I suspect that the Norse invaders of Orkney and Shetland didn’t just overwhelm’, or ‘submerge’ the native population: I think they killed them.
Norse colonists in Orkney contended not only with the islands’ existing occupants, but also with a foreign landscape filled with visible ancient monuments. This paper provides a brief synthesis of the results of research on the landscapes of Viking-Age and Late-Norse Orkney which explored the strategies undertaken by the Norse settlers to re-model their social identities in their adopted environment.
In its definitive form of a system of local churches serving identifiable districts, usually known as parishes, grouped together under a diocesan bishop, the medieval church cannot be said to have existed in the general area of Scotland until the twelfth century. At this time, and for some three centuries previously, the islands to the north and west, with parts of the adjacent mainland, were under Norse control.
A Chieftain in an Old Norse Text: Sveinn Ásleifarson and the Message behind Orkneyinga Saga By Ian Beuermann Confluence. Interdisciplinary Communications 2007/2008, edited by Willy Østreng (Oslo: Centre for Advanced Study, 2009) Introduction: Icelanders are famous for having produced a huge volume of prose literature in Old Norse in the Middle Ages (in a Nordic […]
Scientists and researchers from across northern Europe will gather in Orkney on Thursday to learn how the islands protect their rich archaeological resources from rising seas and winter storms. Orkney is home to some of the most important archaeological sites in Europe and many of these lie beneath the surface of the sea. As a […]
Shetland and Orkney Island-Names – A Dynamic Group By Peder Gammeltoft Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall 2009, edited by Robert McColl Millar (2010) Introduction: Only when living on an island does it become clear how important it is to know one‟s environment in detail. This is no less true […]
Linguistic patterns in the place-names of Norway and the Northern Isles By Berit Sandnes Northern Lights, Northern Words. Selected Papers from the FRLSU Conference, Kirkwall 2009, edited by Robert McColl Millar (2010) Introduction: Considering the Vikings’ massive cultural influence on the Northern Isles, the material evidence for Old Norse culture is surprisingly scarce. The buildings […]
Interpreting the Viking Age to Medieval Period Transition in Norse Orkney through Cultural Soil and Sediment Analyses
Interpreting the Viking Age to Medieval Period Transition in Norse Orkney through Cultural Soil and Sediment Analyses By Ian A. Simpson, James H. Barrett, and Karen B. Milek Geoarchaeology: An International Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2 (2005) Abstract: The transition from the Viking Age (ca. A.D. 800–1050) to the Medieval period (ca. A.D. 1050–1500) saw the […]