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In Search of the Viking Great Army: Beyond the Winter Camps

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JournalMedieval Settlement Research
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 12 Nov 2018
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)1-17
Original languageEnglish


Our research on the winter camp of the Viking Great Army (micel here) at Torksey (Lincolnshire) has demonstrated that the published early medieval assemblage – of over 1500 artefacts – was largely deposited in a single episode, over the winter of 872-3. A similar, if smaller, assemblage has been recovered from another camp at Aldwark (North Yorkshire) and together these sites provide an artefactual ‘signature’ for the activities of the Great Army, and its offshoots. Subsequently, we have sought traces of that signature beyond the winter camps. At the rural settlement at Cottam (East Yorkshire), an initial but transient Great Army phase has been identified, prior to the establishment of the Anglo-Scandinavian farmstead. This paper defines the characteristics of this Great Army signature, and identifies over 30 additional places where it may now be seen. Some lie in the vicinity of former Anglo-Saxon estate centres, royal residences, and major churches. Many are at strategic locations, along the primary communications routes formed by Roman roads and ancient trackways, or on major rivers, including several at key crossing points.

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© 2018, Medieval Settlement Research Group (MSRG). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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