking settlement period has a very strong sway on whether the Vikings were in Britain or not. This change in art style was very different to the style that what was currently in Britain at the time which suggests that there must have been a different culture bringing the new style of artwork eg. The Vikings. Further evidence for Vikings in Britain is the findings found in Caithness, the scales and chess pieces not only showed that there was a barter culture in Scotland around the time of the Vikings permanent settling period which we know that the Vikings were a trading culture because they raided so many different nations they had a lot to offer and could get a good price for them. Furthermore, the chess pieces were made out of ivory that was commonly found in Greenland which was colonised by the Vikings so it is suggested that they are Viking form origin. BibliographyHeald, A. (2006) Rse.org.uk. Available at: https://www.rse.org.uk/cms/files/events/reports/2005-2006/the_vikings_in_scotland.pdf Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.Biddle, Martin, ‘Repton and the Great Heathen Army 873-4’, Vikings and the Danelaw, (Oxford: Oxbow, 2001) pp.45-96Foote, Peter Godfrey, The Viking Achievement: the society and culture of early Medieval Scandinavia (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1970)Hall, Richard, Viking Age Archaeology in Britain and Ireland (Princes Risborough: Shire Publications, 1990) pp.13-56Jones, Gwyn, A History of the Vikings (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)Loyn, Henry, The Vikings in Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994) pp. 78-100Redknap, Mark, Vikings in Wales: An Archaeological Quest (Cardiff: MWL Print Group, 2000) pp. 19-43Richards, Julian D, English Heritage book of Viking Age England (London: Batsford, 1991) pp. 15-111Speed, Greg and Walton-Rodgers, Penelope, ‘A Burial of a Viking Woman at Adwick-le-Street, South Yorkshire’, Medieval Archaeology, (Maney Publishing, 2004) pp. 51-90Christiansen, E. (2008). Norsemen in the Viking Age. 2nd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons.Heald, A. (2006). The Vikings and Scotland. 1st ed. ebook Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh, pp.1-20. Available at: https://www.rse.org.uk/cms/files/events/reports/2005-2006/the_vikings_in_scotland.pdf Accessed 14 Jan. 2018.History, L. (2011). What does the archaeological evidence tell us about the impact of the Viking invasion and settlement in Britain?. online Lost-in-history.blogspot.co.uk. Available at: http://lost-in-history.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/what-does-archaeological-evidence-tell.html Accessed 3 Jan. 2018.Scran.ac.uk. (2018). online Available at: https://www.scran.ac.uk/packs/exhibitions/learning_materials/resources/the-vikings-in-scotland.pdf Accessed 9 Jan. 2018.


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