Ancient Scandinavia

Author: T. Douglas Price
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780190231972
Release Date: 2015
Genre: History

Although occupied only relatively briefly in the long span of world prehistory, Scandinavia is an extraordinary laboratory for investigating past human societies. The area was essentially unoccupied until the end of the last Ice Age when the melting of huge ice sheets left behind a fresh, barren land surface, which was eventually covered by flora and fauna. The first humans did not arrive until sometime after 13,500 BCE. The prehistoric remains of human activity in Scandinavia - much of it remarkably preserved in its bogs, lakes, and fjords - have given archaeologists a richly detailed portrait of the evolution of human society. In this book, Doug Price provides an archaeological history of Scandinavia-a land mass comprising the modern countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway-from the arrival of the first humans after the last Ice Age to the end of the Viking period, ca. AD 1050. Constructed similarly to the author's previous book, Europe before Rome, Ancient Scandinaviaprovides overviews of each prehistoric epoch followed by detailed, illustrative examples from the archaeological record. An engrossing and comprehensive picture emerges of change across the millennia, as human society evolves from small bands of hunter - gatherers to large farming communities to the complex warrior cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages, which culminated in the spectacular rise of the Vikings. The material evidence of these past societies - arrowheads from reindeer hunts, megalithic tombs, rock art, beautifully wrought weaponry, Viking warships - give vivid testimony to the ancient humans who once called home this often unforgiving edge of the inhabitable world.

Ancient Scandinavia

Author: T. Douglas Price
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190231989
Release Date: 2015-06-12
Genre: History

Scandinavia, a land mass comprising the modern countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, was the last part of Europe to be inhabited by humans. Not until the end of the last Ice Age when the melting of huge ice sheets left behind a fresh, barren land surface, about 13,000 BC, did the first humans arrive and settle in the region. The archaeological record of these prehistoric cultures, much of it remarkably preserved in Scandinavia's bogs, lakes, and fjords, has given us a detailed portrait of the evolution of human society at the edge of the inhabitable world. In this book, distinguished archaeologist T. Douglas Price provides a history of Scandinavia from the arrival of the first humans to the end of the Viking period, ca. AD 1050. The first book of its kind in English in many years, Ancient Scandinavia features overviews of each prehistoric epoch followed by illustrative examples from the region's rich archaeology. An engrossing and comprehensive picture of change across the millennia emerges, showing how human society evolved from small bands of hunter-gatherers to large farming communities to the complex warrior cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultures which culminated in the spectacular rise of the Vikings at the end of the prehistoric period. The material evidence of these past societies--arrowheads from reindeer hunts, megalithic tombs, rock art, beautifully wrought weaponry, Viking warships--give vivid testimony to the ancient peoples of Scandinavia and to their extensive contacts with the remote cultures of the Arctic Circle, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean

Ancient Scandinavia

Author: T. Douglas Price
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190231996
Release Date: 2015-06-12
Genre: History

Scandinavia, a land mass comprising the modern countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, was the last part of Europe to be inhabited by humans. Not until the end of the last Ice Age when the melting of huge ice sheets left behind a fresh, barren land surface, about 13,000 BC, did the first humans arrive and settle in the region. The archaeological record of these prehistoric cultures, much of it remarkably preserved in Scandinavia's bogs, lakes, and fjords, has given us a detailed portrait of the evolution of human society at the edge of the inhabitable world. In this book, distinguished archaeologist T. Douglas Price provides a history of Scandinavia from the arrival of the first humans to the end of the Viking period, ca. AD 1050. The first book of its kind in English in many years, Ancient Scandinavia features overviews of each prehistoric epoch followed by illustrative examples from the region's rich archaeology. An engrossing and comprehensive picture of change across the millennia emerges, showing how human society evolved from small bands of hunter-gatherers to large farming communities to the complex warrior cultures of the Bronze and Iron Ages, cultures which culminated in the spectacular rise of the Vikings at the end of the prehistoric period. The material evidence of these past societies--arrowheads from reindeer hunts, megalithic tombs, rock art, beautifully wrought weaponry, Viking warships--give vivid testimony to the ancient peoples of Scandinavia and to their extensive contacts with the remote cultures of the Arctic Circle, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean

Ancestral Journeys The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings Revised Edition

Author: Jean Manco
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 9780500772904
Release Date: 2016-02-16
Genre: History

“An ambitious and lucid full narrative account of the peopling of Europe . . . this will undoubtedly provide a base line for future debates on the origins of the Europeans.” —J. P. Mallory, author of In Search of the Indo-Europeans and The Origins of the Irish Who are the Europeans? Where did they come from? New research in the fields of archaeology and linguistics, a revolution in the study of genetics, and cutting-edge analysis of ancient DNA are dramatically changing our picture of prehistory, leading us to question what we thought we knew about these ancient peoples. This paradigm-shifting book paints a spirited portrait of a restless people that challenges our established ways of looking at Europe’s past. The story is more complex than at first believed, with new evidence suggesting that the European gene pool was stirred vigorously multiple times. Genetic clues are also enhancing our understanding of European mobility in epochs with written records, including the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, the spread of the Slavs, and the adventures of the Vikings. Now brought completely up to date with all the latest findings from the fast-moving fields of genetics, DNA, and dating, Jean Manco’s highly readable account weaves multiple strands of evidence into a startling new history of the continent, of interest to anyone who wants to truly understand Europeans’ place in the ancient world.

Viking Identities

Author: Jane F. Kershaw
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191646409
Release Date: 2013-02-14
Genre: History

Viking Identities is the first detailed archaeological study of Viking-Age Scandinavian-style female dress items from England. Based on primary archival and archaeological research, including the analysis of hundreds of recent metal-detector finds, it presents evidence for over 500 brooches and pendants worn by women in the late ninth and tenth centuries. Jane F. Kershaw argues that these finds add an entirely new dimension to the limited existing archaeological evidence for Scandinavian activity in the British Isles and make possible a substantial reassessment of the Viking settlements. Kershaw offers an interpretation of the significance of the jewellery in a broader, historical context. The jewellery highlights locations of settlement not commonly associated with the Vikings. In contrast to claims of high levels of cultural assimilation, the jewellery suggests that incoming groups maintained a distinct Scandinavian identity which was sometimes appropriated by the indigenous population. Kershaw also addresses one of the great unanswered questions in the study of Viking-Age settlements: what about the women? The interpretation of the jewellery challenges traditional perceptions of Viking conquest as an all-male affair and brings into focus a population group which has, until now, been almost invisible. Kershaw describes the objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution, and function in costume. This body of material - unknown 30 years ago - is introduced to a public audience for the first time. Including many object images and maps, the study provides a practical guide to the identification of Scandinavian metalwork.

The Viking Diaspora

Author: Judith Jesch
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317482536
Release Date: 2015-06-05
Genre: History

The Viking Diaspora presents the early medieval migrations of people, language and culture from mainland Scandinavia to new homes in the British Isles, the North Atlantic, the Baltic and the East as a form of ‘diaspora’. It discusses the ways in which migrants from Russia in the east to Greenland in the west were conscious of being connected not only to the people and traditions of their homelands, but also to other migrants of Scandinavian origin in many other locations. Rather than the movements of armies, this book concentrates on the movements of people and the shared heritage and culture that connected them. This on-going contact throughout half a millennium can be traced in the laws, literatures, material culture and even environment of the various regions of the Viking diaspora. Judith Jesch considers all of these connections, and highlights in detail significant forms of cultural contact including gender, beliefs and identities. Beginning with an overview of Vikings and the Viking Age, the nature of the evidence available, and a full exploration of the concept of ‘diaspora’, the book then provides a detailed demonstration of the appropriateness of the term to the world peopled by Scandinavians. This book is the first to explain Scandinavian expansion using this model, and presents the Viking Age in a new and exciting way for students of Vikings and medieval history.

Women in the Viking Age

Author: Judith Jesch
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
ISBN: 9780851153605
Release Date: 1991
Genre: History

Through runic inscriptions and behind the veil of myth, Jesch discovers the true story of viking women.

The Scandinavians from the Vendel Period to the Tenth Century

Author: Judith Jesch
Publisher: Boydell Press
ISBN: 9781843837282
Release Date: 2012
Genre: History

Ethnographic studies trace the background to and impact of urbanisation and Christianisation, and the development of royal power, which stimulated the transition from the Viking age to the medieval period.

The Viking Way

Author: Neil Price
Publisher: Oxbow Books Limited
ISBN: 1842172603
Release Date: 2017-01-31
Genre: History

Magic, sorcery and witchcraft are among the most common themes of the great medieval Icelandic sagas and poems, the problematic yet vital sources that provide our primary textual evidence for the Viking Age that they claim to describe. Yet despite the consistency of this picture, surprisingly little archaeological or historical research has been done to explore what this may really have meant to the men and women of the time. This book examines the evidence for Old Norse sorcery, looking at its meaning and function, practice and practitioners, and the complicated constructions of gender and sexual identity with which these were underpinned. Combining strong elements of eroticism and aggression, sorcery appears as a fundamental domain of women's power, linking them with the gods, the dead and the future. Their battle spells and combat rituals complement the men's physical acts of fighting, in a supernatural empowerment of the Viking way of life. What emerges is a fundamentally new image of the world in which the Vikings understood themselves to move, in which magic and its implications permeated every aspect of a society permanently geared for war. In this fully revised and expanded second edition, Neil Price takes us with him on a tour through the sights and sounds of this undiscovered country, meeting its human and otherworldly inhabitants, including the S�mi with whom the Norse partly shared this mental landscape. On the way we explore Viking notions of the mind and soul, the fluidity of the boundaries that they drew between humans and animals, and the immense variety of their spiritual beliefs. We find magic in the Vikings' bedrooms and on their battlefields, and we meet the sorcerers themselves through their remarkable burials and the tools of their trade. Combining archaeology, history and literary scholarship with extensive studies of Germanic and circumpolar religion, this multi-award-winning book shows us the Vikings as we have never seen them before.

Vikings at War

Author: Kim Hjardar
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781612004549
Release Date: 2016-11-22
Genre: History

Vikings at War presents a sumptuous depiction of how the Vikings waged war; their weapons technology, offensive and defensive warfare, military traditions and tactics, their fortifications, ships and command structure. It also portrays the Viking raids and conquest campaigns that brought the Vikings to virtually every corner of Europe and even to America. Viking ships landed on almost every shore in the Western world during the 350 years that followed the introduction of the sail into the region, from the 9th to the 11th century. Viking ravages united the Spanish kingdoms and stopped Charlemagne and the Franks' advance in Europe. Wherever Viking ships roamed, enormous suffering followed in their wake, but the encounter between cultures changed both European and Nordic societies. Employing unorthodox and unpredictable strategies, which were hard for more organized forces to respond to, the most crucial element of the Viking’s success was their basic strategy of evading the enemy by arriving by sea, then attacking quickly and with great force before withdrawing quickly. The warrior class dominated in a militarized society. Honour was everything, and breaking promises and ruining one’s posthumous reputation was considered worse than death itself. If a man offended another man’s honour, the only way out was blood revenge. Never before have the Viking art of war, weapons and the history of their conquests been presented together in such detail. With over 380 colour illustrations including beautiful reconstruction drawings, maps, cross-section drawings of ships, line-drawings of fortifications, battle plan reconstructions and photos of surviving artefacts including weapons and jewellery, Vikings at War provides a vivid account of one of Europe’s most exciting epochs. Vikings at War was awarded the Norwegian literary prize ‘Saga Prize’ in 2012; currently in its fourth printing in Norwegian, the translation presented here makes it available for the first time in English.

The Age of the Vikings

Author: Anders Winroth
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400851904
Release Date: 2014-09-07
Genre: History

The Vikings maintain their grip on our imagination, but their image is too often distorted by myth. It is true that they pillaged, looted, and enslaved. But they also settled peacefully and traveled far from their homelands in swift and sturdy ships to explore. The Age of the Vikings tells the full story of this exciting period in history. Drawing on a wealth of written, visual, and archaeological evidence, Anders Winroth captures the innovation and pure daring of the Vikings without glossing over their destructive heritage. He not only explains the Viking attacks, but also looks at Viking endeavors in commerce, politics, discovery, and colonization, and reveals how Viking arts, literature, and religious thought evolved in ways unequaled in the rest of Europe. The Age of the Vikings sheds new light on the complex society, culture, and legacy of these legendary seafarers.

The Viking Age

Author: Caroline Arcini
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 9781785709395
Release Date: 2018-05-16
Genre: History

The majority of literature about the Viking period, based on artifacts or written sources, covers battles, kings, chiefs and mercenaries, long distance travel and colonization, trade, and settlement. Less is said about the life of those that stayed at home or those that immigrated into Scandinavia, whether voluntarily or by force. This book uses results from the examination of a substantial corpus of Swedish osteological material to discuss aspects of demography and health in the Viking period – those which would have been visible and recognizable in the faces or physical appearances of the individuals concerned. It explores the effects of migration, from the spread of new diseases such as leprosy to patterns of movement and integration of immigrants into society. The skeletal material also allows the study of levels of violence, attitudes towards disablement, and the care provided by Viking communities. An overview of the worldwide phenomenon of modified teeth also gives insight into the practice of deliberate physical embellishment and body modification. The interdisciplinary approach to questions regarding ordinary life presented here will broaden the knowledge about society during the Viking Age. The synthesis of the Swedish unburnt human skeletal remains dated to the Viking age will be a valuable resource for future research and provides an in-depth view on Viking age society.

The Vikings

Author: Robert Ferguson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101151420
Release Date: 2009-11-25
Genre: History

A comprehensive and thrilling history of the Vikings for fans of the History Channel series From Harald Bluetooth to Cnut the Great, the feared seamen and plunderers of the Viking Age ruled Norway, Sweden, and Denmark but roamed as far as Byzantium, Greenland, and America. Raiders and traders, settlers and craftsmen, the medieval Scandinavians who have become familiar to history as Vikings never lose their capacity to fascinate, from their ingeniously designed longboats to their stormy pantheon of Viking gods and goddesses, ruled by Odin in Valhalla. Robert Ferguson is a sure guide across what he calls "the treacherous marches which divide legend from fact in Viking Age history." His long familiarity with the literary culture of Scandinavia with its skaldic poetry is combined with the latest archaeological discoveries to reveal a sweeping picture of the Norsemen, one of history's most amazing civilizations. Impeccably researched and filled with compelling accounts and analyses of legendary Viking warriors and Norse mythology, The Vikings is an indispensable guide to medieval Scandinavia and is a wonderful companion to the History Channel series.

Viking Age Iceland

Author: Jesse L Byock
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141937656
Release Date: 2001-02-22
Genre: History

Medieval Iceland was unique amongst Western Europe, with no foreign policy, no defence forces, no king, no lords, no peasants and few battles. It should have been a utopia yet its literature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Byock, lie in the underlying structures and cultural codes of the islands' social order. 'Viking Age Iceland' is an engaging, multi-disciplinary work bringing together findings in anthropology and ethnography interwoven with historical fact and masterful insights into the popular Icelandic sagas, this is a brilliant reconstruction of the inner workings of a unique and intriguing society.