The Waugh Family
An historical and photographic perspective

Viking ships

"Waugh was the name given to our people by the Anglo-Saxons"

They rowed and sailed their well-built seafaring boats from the western shores of Trøndelag, Møre og Romsdal, Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland in what is now Norway to the Shetlands, on to the Orkneys and Hebrides and into the fiords of western Scotland. They rowed into bays and estuaries and up shallow rivers and settled amongst the indigenous Gaelic, Pictish and Brythonic populations. Some of these "Norsemen" became the Gall-Gaedhil ("Scots and foster children of the Norsemen") and conquered the kingdoms of Dalriata and Alt Clut (Strathclyde). They were the first settlers of Iceland and had one of the first "parliaments" in the world. From their centres at Dublin and the Isle of Man they controlled trade and shipping throughout the Irish Sea and the western isles. "Waugh" was the name given to our people by the Anglo-Saxons. Our Waugh ancestors settled in the rich fishing and farming area to the north of the Solway Firth in Galloway and Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Place-names and archaeological evidence confirm a strong Norse cultural presence throughout these areas. A recent "Viking hoard" discovered in Galloway and Dumfriesshire attests to the wealth of some of the Norse inhabitants.

"It can be concluded that Galloway was born as a result of viking migrations around the Irish Sea."
- Clare Downham, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland, 2007

Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghàidheil; Latin: Gallovidia)[1] is a region in southwestern Scotland comprising the counties of Wigtown and Kirkcubright. The name means "foreign Gaels" referring to the Gaels of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic origin who were once prevalent in the area. - Wikipedia

Recent BigY results (June 2017) indicate that the Waugh Y DNA haplogroup (I-FGC21732) may have originated in the south of Sweden in or around Gothia and Gotland. The TMRCA for this haplogroup is about 3100 YBP placing it within the Nordic Bronze Age. I-FGC21732 spread from there (based on location of furthest known relative of those tested) to what is now Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Italy which may imply migration by the Goths in from 300-500 AD or from later Rus Vikings. Other locations include Ireland, Scotland, England and Normandy which may imply Viking age migrations. Neither precludes the possibility of an even earlier migration of people from southern Sweden during the Nordic Bronze Age or from anytime between about 1100 BC to 800 AD.

The following information (still a work-in-progress) has been pieced together from various on-line sources (from etymology, history, archaeology, palaeontology, and genetics) to provide an overall historical perspective on the migrations of our Waugh Family ancestors and the People that we came to be. Some of the pieces of this "puzzle" seem to fit together quite well, while with some I'm waiting to see if they will fit together with any of the other pieces. Some of those pieces may be from a completely different puzzle...

Disclaimer: Please consider any of the information presented here to be my "notes to myself". I have tried to provide sources as much as possible. Some of those sources are more reliable than others. My intent is not to present an academic thesis. My intent is to provide myself (and other researchers) with possible leads to help piece together pieces of that puzzle.

 

Ancient History

There are seemingly disparate pieces of information that when woven together and viewed in the light of the tapestry they represent provide a valuable insight into our past. - Jeff Waugh

Origins of the Name

Out of Africa | Aurignacian Culture | Gravettian Culture | Solutrean Culture | Magdalenian Culture
Creswellian Culture  | Hamburgian Culture | Ahrensburgian Culture | Maglemosian Culture | The Neolithic
Doggerland and the British Isles | Nordic Bronze Age | Nordic Migration | Ancient Scotland | Historical Scotland
Ancient History of the Surname Waugh

DNA
Mitochondrian Haplogroup H | Y Haplogroup I | Y Haplogroup I1 | Waugh Family Y DNA

Migration into Europe 45,000 BC - 39,000 BC
Migration into Europe 45,000 BC - 39,000 BC
From Possible y-Haplogroup I1 Dispersal / Expansion

 

Origins of the Name

Waugh was the name given to our people by the Anglo-Saxons

Distribution of the Waugh surname
Distribution of the Waugh surname in the UK
From named.publicprofiler.org
Ed. Note: The Waugh surname heatmap corresponds to the two genetically distinct Waugh populations
 in Dumfriesshire and Roxburghshire, Scotland, identified in the FTDNA Wauchope/Walkup Surname group.

"derived from the Old English pre 7th Century"

"This interesting name is of Scottish and northern English origin, commonly found on both sides of the Scottish border. It is an ancient ethnic name meaning 'foreigner', derived from the Old English pre 7th Century (Anglian) word 'walh', foreign, used by the Anglians of the Strathclyde Celts, the Britons, who survived as a separate group in Scotland well into the Middle Ages. The name 'Wallace' is from the same source, the word 'Waleis', and was used to denote variously Scotsmen, Welshmen and Bretons as well as the Strathclyde Britons." - from Ancient History of the Surname Waugh

Ed Note: Were the "Strathclyde Celts, the Britons" Gall Breathnach? See also Gall-Gaedhil (foreign Gaels)...

Inch-Galbraith (noted by Pont in 1585 as Gabrachths yl [isle] na[med] Chastel]) in Loch Lomond was originally Elan-na-Gaul; island of the Gaul, according to Wm Fraser in his Chiefs of the Colquhoun.... "It’s been three years since my last blogpost on the origins of Clan Galbraith. Back in 2011, in the third installment of the series, I considered the possibility that the name of the clan (Gaelic: Gall Breathnach, ‘Foreign Briton’) might derive from ancestors who were ‘Viking Britons’. The reasoning behind this theory was based on the fact that Gaelic speakers in early medieval Scotland and Ireland usually applied the term Gall (‘Foreigner’) to people of Viking stock. I speculated that the original ‘Foreign Britons’ whose descendants emerged as the Galbraiths of the Lennox in the twelfth century were associated with the kingdom of Strathclyde, perhaps as warriors of Scandinavian stock who served the kings of the Britons as mercenaries. By way of analogy, I pointed to theories about the mysterious Gall-Gáidhil (‘Foreign Gaels’ –> ‘Viking Gaels’) of the ninth to eleventh centuries. The Gall-Gáidhil are generally regarded as Gaelic-speakers from Ireland or the Hebrides who adopted a ‘Viking’ lifestyle of sea-roving and raiding. Why they chose to behave in this way is uncertain: it may have been due to Scandinavian ancestry or to prolonged contact with Vikings. Three years ago, I wondered if the forefathers of Clan Galbraith were members of a similar group among the Britons of Strathclyde, perhaps arriving originally as Vikings but eventually assimilating by intermarriage until they became Britons themselves. They would, I proposed, have adopted the Cumbric language of their hosts, eventually switching to Gaelic after the Scottish conquest of Strathclyde in the eleventh century. All of this seemed to fit with the Galbraiths’ ancestral connection with the Lennox – the land between Loch Lomond and the River Clyde – and with their self-identification as Breatanuich (Gaelic: ‘The Britons’) and Clann-a-Breatannuich (‘Children of the Britons’)." - Tim Clarkson
 https://senchus.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/clan-galbraith-part-4-viking-britons-again/

Walhaz

Walhaz is a reconstructed Proto-Germanic word meaning "foreigner", "stranger", "Roman", "Romance-speaker", or "Celtic-speaker". The term was used by the ancient Germanic peoples to describe inhabitants of the former Western Roman Empire, who were largely romanised and spoke Latin or Celtic languages. The adjectival form is attested in Old Norse valskr, meaning "French", Old High German walhisk, meaning "Romance", New High German welsch, used in Switzerland and South Tyrol for Romance speakers, Dutch Waals "Walloon", Old English welisċ, wælisċ, wilisċ, meaning "Romano-British", and Modern English Welsh. The form of these words imply that they are descended from a Proto-Germanic form *walhiska-.[1] It is attested in the Roman Iron Age from an inscription on one of the Tjurkö bracteates, where walhakurne "Roman/Gallic grain" is apparently a kenning for "gold" (referring to the bracteate itself). - Wikipedia

Etymology of Wales

The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha), meaning a "foreigner", or "stranger", who had been "Romanised". The Ænglisc-speaking Anglo-Saxons used the term Waelisc when referring to the Celtic Britons, and Wēalas when referring to their lands.[3] The modern names for some Continental European lands (e.g., Wallonia and Wallachia) and peoples (e.g., the Vlachs via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic) have a similar etymology.[4][5][6][7]

"Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons"

Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g., Cornwall) and Germanic territories particularly associated with Celtic Britons (e.g., Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire),[8] as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans (e.g., the walnut). - from Wales, Wikipedia

Wales / Cymru

The English name 'Wales' stems from the Germanic word for foreigner, 'Waelisc', while their land was 'Wealas'. The invaders called the native peoples Wealas, foreigner, in their own country, and the word stuck. It was used in many locations, not just in Wales. The Britons of Cornubia became those of Cornwall to the English (the 'wealas' of the 'horn'). In the Carpathians in Eastern Europe, Wallachia ('land of the foreigners' with a Latinised ending) was a Germanic name to describe the natives who formed this Romance principality. The native name for the country, Cymru, means 'land of the cymry', which itself originates from the Brythonic word combrogi, or 'men of the same country'. This emerged out of a feeling of connectedness with the surviving free British peoples of Wales and the North in the face of the seemingly unstoppable tidal wave of Anglo-Saxon conquests in the sixth and seventh centuries. - from Celtic Kingdoms of the British Isles

The Scots

After the withdrawal or absorption of the Roman garrison of Britain, there were many years of tribal warfare between the Picts and the Scots (the Gaelic tribe then dominant in Ireland), the Brythonic Waelisc (Welsh) of Strathclyde (south-west Scotland and Cumberland in England), and the Anglo-Saxons of Lothian. The Waelisc were isolated from their kinsmen in Wales by the victory of the West Saxons at Chester (613), and towards the close of the ninth century the Scots under Kenneth MacAlpin became the dominant power in Caledonia. In the reign of Malcom I (943-954), Strathclyde was brought into subjection (by the placing of Malcolm's grandson on the Strathclyde throne), the English lowland kingdom (Lothian) being conquered by Malcolm II (1005-1034). - from the Official Website of Strathclyde

Historical Scotland

 

Out of Africa

Human migration routes out of Africa
Human migration routes out of Africa
Source http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/stephenoppenheimer/

"According to the genetic and paleontological record, we only started to leave Africa between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. What set this in motion is uncertain, but we think it has something to do with major climatic shifts that were happening around that time - a sudden cooling in the Earth’s climate driven by the onset of one of the worst parts of the last Ice Age. This cold snap would have made life difficult for our African ancestors, and the genetic evidence points to a sharp reduction in population size around this time. In fact, the human population likely dropped to fewer than 10,000. We were holding on by a thread.

Once the climate started to improve, after 70,000 years ago, we came back from this near-extinction event. The population expanded, and some intrepid explorers ventured beyond Africa. The earliest people to colonize the Eurasian landmass likely did so across the Bab-al-Mandab Strait separating present-day Yemen from Djibouti. These early beachcombers expanded rapidly along the coast to India, and reached Southeast Asia and Australia by 50,000 years ago. The first great foray of our species beyond Africa had led us all the way across the globe.

Slightly later, a little after 50,000 years ago, a second group appears to have set out on an inland trek, leaving behind the certainties of life in the tropics to head out into the Middle East and southern Central Asia. From these base camps, they were poised to colonize the northern latitudes of Asia, Europe, and beyond..."

- from the National Geographic Genographic Project - The Human Journey: Migration Routes

"A newly discovered Y chromosome places the most recent common ancestor for the Y chromosome lineage more than 100,000 years before the oldest known anatomically modern human fossils. University of Arizona (UA) geneticists have discovered the oldest known genetic branch of the human Y chromosome – the hereditary factor determining male sex. The new divergent lineage, which was found in an individual who submitted his DNA to Family Tree DNA, a company specializing in DNA analysis to trace family roots, branched from the Y chromosome tree before the first appearance of anatomically modern humans in the fossil record. The results are published in the American Journal of Human Genetics." - From Human Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought

"Paleolithic man reached western Europe approximately 50,000 years ago"

With the advance of the last ice age, these people survived in glacial refuges in southern Europe and migrated northward with the retreat of the ice.

Modern Human Dispersal Routes 47,000 BP

 

Aurignacian Culture

The People of the Reindeer

Aurignacian

The Aurignacian culture occupied a vast geographic range, with concentrations in the High-Danube region of Germany, in Austria, in the Moravian region of Slovakia, and in the Santander region of Spain. In France, Aurignacian peoples occupied small valleys in the Dordogne region (around Les Eyzies-de-Tayac), and in the piedmonts of the Pyrenean mountains. Other than the cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc, the presence of the Aurignacian culture is very discrete in the Ardèche region. In the gorges of the Ardèche River, a few Aurignacian flint artifacts have been found in the cave of Figuier (Saint-Martin-d'Ardèche) and the small rock-shelter of Les Pêcheurs (Casteljau). In the neighboring department of the Gard, Aurignacian artifacts have been found at the cave of Ouilins, and especially at the site of Esquicho-Crapaou (Sainte-Anastasie), which has been dated to 34,000 to 32,000 BP.

The Aurignacian is distinguished from preceding cultures by several innovations in flint knapping techniques, a diversification of tool types, and significant innovations in other domains. Flint tools are now made on blades rather than flakes. The tool types are more standardized and include end-scrapers for preparing animal skins, and burins for working wood and engraving. Projectile points for hunting were made from antler, bone and ivory. Aurignacian hunters did not use spearthrowers (atlatls) or the bow and arrow. No eyed needles have been found, so their clothes may have been less finely made than in more recent periods.

Among the significant innovations of the Aurignacians is the development of body ornamentation, including pierced shells and teeth, carved bone pendants, bracelets, and ivory beads.

Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave

Meanwhile, the sudden explosion of monumental art, brilliantly demonstrated by the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc cave, is certainly among the most significant inventions of this culture.

- from Time and Space, The Archaeological Context, Government of France

The Invaders - How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction

With their large brains, sturdy physique, sophisticated tools, and hunting skills, Neanderthals are the closest known relatives to humans. Approximately 200,000 years ago, as modern humans began to radiate out from their evolutionary birthplace in Africa, Neanderthals were already thriving in Europe—descendants of a much earlier migration of the African genus Homo. But when modern humans eventually made their way to Europe 45,000 years ago, Neanderthals suddenly vanished. Ever since the first Neanderthal bones were identified in 1856, scientists have been vexed by the question, why did modern humans survive while their evolutionary cousins went extinct?

The Invaders musters compelling evidence to show that the major factor in the Neanderthals’ demise was direct competition with newly arriving humans. Drawing on insights from the field of invasion biology, which predicts that the species ecologically closest to the invasive predator will face the greatest competition, Pat Shipman traces the devastating impact of a growing human population: reduction of Neanderthals’ geographic range, isolation into small groups, and loss of genetic diversity.

But modern humans were not the only invaders who competed with Neanderthals for big game. Shipman reveals fascinating confirmation of humans’ partnership with the first domesticated wolf-dogs soon after Neanderthals first began to disappear. This alliance between two predator species, she hypothesizes, made possible an unprecedented degree of success in hunting large Ice Age mammals—a distinct and ultimately decisive advantage for humans over Neanderthals at a time when climate change made both groups vulnerable.

The Invaders - How Humans and Their Dogs Drove Neanderthals to Extinction, Pat Shipman, Harvard University Press

The Woof at the Door

Germonpré and her colleagues thought that researchers might have overlooked early prehistoric dogs in the fossil record of the Upper Paleolithic, so they analyzed skulls of large canids (wolves or dogs) from various European sites. The Upper Paleolithic time period spanned 40,000 to 10,000 years ago and is divided into sections based on the artifacts from those times. By convention, each span is named for a culture of people who made the artifacts, and the people, in turn, are usually named for the geographical location where the artifacts were found. The Epigravettian culture existed from 14,000 to 10,000 years ago; before that, the Magdalenian culture thrived from 18,000 to 10,000 years ago; and skipping back a few sections, the Aurignacian culture occurred from 32,000 to 26,000 years ago.

Morphological differences between wolves and dogs. In order to identify the fossil skulls accurately, Germonpré’s team first analyzed a large reference sample of 48 wild, modern wolves and 53 dogs belonging to 11 different breeds. They also examined five skulls (including the ones found in Eliseevichi) that were firmly established as prehistoric domesticated dogs...

The group also successfully extracted mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from seven ancient canid bones from Goyet Cave and Trou des Nutons in Belgium. Rather than damage precious skulls, they sampled only bones in which wolves and dogs differ little, so they presumed all of those they sampled for mtDNA were wolves. From each sample, they sequenced a segment of the mtDNA that is highly variable in living wolves and dogs. Each fossil had a unique mtDNA sequence, or haplotype, in this region, which could not be matched with any known sequences for modern wolves (of which there are about 160) or modern dogs (of which more than 1,000 exist) stored in GenBank, a database of all publicly available nucleotide sequences.

“I was not so surprised at the rich genetic diversity of the fossil wolves,” says Germonpré, because there have been other studies with similar findings. Foxes and wolves underwent a severe bottleneck in population size at the end of the last Ice Age, and many genetic lineages went extinct at this time.

“But we were surprised at the antiquity of the Goyet dog,” Germonpré adds. “We expected it would probably be Magdalenian,” perhaps 18,000 to 10,000 years old. This outcome would fit with their results for the Mezin and Mezhirich skulls, which were found with Epigravettian artifacts roughly 14,000 to 10,000 years old. When the age of this specimen from Goyet was directly dated using accelerated mass spectroscopy radiocarbon-dating techniques, the team found that it was not 18,000 years old, but almost twice as old as the next oldest dog, placing the Goyet dog in the Aurignacian period.

- From The Woof at the Door

Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes

Using multivariate techniques, several skulls of fossil large canids from sites in Belgium, Ukraine and Russia were examined to look for possible evidence of the presence of Palaeolithic dogs. Reference groups constituted of prehistoric dogs, and recent wolves and dogs. The fossil large canid from Goyet (Belgium), dated at c. 31,700 BP is clearly different from the recent wolves, resembling most closely the prehistoric dogs. Thus it is identified as a Palaeolithic dog, suggesting that dog domestication had already started during the Aurignacian. The Epigravettian Mezin 5490 (Russia) and Mezhirich (Ukraine) skulls are also identified as being Palaeolithic dogs. Select Belgian specimens were analysed for mtDNA and stable isotopes. All fossil samples yielded unique DNA sequences, indicating that the ancient Belgian large canids carried a substantial amount of genetic diversity. Furthermore, there is little evidence for phylogeographic structure in the Pleistocene large canids, as they do not form a homogenous genetic group. Although considerable variation occurs in the fossil canid isotope signatures between sites, the Belgian fossil large canids preyed in general on horse and large bovids.

- from Fossil dogs and wolves from Palaeolithic sites in Belgium, the Ukraine and Russia: osteometry, ancient DNA and stable isotopes

The Last Neanderthals and First Modern Humans in the Swabian Jura

We also see continuity in terms of the game animals exploited during both periods. Both the Neanderthals from the late Middle Paleolithic and the makers of the Aurignacian hunted horse and reindeer. These animals probably provided most of the calories, but both periods show a wealth of other large mammals including mammoth, and cave bear (table 2 and figs.14, 15). Both Münzel (2001) and Niven (2006) have discussed the issues related to the exploitation of mammoths as a source of food during the Aurignacian. While Aurignacian deposits often contain many mammoth remains and abundant evidence for working bone and ivory, this is often due to the heavy use of these materials for making tools and other artifacts. Thus, the amount of mammoth remains at sites does not necessarily correspond directly to the importance of the species as a source of food.

In both the Middle Paleolithic and the Aurignacian fresh bone served as a source of fuel, and burnt bone is one of the most common kinds of artifacts. Particularly in the Aurignacian, a high percentage of the faunal remains, except the raw material for tools, ornaments, art-works and the debris from their manufacture, have been burnt. This wealth of burnt bone helps us to define find horizons and better to understand site formation processes (Schiegl etal. 2003), but the heavy burning renders much of the fauna unidentifiable. Middle Paleolithic assemblages tend to have a higher proportion of wooly rhinoceros bones and also a higher proportion of cave bear bones than the Aurignacian faunas. Diverse carnivores and herbivores are also present in many of the assemblages. Interestingly, small animals such as hares and fish are equally rare in the Middle Paleolithic and the Aurignacian (table 2). On the whole the subsistence of Neanderthals and modern humans seems to have been based on the exploitation of a very similar spectrum of animal species. Unfortunately, we do not have enough data on the use of plants to reconstruct the economic importance of plants in the diet of both human taxa.

- from When Neanderthals and Modern Humans Met, Edited by Nicholas J. Conrad, 2006

See Large Mammal Species from the Middle Paleolithic and Aurignician

43,000-year old Aurignacian in Swabian Jura

Taken together, these results suggest that modern humans arrived in Europe as early as ~45,000 cal BP and spread rapidly across Europe to as far as southern England between 43,000 and 41,000 cal BP. The dates for the lower Aurignacian at Geissenklosterle fall in the same period and appear to pre-date the ages for the Proto- Aurignacian and Early Aurignacian in other regions (Fig. 6). The new results suggest that the caves of the Swabian Jura document the earliest phase of the Aurignacian, and the region can be viewed as one of the key areas in which a variety of cultural innovations, including figurative art, mythical images, and musical instruments, are first documented. These dates are consistent with the Danube Valley serving as an important corridor for the movement of people and ideas (Conard, 2002; Conard and Bolus, 2003).

- from Dienekes' Anthropology Blog

See The Swabian Aurignacian and its place in European Prehistory

The Venus of Hohle Fels

The Venus of Hohle Fels (also known as the Venus of Schelklingen; in German variously Venus vom Hohlen Fels, vom Hohle Fels; Venus von Schelklingen) is an Upper Paleolithic Venus figurine hewn from ivory of a mammoth tusk found in 2008 near Schelklingen, Germany. It is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, belonging to the early Aurignacian, at the very beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, which is associated with the assumed earliest presence of Homo sapiens in Europe (Cro-Magnon). It is the oldest undisputed example of Upper Paleolithic art and figurative prehistoric art in general.

Hohle Fels Griffon Vulture Flute
Hohle Fels Griffon Vulture Flute

The flutes date back at least 35,000 years
and are some of the earliest musical instruments ever found

The team also unearthed a bone flute in the cave, and found two fragments of ivory flutes in nearby caves. The flutes date back at least 35,000 years and are some of the earliest musical instruments ever found.[3] In 2012, it was announced that an earlier discovery of bone flute fragments in Geißenklösterle Cave now date back to around 42,000 years, instead of 37,000 years, like earlier perceived. [4][5]

- from Wikipedia

The flute was fashioned from the wing bone of a Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and has five finger holes and a V-shaped mouthpiece. It is 0.3" (8 mm) wide and was originally about 13" (34 cm) long. The Hohle Fels Griffon Vulture flute dates back at least 35,000 years, possibly as old as 40,000 years ([Wilford 2009]).

- from The Development of Flutes in Europe and Asia, Flutopedia

See New Flutes document the earliest musical tradition in southwestern Germany

 

Aurignacian

The Aurignacian tool industry is characterized by worked bone or antler points with grooves cut in the bottom. Their flint tools include fine blades and bladelets struck from prepared cores rather than using crude flakes.[1] The people of this culture also produced some of the earliest known cave art, such as the animal engravings at Aldène and the paintings at Chauvet cave in southern France. They also made pendants, bracelets and ivory beads, and three-dimensional figurines. Bâtons de commandement are also found at their sites.

This sophistication and self-awareness led archaeologists to consider the makers of Aurignacian artifacts the first modern humans in Europe. Human remains and Late Aurignacian artifacts found in juxtaposition support this inference. The most critical single discovery is that of the so-called Egbert skeleton from Ksar Akil, embedded in deposits overlain by Levantine Aurignacian industries. This is a fully modern human in both cranial and postcranial terms, between 40,000 and 45,000 years old. Although finds of human skeletal remains in direct association with Early Aurignacian technologies are scarce in Europe, the few available are also probably modern human. The best dated association between Aurignacian industries and human remains are those of at least five individuals from the Mladec cave in the Czech Republic, dated by direct radiocarbon measurements on the skeletal remains themselves to at least 31,000–32,000 years old. At least three robust but typically anatomically modern individuals from the Peștera cu Oase cave in Romania, were dated directly on the bones to ca. 35,000–36,000 BP. Although not associated directly with archeological material, these finds are within the chronological and geographical range of the earlier Aurignacian in southeastern Europe.[1]

- from Wikipedia

Right: The "Lion Man", found in the Hohlenstein-Stadel cave of Germany's Swabian Alb and dated at 32,000 years old, is associated with the Aurignacian culture and is the oldest known anthropomorphic animal figurine in the world

Abri Castanet (France) - Level A: Early Aurignacian

Abri Castanet is a collapsed rock shelter with rich and important Upper Paleolithic occupations, located in the Vallon des Roches, Castelmerle in Dordogne, southwestern France. The site, located 18 kilometers (~11 miles) from the town of Les Eyzies, contains some of the richest collections of Aurignacian artifacts in Europe. First investigated by Denis Peyrony in the first decade of the 20th century, the cave extends 23 meters (75.4 feet) deep into the bedrock, and has an average width of approximately 8.5 m (28 ft). The name of the site comes from the property owner at the time of Peyrony's excavations, Marcel Castanet.

The earliest occupation in the cave (Level A in the north) was found immediately atop the bedrock. The artifact assemblage here included blades, knives and retouched flakes, as well as single- and double-edged scrapers, side-notched scrapers, blade scrapers, and a few burins.

"Bone, ivory and reindeer antler tools were also recovered"

The preservation of these artifacts was excellent, and numerous split-base bone points of various sizes were recovered, as were several antler batons which had been used to knap stone tools. Objects in the assemblage considered evidence of early modern behavior include perforated shells and animal teeth, small ivory beads; curved and straight rods from mammoth ivory; engraved, grooved and cross-hatched ivory and bone; and a possible sculpture. Several "anneaux"--rings carved into limestone blocks and roof fall from the ceiling--were reported by Peyrony as well.

Animals identified from bones in Level A included reindeer, seal, ground squirrel, bear, hyena, fox, lion, lynx, wild cat, deer, bison, pig, goat, and horse. An abundance of small mammals and birds were retrieved from the Early Aurignacian levels in the cave by the Peyrony excavations, and were dominated by field mice, voles, rabbits, lemmings and hedgehogs; and partridges, plovers, crows, and passerines.

- from About.com Archaeology

See also Anthropologists Discover Earliest Form of Wall Art

‘Britain’ in the Upper Palaeolithic period
refers to the north-western corner
of continental Europe

The British Aurignacian

‘Britain’ in the Upper Palaeolithic period refers to the north-western corner of continental Europe, and forms the westernmost extension of the great Northern European Plain (Fig-ure 1). Dominating this corner of Europe was the now submerged Channel River Valley, draining northern France, southern and south-central England, western Belgium and large areas of north-central Europe via the Rhine/Meuse system. This vast river played a huge role in shaping the Upper Palaeolithic of Britain (Pettitt2008). All known British Aurignacian material comes from poorly- or un-stratified assemblages, excavated before modern archaeological controls. For example, at Goat’s Hole, Paviland (hereafter ‘Paviland’), no stratigraphy was apparent to Sollas during his 1912 excavations; thus no spatial data was collected (Sollas1913). The Paviland lithic assemblage contains material from the Lincombian-Ranisian-Jerzmanowician (LRJ), believed to be a late Neanderthal industry (e.g. Jacobi 1999; Flas2008; J¨ori & Street 2008), together with several modern human industries (Aurignacian, Gravettian, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic)(Swainston2000). Top luck Aurignacian artefacts from such a mixed assemblage necessitate the strictest selection criteria. Consequently, material suitable for study (Table 1) is a small fraction of the Aurignacian material actually collected. The western distribution of British Aurignacian sites is striking, and has been noted and discussed by many (e.g. Garrod1926;Jacobi 2007; Pettitt2008;Flas 2009). It is a genuine reflection of the distribution of Aurignacian material and not simply an artefact of differential survival / recognition, since archaeology attributable to late Neanderthals (Mousterian and LRJ) and to the Gravettian has been found across England. For Jacobi (1999) and Pettitt(2008), the restriction of Aurignacian sites to western Britain suggested a southern origin, with mobile hunter-gatherers negotiating their way from north-west France and across the mouth of the Channel River. As Pettitt (2008) pointed out, this would have taken them into geographically familiar landscapes to the north of the river. For Aldhouse-Green (2004)this coastal movement may have originated farther south, in the Aurignacian heartlands of south-western France.

Aurignacian sites in western Europe
Aurignacian sites in western Europe

"Although Aurignacian prey varied, reindeer was undoubtedly important"

Colonisation

As frequently emphasised, major river systems offer directional routes through landscapes, and models of initial modern human dispersal often reference their role (e.g. Davies2001;Conard&Bolus2003).Of equal importance is that migratory fauna—with which all Upper Palaeolithic hunting strategies were interrelated in some way—would have used these same pathways. Correlation between major rivers and human activity and movement can therefore be argued for much, if not all, of the Upper Palaeolithic. Throughout the Aurignacian, this correlation appears particularly pronounced, regardless of initial colonisation dynamics. Movement of Aurignacian lithic material in the P´erigordis oriented along major river valleys, whereas similar patterns are not apparent later in the Upper Palaeolithic (Djindjian et al .1999). This strongly suggests seasonal movement along rivers. Otte(1979) noted that of 14 Belgian sites he believed to have yielded Aurignacian material, 11 are < 50m from an extant river. The location of Aurignacian sites in Britain and northern France also suggests that large river valleys were a focus of human presence and movement. At Beg ar C’hastel, Beg-Pol and Kent’s Cavern, Aurignacian occupants overlooked palaeo-rivers draining into the Atlantic; at Paviland and Hoyle’s Mouth they overlooked the Bristol Channel River Plain; and at Uphill Quarry and Hyaena Den they were present in a main tributary valley of this latter system (Figure 1). Although Aurignacian prey varied (Grayson&Delpech2002), reindeer was undoubtedly important (Mellars1973), dominating faunal assemblages from Abri Pataud 13 and 14, LePiage J and Roc de Combe 5 and 7. Interestingly, cementum increment seasonality data forreindeer teeth from the Aurignacian levels 2 and 3 of Trou Magrite (Belgium) indicates the presence of reindeer during winter months, and almost exclusively from late autumn to early spring (Stutz et al .1995). Stutz et al. (1995: 181) suggest that reindeer (and humans) could have moved from the Meuse basin in spring, following a migration route heading “towards the Atlantic to the west and north-west”. Such a migration route would have encompassed the Channel River Valley.

"It is therefore plausible that Aurignacian hunters were initially brought into the Channel River Valley, and then to Britain, following these reindeer herds"

With a complex internal topography, geography and ecology (Pettitt 2008), the Channel River will have represented perfect terrain for Aurignacian hunter-gatherers. The river and its tributaries would have been a good source of fish, and the valley’s size would have allowed mammalian fauna to traverse or occupy it with ease. Perhaps more importantly, sheltered areas in and around the Channel River Valley could have provided refuge during the winter, and a base from which to expand northwards into upland (i.e. British) terrain during the summer. A similar scenario can easily be envisaged for the now submerged Bristol Channel River Valley, allowing summer expansion into Wales and beyond.

"much Aurignacian archaeology was deposited in these now submerged valleys"

It is probable, then, that much Aurignacian archaeology was deposited in these now submerged valleys. The extant sites are those high enough to have survived Holocene sea level rises. Assuming an Aurignacian presence extending across south-western England, westernmost central England and all of Wales, c . 75 per cent of this area was subsequently glaciated and / or submerged by sea level rise. If Aurignacian terrain actually extended northwards beyond this, or if any of the submerged Channel River area is taken into account, this figure rises further still. Together, Aurignacian landscape choice and subsequent geological processes have conspired to obliterate evidence of Aurignacian activity. What remains, therefore, is an extremely depleted record, biased much more than that of neighbouring regions which were unaffected by these destructive forces. This destruction of evidence must be considered when we attempt to interpret what archaeology we do have.

From The Archaeology of Britain's first modern humans, Rob Dinnis, 2012
See also The Timing of Aurinacian occupation of the British Peninsula

 

Aurignacian Culture Personal Ornaments


 

Fig. 2. Teeth used as personal ornaments in the Aurignacian. 1, badger canine; 2, bear canine; 3, bear incisor; 4, fox canine; 5, bovid incisor; 6, fox incisor; 7, reindeer incisor; 8, reindeer canine; 9, beaver incisor; 10, horse canine; 11, horse incisor; 12, fallow deer incisor; 13, red deer canine; 14, red deer incisor; 15, hyena incisor; 16, hyena canine; 17, horse decidual incisor; 18, lion incisor; 19, wolf canine; 20, ibex incisor; 21, lion canine; 22, shark tooth; 23, human tooth; 24, wolf molar; 25, wolf incisor; 26, moose incisor; 27, lynx canine; 28, wild boar incisor.

- from Aurignacian ethno-linguistic geography of Europe revealed by personal ornaments, Journal of Atchaeological Science, Volume 33, Isue 8, August 2006, Pages 1105-1128


 

Fig. 3. Shells used as personal ornaments in the Aurignacian. 1, Acanthocardia sp.; 2, Ammonite; 3, Ancillaria sp.; 4, Aporrhais sp.; 5, Arca sp.; 6, Architectonatica sp.; 7, Astraea sp.; 8, Belemnite sp.; 9, Buccinum sp.; 10, Callista sp.; 11, Cantharus sp.; 12, Cardium sp.; 13, Charonia sp.; 14, Clanculus sp.; 15, Columbella sp.; 16, Colus sp.; 17, Conus sp.; 18, Crommium sp.; 19, Cyclope sp.; 20, Cypraea sp.; 21, Dentalium sp.; 22, Epitonius sp.; 23, Fusus sp.; 24, Gasteropod mould; 25, Gibbula sp.; 26, Glycymeris sp.; 27, Haliotis sp.; 28, Homalopoma sanguineum; 29, Jujubinus sp.; 30, Littorina littorea; 31, Littorina obtusata; 32, Littorina saxatilis; 33, Mangelia sp.; 34, Melanopsis sp.; 35, Mitra sp.; 36, Mytilus sp.; 37, Nassarius corniculum; 38, Nassarius gibbosulus; 39, Nassarius incrassatus; 40, Nassarius mutabilis; 41, Nassarius reticulates; 42, Natica sp.; 43, Nucella lapillus; 44, Nummulite; 45, Ocinebrina sp.; 46, Osilinus sp.; 47, Ostrea sp.; 48, Patella sp.; 49, Pecten sp.; 50, Phalium sp.; 51, Potamides sp.; 52, Rynchonella sp.; 53, Ringicula sp.; 54, Rissoa sp.; 55, Strombus sp.; 56, Surcula sp.; 57, Tapes sp.; 58, Thais sp.; 59, Theodoxus sp.; 60, Tricolia sp.; 61, Trivia sp.; 62, Trochus sp.; 63, Turritella sp.; 64, urchin; 65, Venus sp.; 66, Vermetus sp.

 

DNA: The initial spread of the haplogroup I carriers in Europe is usually linked to the diffusion of the largely pan-European Gravettian technology. Gravettian is the second subdivision of the Upper Paleolithic technological phase in Western Europe (from 27,000 to 21,000 years ago). Gravettian culture earlier phase (c.28,000-23,000 ya) of the European Upper Paleolithic is characterized by a stone-tool industry with small pointed blades used for big-game hunting (bison, horse, reindeer and mammoth). It is divided into two regional groups: the western Gravettian, mostly known from cave sites in France, and the eastern Gravettian, with open sites of specialized mammoth hunters on the plains of central Europe and Russia. The most characteristic artworks made by Gravettian artists were the famous Venus figurines. - Unknown source

"Some scholars believe that the Gravettian culture originated within the later native Aurignacian, in all probability in central Europe"

The History of the Gravettian Culture

A general techno-complex, scholars are unclear on the origins of the Gravettian culture. It is thought that they may have originated outside Europe and then spread with the more modern human population. Some scholars believe that the Gravettian culture originated within the later native Aurignacian, in all probability in central Europe. This culture lasted from at least 29,000 years ago to around 21,000 years ago. In some parts, it survived to a much later date, down to around 14,000 years ago when it is known as the Epigravettian. When the Gravettian culture first appeared, it did so after the severe conditions of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) came to an end. It was at this time when there was a rise of behavioural innovations, “such as semi-sedentism, elaborate burial, and projectile technology, which separate it from the early Upper Palaeolithic Aurignacian”.

- from Bukisa

The Gravettian tool making culture was a specific archaeological industry of the European Upper Palaeolithic era prevalent before the last glacial epoch. It is named after the type site of La Gravette in the Dordogne region of France where its characteristic tools were first found and studied. The earliest signs of the culture were found at Kozarnika, Bulgaria. One of the earliest artifacts is also found in eastern Crimea (Buran-Kaya) dated 32,000 years ago. It lasted until 22,000 years ago. Where found, it succeeded the artifacts datable to the Aurignacian culture. The diagnostic characteristic artifacts of the industry are small pointed restruck blade with a blunt but straight back, a carving tool known as a Noailles burin. Artistic achievements of the Gravettian cultural stage include the hundreds of Venus figurines, which are widely distributed in Europe. The predecessor culture was linked to similar figurines and carvings.

Gravettian culture is a phase (c.28,000–23,000 ya) of the European Upper Paleolithic that is characterized by a stone-tool industry with small pointed blades used for big-game hunting (bison, horse, reindeer and mammoth). People in the Gravettian period also used nets to hunt small game. For more information on hunting see Animal Usage in the Gravettian. It is divided into two regional groups: the western Gravettian, mostly known from cave sites in France, and the eastern Gravettian, with open sites of specialized mammoth hunters on the plains of central Europe and Russia.

- from Wikipedia

Venus of Brassempout c 27,000 BC
Venus of Brassempout c 27,000 BC

Europe and much of the Eurasian steppes were covered in vast grasslands supporting abundant reindeer, mammoth, bison and antelope that provided abundant food for hunters and valuable materials like hide, bone, ivory, and antler. The Gravettian culture, which lasted from 28,000 to 21,000 years ago, stretched east into Russia with southern provinces in Italy and on the French-Spanish border and focused more on hunting mammoth than reindeer. These people produced the well-known Venus figurines recovered from sites that stretch from France to Russia and might have been associated with a fertility cult. Less well known is their invention of the bow.

- from Out of Africa, Before the Dawn


22,000 - 18,000 Years Before Present

Europe during the Last Galcial Maximum
Europe during the Last Galcial Maximum

Reindeer migrated from the summer calving grounds in the northern tundra to winter in the forests of southern Europe.

 

Solutrean Culture

Solutrean cultural sites in Europe
Solutrean cultural sites in Europe

The Gravettians were followed by the Solutrean culture, which was centered in France and Spain that lasted from 21,000 to 16,500. The Solutrean toolkit includes the world’s first identifiable needles. These people had abandoned the worsening climate of cold northwestern and central Europe and were living together in larger societies that were crowded into these southern refuges. As quickly as the glaciers had returned, they withdrew and yielded back the rich lands of Eurasia to animals and those who hunted them. People spread out across what is now France and Germany and created the culture of the Magdalenians that existed from 18,000 to 11,000 years ago.

- from Out of Africa, Before the Dawn

Solutrean

The Solutrean may be seen as a transitory stage between the flint implements of the Mousterian and the bone implements of the Magdalenian epochs. Faunal finds include horse, reindeer, mammoth, cave lion, rhinoceros, bear and aurochs. Solutrean finds have been also made in the caves of Les Eyzies and Laugerie Haute, and in the Lower Beds of Creswell Crags in Derbyshire, England. The industry first appeared in what is now Spain, and disappears from the archaeological record around 17,000 BP.

- from Wikipedia

 

Magdalenian Culture

Magdalenian cultural sites in Europe
Magdalenian cultural sites in Europe

"The Age of the Reindeer"

The Magdalenian (French: Magdalénien), refers to one of the later cultures of the Upper Paleolithic in western Europe, dating from around 17,000 to 11,000 years ago.[1] It is named after the type site of La Madeleine, a rock shelter located in the Vézère valley, commune of Tursac, in the Dordogne department of France.

Magdalenian Horse
Magdalenian Horse

Originally termed "L'âge du renne" (the Age of the Reindeer) by Édouard Lartet and Henry Christy, the first systematic excavators of the type site, in their publication of 1875, the Magdalenian is synonymous in many people's minds with reindeer hunters, although Magdalenian sites also contain extensive evidence for the hunting of red deer, horse and other large mammals present in Europe towards the end of the last ice age. The culture was geographically widespread, and later Magdalenian sites have been found from Portugal in the west to Poland in the east...

"they often followed herds and moved depending on seasons"

The later phases of the Magdalenian are also synonymous with the human re-settlement of north-western Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum during the Late Glacial Maximum. Research in Switzerland, southern Germany [4] and Belgium [5] has provided AMS radiocarbon dating to support this. However being hunter gatherers Magdalenians did not simply re-settle permanently in north-west Europe as they often followed herds and moved depending on seasons.

By the end of the Magdalenian, the lithic technology shows a pronounced trend towards increased microlithisation. The bone harpoons and points have the most distinctive chronological markers within the typological sequence. As well as flint tools, the Magdalenians are best known for their elaborate worked bone, antler and ivory which served both functional and aesthetic purposes including perforated batons. Examples of Magdalenian portable art include batons, figurines and intricately engraved projectile points, as well as items of personal adornment including sea shells, perforated carnivore teeth (presumably necklaces) and fossils.

Creeping Hyena, Prehistoric artifact found in the La Madeleine rock shelter in Tursac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France. Magdalenian culture.
Creeping Hyena, Prehistoric artifact found in the La Madeleine rock shelter in Tursac, Dordogne, Aquitaine, France. Magdalenian culture.

The sea shells and fossils found in Magdalenian sites can be sourced to relatively precise areas of origin, and so have been used to support hypothesis of Magdalenian hunter-gatherer seasonal ranges, and perhaps trade routes. Cave sites such as the world famous Lascaux contain the best known examples of Magdalenian cave art. The site of Altamira in Spain, with its extensive and varied forms of Magdalenian mobillary art has been suggested to be an agglomeration site where multiple small groups of Magdalenian hunter-gatherers congregated.

- from Wikipedia

 

Distribution of Creswellian findspots
Distribution of Creswellian findspots
From The Archaeology of Britain

It has parallels with the Federmesser and Hamburgian cultures of today northwestern continental Europe and the Magdelanian culture of southern Europe. The diagnostic tools are trapezoidal backed blades called Cheddar points and variant forms known as Creswell points as well as smaller bladelets. Other tool types include end scrapers made from long, straight blades. A special preparation technique was employed to remove blades from a core through striking in a single direction, leaving a distinct 'spur' on the striking platform. The tools were made using a soft hammerstone or an antler hammer.

"Other finds from Creswellian contexts include Baltic amber"

Other finds from Creswellian contexts include Baltic amber, mammoth ivory and animal teeth and bone. These were used to make harpoons, awls, beads and needles. Unusual bevelled ivory rods, known as sagaies have been found at Gough's Cave in Somerset and Kent's Cavern in Devon.

"seashells and amber from the North Sea coast indicate a highly mobile population"

Twenty eight sites producing Cheddar points are known in England and Wales though none have so far been found in Scotland or Ireland, regions which it is thought were not colonised by humans until later. Most sites are caves but there in increasing evidence for open air activity and that preferred sources of flint were exploited and that tools travelled distances of up to 100 miles from their sources. Some of the flint at Gough's Cave came from the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire whilst non-local seashells and amber from the North Sea coast also indicate a highly mobile population. This matches evidence from the Magdelanian cultures elsewhere in Europe and may suggest that exchange of goods and the sending out of specialised expeditions seeking raw materials may have been practised. Analysis of debitage at occupation sites suggests that flint nodules were reduced in size at source and the lighter blades carried by Creswellian groups as 'toolkits' in order to reduce the weight carried.

Creswell Crags
Creswell Crags
From Creswell Crags Museum and Visitor Centre

Comparison of flint from Kent's Cavern and Creswell Crags has led some archaeologists to believe that they were made by the same group.

Food species eaten by Creswellian hunters focused on the wild horse (Equus ferus) or the red deer (Cervus elaphus), probably depending on the season, although the arctic hare, reindeer, mammoth, Saiga antelope, wild cow, brown bear, lynx, arctic fox and wolf were also exploited.

Highly fragmentary fossil bones were found in Gough's Cave. They had marks that suggested actions of skinning, dismembering, defleshing and marrow extraction. The excavations of 1986-1987 noted that human and animal remains were mixed, with no particular distribution or arrangement of the human bones. They also show the signs of the same treatments as the animal bones. These findings were interpreted in the sense of a nutritional cannibalism. However, slight differences from other sites in skull treatment leave open the possibility of elements of ritual cannibalism.[8]

- from Wikipedia

Younger Dryas

A return to much colder conditions in the period 10,800 to 10,000 BP is marked by a dramatic fall of 5–7°C in mean annual sea temperatures in the North Atlantic. Further evidence of climatic deterioration is indicated by the southern limit of winter sea ice which migrated from a position close to Iceland (near where it is today) to a point off the north coast of Iberia. This, coupled with potentially stronger cyclonic activity in the North Atlantic and a northerly wind flow, appears to have provided the right conditions for increased precipitation, much of it probably in the form of snow, feeding local glaciers in the Scottish Highlands and north Wales. According to the GISP-2 ice-core data, the sharp fall in temperatures and the return to a more glacial climate seem to have occurred extremely rapidly, perhaps within as little as a few centuries (Alley et al. 1993).

These climatic changes are reflected in the pollen record by evidence for the disruption of birch parkland and increased frequencies of plant communities typical of open tundra. A similar climatic signal is given by the fossil beetle faunas which show that, if anything, temperatures in Britain were slightly cooler than those of western Europe. The latter observation is consistent with the deflection of the warm Gulf Stream currents away from the western European seaboard.

"The return to more open tundra-like conditions is also indicated by
the reappearance of reindeer
"

The return to more open tundra-like conditions is also indicated by the reappearance of reindeer, as well as several records of steppe pika (Ochotona pusilla). The possibility that the climate became progressively more arid in the later part of the Younger Dryas is implied by the occurrence of several different species of Artemisia. Such dryness may also have stimulated the growth of wild grasses, creating grazing conditions especially favourable to wild horses and reindeer. Certainly, the few radiocarbon dates on horses of this period all belong to the second half of the stadial.

- from The Archaeology of Britain, Edited John Hunter and Ian Ralston, 1999

Material Culture and Technology

A fairly wide range of organic artefacts have been recorded in Creswellian contexts. These are made in a variety of materials including deer antler, teeth, bone and mammoth ivory. Rare examples of artefacts made on mammoth products comprise double-bevelled ivory rods (sagaies) from Gough’s Cave (Somerset) and Kent’s Cavern (Devon). Reindeer antler was used to make batons (batons percés) at Gough’s Cave and scooped-end rods (also sagaies) at Fox Hole (Derbyshire) and Church Hole (Creswell Crags, Derbyshire). Products on unidentified antler include parts of three barbed harpoons from Kent’s Cavern, while leg bones of arctic hare (Lepus timidus) modified for use as pointed awls (poinçons) have been recovered at Gough’s Cave and Robin Hood Cave (Creswell Crags, Derbyshire). Other organic items include bone needles at Gough’s Cave, Church Hole and Kent’s Cavern, plus an awl—though not of hare bone—from the latter site. Several fox tooth beads have also been found at Gough’s Cave. Evidence for the method of antler working technology is restricted to a single fragment of antler from Gough’s Cave that shows groove and splinter modification. Grooves and cuts on the bones of Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) from Gough’s Cave show how needles were manufactured from bone cores.

- from The Archaeology of Britain, Edited John Hunter and Ian Ralston, 1999

Seasonality and Subsistence

Evidence linking the exploitation of mammal faunas and human activity is preserved in the form of cut-marks on and other modification to bones, antler and ivory found at Creswellian sites. Species known to have been exploited for meat, raw materials and artefacts included wild horse (Equus ferus), red deer (Cervus elaphus), arctic hare (Lepus timidus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica), wild cattle (Bos primigenius), brown bear (Ursus arctos) and lynx (Lynx lynx). To this list can probably be added arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and wolf (Canis lupus), although no cut-marks have yet been recorded on Late glacial bone specimens.

- from The Archaeology of Britain, Edited John Hunter and Ian Ralston, 1999

 

Hamburgian Culture

"the reindeer was an important prey"

The Hamburg culture or Hamburgian (13,500-11,100 BC) was a Late Upper Paleolithic culture of reindeer hunters in northwestern Europe during the last part of the Weichsel Glaciation beginning during the Bölling Interstatial.[1] Sites are found close to the ice caps of the time.[2]

The Hamburg Culture has been identified at many places, for example, the settlement at Meiendorf and Ahrensburg [3] north of Hamburg, Germany. It is characterized by shouldered points and zinken tools, which were used as chisels when working with horns. In later periods tanged Havelte-type points appear, sometimes described as most of all a northwestern phenomenon. Notwithstanding the spread over a large geographical area in which a homogeneous development is not to be expected, the definition of the Hamburgian as a technological complex of its own has not recently been questioned.[2] The culture spread from northern France to southern Scandinavia in the north and to Poland in the east.

In the early 1980s, the first find from the culture in Scandinavia was excavated at Jels in Sønderjylland. Recently, new finds have been discovered at, for example, Finja in northern Skåne. The latest findings (2005) have shown that these people traveled far north along the Norwegian coast dry shod during the summer, since the sea level was 50m lower than today. In northern Germany, camps with layers of detritus have been found. In the layers, there is a great deal of horn and bone, and it appears that the reindeer was an important prey.

The distribution of the finds in the settlements show that the settlements were small and only inhabited by a small group of people. At a few settlements, archaeologists have discovered circles of stones, interpreted as weights for a teepee covering.

- from Wikipedia

Scotland’s first Late Upper Palaeolithic settlement at Howburn and its landscape

The first Late Upper Palaeolithic open-air site to be found in Scotland, at Howburn, near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, is described and an account given of the composition and distribution of the lithic assemblage. These are set in its British and north-west European context. Provisional parallels drawn are with the Late Hamburgian (Havelte) sites and assemblages of southern Scandinavia, northern Germany and the Netherlands. There is no absolute dating evidence for the site, but an age in the region of 12000 14C yr BP, towards the end of the earlier (Bølling) Lateglacial Interstadial stage, is proposed on the basis of the lithic artefacts. Analyses to date of former lake sediments adjacent to the site are assessed and the potential for future work is explored.

- Alan Saville and Richard Tipping- National Museums of Scotland and Stirling University

See also The chronological framework of the Hamburgian in the light of old and new C14 dates

"these people followed reindeer herds on their yearly cycle, from Scotland,
through north-east England, and possibly onto the then dry parts of the North Sea,
the ‘Doggerland’, and back"

Read more about Howburn in Ancient Scotland

 

"The most important prey was the wild reindeer"

The Ahrensburg culture or Ahrensburgian (11th to 10th millennia BCE) was a late Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture (or technocomplex) in north-central Europe during the Younger Dryas, the last spell of cold at the end of the Weichsel glaciation resulting in deforestation and the formation of a tundra with bushy arctic white birch and rowan. The most important prey was the wild reindeer. The earliest definite finds of arrow and bow date to this culture, though these weapons might have been invented earlier. The Ahrensburgian was preceded by the Hamburg and Federmesser cultures and superseded by mesolithic cultures (Maglemosian). Ahrensburgian finds were made in southern and western Scandinavia, the North German plain and western Poland. The Ahrensburgian area also included vast stretches of land now at the bottom of the North and Baltic Sea, since during the Younger Dryas the coastline took a much more northern course than today.

- from Wikipedia

The Ahrensburgian is present over the vast area of the North European Plain and over the area of Southern Scandinavia. The toolkits of the Ahrensburg reindeer hunters are characterized by small tanged arrow points, usually less than 5.5 cm. The bulbar end of the blank was usually removed by oblique retouch. Obliquely retouched bladelets (Zonhoven-points) short endscrapers and burins and also present in Ahrensburg assemblages. Both, Ahrensburg and Zonhoven points show wear marks indicating their use as tips of projectiles. “Riesenklingen” point to a connection to sites with a “long blade tradition”, known from N/W-Europe.

Currently, ca. 300 Ahrensburgian sites in territory from Belgium to western Poland are known. However, some points resembling Ahrensburgian ones are present in Lithuania and Belarus.

"These arrows are the oldest ever found worldwide"

The famous Stellmoor site was excavated by A. Rust in the 1930ies. Stellmoor is situated within a larger lake system in the Ahrensburg tunnel valley and was a seasonal settlement inhabited primarily during October. The bones from more than 650 reindeers have been found there. 105 pinewood arrows or arrow fragments were identified during the Rust excavations. These arrows are the oldest ever found worldwide. They were produced with a masterly workmanship, pointing to a long tradition of manufacturing composite hunting equipment. The Stellmoor site is seen as a killing site for large quantities of reindeer by interception hunting.

- from Aggsbach's Paleolithic Blog

See Economy and Seasonality in the Ahrensgurgian
See Pre-historic reindeer Hunting in the Southern Norwegian Highlands

 

Maglemosian Culture & Doggerland

"The first Mesolithic culture of the north European plain, found in Scandinavia,
the northern Balkans, northern Scotland, and northern England,
and lasting from c 9000
/ 8000-5000 BC."

The way of life was adapted to a forest and river / lakeside environment. Much has been preserved in waterlogged deposits. Thus more is known about the Maglemosian industry than about other tool industries of the same period. The tool kit included microliths, woodworking tools such as chipped axes and adzes, picks, barbed points, spearheads of bone or antler, and fishing gear. Wooden bows, paddles, and dugout canoes have been found, and the dog was already domesticated. The Maglemosian industry was named after the bog (magle mose, big bog in Danish) at Mullerup, Denmark, where evidence of the industry was first recognized. The Maglemosian industry was also highly artistic, with decorative designs on tools and decorative objects, such as pendants and amulets.

- from The Adventures of Archaeology Wordsmith

Conjectured dispersal of Northern Maglemosian culture and language
Conjectured dispersal of Northern Maglemosian culture and language
From "How Old is English", proto-english.org

Maglemosian industry, a tool culture of northern Europe dating from the postglacial period, approximately 9000 to 5000 bc. The Maglemosian industry was named after the bog (magle mose, “big bog,” in Danish) at Mullerup, Den., where evidence of the industry was first recognized. The industry was created by a Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) forest people, who settled along rivers and lakes left behind as the glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated; because their dwellings were generally at the edge of water, many products of the industry made of organic substances that ordinarily would not have survived have been preserved in waterlogged deposits. Thus more is known about the Maglemosian industry than about other tool industries of the same period. Stone microliths (tiny stone blades, edges, and points) used as arrowheads or set into the cutting edges of mattocks, axes, and adzes are common, and many bone and wood tools are known as well: bows and arrows, antler and bone spearheads, bone fishhooks, wooden paddles, and even a dugout canoe. Bark twine fishnets and bark floats have also been preserved. At its height, the Maglemosian industry was also a highly artistic one, decorative designs being found both on tools and on decorative objects, such as pendants and amulets of bone, horn, and amber.

- from Encyclopaedia Brittanica

A shaman's staff?
A shaman's staff?

Around 1950 a stick of antler was found in the Åmose area of western Zealand. It was elaborately decorated with geometric motifs. In between the patterns an animal and a human figure can be seen. The human figure is possibly a sleeping shaman or a shaman in a trance. Both figures are decorated with the same type of geometric motif, perhaps indicating that people, like animals, wore skins. The decoration reveals that the stick is from the time of the Maglemose Culture and is 8000-9000 years old. The animal resembles a deer, which was the hunters’ favourite quarry. Perhaps a shaman used the staff in connection with hunting rituals.

- from Hisorrisk Viden, Danmark

"During the following century a long series of similar settlements were excavated from England to Poland and from Skåne in Sweden to northern France"

Maglemosian (ca. 9000 BC–6000 BC) is the name given to a culture of the early Mesolithic period in Northern Europe. In Scandinavia, the culture is succeeded by the Kongemose culture. The actual name came from an archeological site in Denmark, named Maglemose near Høng on western Zealand, where the first settlement was found in 1900.[1] During the following century a long series of similar settlements were excavated from England to Poland and from Skåne in Sweden to northern France. The Maglemosian people lived in forest and wetland environments using fishing and hunting tools made from wood, bone, and flint microliths. It appears that they had domesticated the dog. [citation needed] Some may have lived settled lives but most were nomadic. [citation needed]. Huts made of bark have been preserved, and the tools were made of flint stone, bone, and horn. A characteristic of the culture are the sharply edged microliths of flintstone which were used for spear heads and arrow heads. A notable feature is the Leister or Fish Spear.

"Sea levels in northern Europe did not reach current levels until almost 6000 BC by which time they had inundated some territories inhabited by Maglemosian people"

- from Maglemosian Culture, Wikipedia

Maglemosian Doggerland

Some of the Maglemosian hunter settlements are found in the bogs of western Zealand, for instance the Maglemose at Mullerup. This bog has given its name to the Maglemose Culture. Two settlements are known from here, which were excavated at the beginning of the 20th century. These were both small sites, apparently associated with a single family. The southern part of both settlements had lain under water during the winter months. This has meant that the bones from the site are very well preserved. Here the hunters’ rubbish dumps were found. Animal bones and other leftovers lay where they were discarded over 8500 years ago. Human bones were also found scattered over some of the settlements, although complete burials are rare. All of the settlements are believed to have been the homes of single families or small groups during the summer period. The deposits of animal bones and other waste at the sites can be explained by the hunters returning to the site year after year. Perhaps during the winter months they moved out to the coast and hunted seals. We can imagine that groups of hunters met at the winter settlements and feasted. As a result of subsequent rises in sea level the coastal settlements are now submerged. Today they lie on the sea bed, and only underwater archaeological research can prize information from the sea about the winter settlements of the Maglemosian people.

- from Hisorrisk Viden, Danmark

"British prehistorians had come to accept the idea that the territory of the Maglemosian culture, first recognized in Denmark, had extended as far west as Britain"

From Excavations at Starr Carr by Grahame Clark
From Excavations at Starr Carr by Grahame Clark

 


Map showing the Neolithic expansions from the 7th to the 5th millennium BC, including the Cardium Culture in blue.

“For 30,000 years ice sheets came and went, at one point covering two-thirds of Europe. Old cultures died and new ones emerged - such as the Aurignacian and the Grevettian - over thousands of years, and the hunter-gatherer populations ebbed and flowed. But we now know that no new sets of genes are coming in: these changes in survival and cultural kit are overlaid on the same biological background,” Mirazón Lahr said. “It is only when famers from the Near East arrived about 8,000 years ago that the structure of the European population changed significantly.”

- University of Cambridge

Neolithic Europe

Neolithic Europe refers to a prehistoric period in which Neolithic technology was present in Europe. This corresponds roughly to a time between 7000 BC (the approximate time of the first farming societies in Greece) and c. 1700 BC (the beginning of the Bronze Age in northwest Europe). The Neolithic overlaps the Mesolithic and Bronze Age periods in Europe as cultural changes moved from the southeast to northwest at about 1 km/year.[1] The duration of the Neolithic varies from place to place, its end marked by the introduction of bronze implements: in southeast Europe it is approximately 4000 years (i.e., 7000 BC–3000 BC) while in Northwest Europe it is just under 3000 years (c. 4500 BC–1700 BC).

- from Wikipedia

Early Neolithic Europe with associated Y Haplogroup
Early Neolithic Europe with associated Y Haplogroup


Late Neolithic Europe with associated Y Haplogroup

Dolmens and Passage Graves in Denmark

About 5,000 years ago, the area of present-day Denmark saw a tremendous amount of construction projects. Within a period of just a few hundreds years, thousands of dolmens and passage graves were erected throughout the country. Some of these complicated and technologically advanced burial monuments are still preserved in the landscape. They bear witness to a pervasive revolution in religious beliefs and living conditions in general shortly after agriculture and livestock breeding became commonplace.

The introduction of farming meant a revolution. Until now, people would have to move around according to the seasons to find food. Agriculture and livestock allowed people to settle the same place all year round, and the traditional huts were replaced by larger houses. This was a radical shift in lifestyle. Society got a new structure, which also influenced religion and ritual life.

- from Dolmens and Passage Graves in Denmark

Prehistoric Britain

The Neolithic was the period of domestication of plants and animals. There is a current debate between those who believe that the introduction of farming and a sedentary lifestyle was brought about by resident peoples adopting new practices, and those who hold the opinion that it was effected by continental invaders bringing their culture with them and, to some degree, replacing the indigenous populations.

"Analysis of the mitochondrial DNA of modern European populations shows that over 80% are descended in the female line from European hunter-gatherers"

Less than 20% are descended in the female line from Neolithic farmers from the Middle East and from subsequent migrations. The percentage in Britain is smaller at around 11%. Initial studies suggested that this situation is different with the paternal Y-chromosome DNA, varying from 10–100% across the country, being higher in the east. This was considered to show a large degree of population replacement during the Anglo-Saxon invasion and a nearly complete masking over of whatever population movement (or lack of it) went before in these two countries.[14]

"However, more widespread studies have suggested that there was less of a division between Western and Eastern parts of Britain with less Anglo-Saxon migration"

Looking from a more Europe-wide standpoint, researchers at Stanford University have found overlapping cultural and genetic evidence that supports the theory that migration was at least partially responsible for the Neolithic Revolution in Northern Europe (including Britain).[16] The science of genetic anthropology is changing very fast and a clear picture across the whole of human occupation of Britain has yet to emerge.[17]

- from Wikipedia

The Amesbury Archer

The latest tests on the Amesbury Archer, whose grave astonished archaeologists last year with the richness of its contents, show he was originally from the Alps region, probably Switzerland, Austria or Germany. The tests also show that the gold hair tresses found in the grave are the earliest gold objects found in Britain. The grave of the Archer, who lived around 2,300 BC, contained about 100 items, more than ten times as many objects as any other burial site from this time. When details were released, the media dubbed the Archer “The King of Stonehenge”.

- from Tests Reveal Amesbury Archer 'King of Stonehenge' was a settler from the Alps, Wessex archaeology online

Ancient sting nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections

A piece of nettle cloth retrieved from Denmark's richest known Bronze Age burial mound Lusehøj may actually derive from Austria, new findings suggest. The cloth thus tells a surprising story about long-distance Bronze Age trade connections around 800 BC. The findings have just been published in Nature's online journal Scientific Reports.

- from Ancient sting nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections, University of Copenhagen

Germanic-Roman Contacts

"It has been suggested that the Romans supported and equipped Germanic tribes in the part of Germania which is today's Denmark"

Archaeological sources tell of Roman equipment and arms that have been discovered as far north as Scandinavia. Danish archaeologists: Lars Jørgensen, Birger Storgaard and Ulla Lund Hansen have suggested Germano-Roman alliances, in which Romans supported a Germanic power in today's Denmark. According to Jørgensen, this was either to destabilize Scandinavia, or to create a Roman friendly power which could help ensure peace and stability in the border areas.[5]

- Wikipedia

 

Doggerland & The British Isles

"My re-analysis confirms the general trend of similarity across the North Sea. However, there are older reasons - and evidence - for this genetic neighbourliness than a massive swamping of England during the Dark Ages. The drowned North Sea Plain is one of the oldest geographical indicators of the beginning of an eastern British identity, and there is genetic evidence to support this. " - Stephen Oppenheimer

 

The Doggerland Hypothesis

According to familytreedna Haplogroups I1 and I2b "originated in Northern France as they trekked northward to Scandinavia after the last ice age. Some spread to Western Europe from Scandinavia through populations like the Viking". The area of "Northern France" would have also included the "English Channel", "British Isles" and the "North Sea" (or Doggerland) during that time frame...

The world at the Last Glacial Maximum. Darker tint shows extra land above sea level.
The world at the Last Glacial Maximum. Darker tint shows extra land above sea level.

"Global sea level was about 125 meters below today’s sea level
at the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago
"

Sea Level and Climate

During cold-climate intervals, known as glacial epochs or ice ages, sea level falls because of a shift in the global hydrologic cycle: water is evaporated from the oceans and stored on the continents as large ice sheets and expanded ice caps, ice fields, and mountain glaciers. Global sea level was about 125 meters below today’s sea level at the last glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago (Fairbanks, 1989). As the climate warmed, sea level rose because the melting North American, Eurasian, South American, Greenland, and Antarctic ice sheets returned their stored water to the world’s oceans. During the warmest intervals, called interglacial epochs, sea level is at its highest. Today we are living in the most recent interglacial, an interval that started about 10,000 years ago and is called the Holocene Epoch by geologists.

- from Sea Level and Climate, By Richard Z. Poore, Richard S. Williams, Jr., and Christopher Tracey, US Geological Survey

Earliest people

In 2007, Bryan Sykes produced an analysis of 6000 samples from the OGAP project in his book Blood of the Isles.[3] Later, Stephen Oppenheimer in his 2006 book The Origins of the British used the data from Weale et al. (2002), Capelli et al. (2003) and Rosser et al. (2000) for Europe. In opposition to Neolithic origin theories, which remain strong, Sykes and Oppenheimer argued for significant immigration from Iberia into Britain and Ireland. Much of this argument was based upon Y DNA evidence,

however by 2010 several major Y DNA studies presented more complete data, showing that the oldest-surviving male lineages had mostly migrated to Britain from the Balkans, and ultimately from the Middle East, not from Iberia.[4][5][6]

In a new twist, from a recently published [2012] and highly enlarged whole-genome mitochondrial database, the authors were able to conclude that the most archaic mtDNA lineages came from a Middle Eastern migration into Europe during the Late Glacial period, ~19–12 thousand years and not as late as the Neolithic as was previously proposed.[7] They also argued that this population was from a previously contracted European population refugium on the Anatolian Plateau which spread to three further refugia, Franco-Cantabria, the Italian Peninsula and the East European Plain. From these three areas the lineages would then have repopulated Europe.

- from Wikipedia

Lascaux Cave Painting, Franco-Cantabria
Lascaux Cave Painting, Franco-Cantabria, c 14,000 BC

The island was first inhabited by people who crossed over the land bridge from the European mainland. Traces of modern humans - Homo sapiens - date from about 30,000 years ago.

"Until about 10,000 years ago, Great Britain was joined to Ireland,
and as recently as 8,000 years ago it was joined to the continent
by a strip of low marsh to what is now Denmark and the Netherlands.
"

Great Britain became an island at the end of the Pleistocene ice age when sea levels rose due to isostatic depression of the crust and the melting of glaciers.

The Upper Palaeolithic is divided into 3 periods; Early Upper Palaeolithic, before the main glacial period, Middle Upper Palaeolithic, the main glacial period, and Late Upper Palaeolithic, after the main glacial period.

Approximately 25,000 to 20,000 years ago, with the lowering of sea levels due to the affects of glaciation, Great Britain was connected to the mainland and the English Channel was a large river basin that drained much of Europe. Pleistocene hunter-gatherers were able to travel across the land to Britain.

The channel river system during the last glaciation
The channel river system during the last glaciation
Access full report at http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/448259a
Source
How Britain Became an Island

In the Late Upper Palaeolithic, around 30,000 BC, the Aurignacian industry marks the first signs of modern human activity. The burial site of the Red Lady of Paviland on [present day] coastal South Wales is one of the best examples.

Colonisation of the British Isles was then impeded; from 12,700 to 11,500 years ago the climate became cooler and dryer, in what is known as the Younger Dryas period. Food animal populations seem to have declined, although woodland coverage expanded. Tool manufacture in the Final Upper Palaeolithic revolved around smaller flints, but bone and antler work became less common.

"Between 6,500 and 6,000 BC, Britain was cut off from continental Europe"

About 10,000 years ago - the Mesolithic - the Ice Age finally ended and the Holocene era began. Temperatures rose, probably to levels similar to those today, and forests expanded further. Between 6,500 and 6,000 BC, Britain was cut off from continental Europe for the last time. Mesolithic Britons became less nomadic, with greater seasonal occupation and permanent occupation, such as the Star Carr site where the building has been dated to approximately 8500 BC.

The Neolithic, around 4,000 to 2,000 BC, saw the development of barrows, cursus monuments, chamber tombs, henges and of course stone circles and individual burials. Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill are some of the best examples. Grooved ware pottery, wooden bows and industrial flint mining, such as at Grimes Graves, developed, as well as long distance trade.

- from British Isles Prehistory Archives, Bradshaw Foundation

See also The Stonehenge Burials

The Ice Age in the Midlands and the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain

In Europe, the period from about 40,000 to 30,000 years ago saw the replacement of Neanderthals by our own species, fully modern humans (Homo sapiens).  The arrival of these modern humans is associated with more sophisticated stone tool types, dominated by the use of flint blades, and the first substantial use of bone and antler for tool manufacture.  At the same time, the first art appears, both carved on bone and antler, and – on the continent – incised and painted on cave walls.  These changes mark the transition to the Upper Palaeolithic.

In Britain, there is evidence of early Upper Palaeolithic occupation, in both cave and open-air sites, from before 30,000 years ago, including at King Arthur’s Cave in Herefordshire.  Human remains from around this time are best represented by the famous burial known as the ‘Red Lady’ (actually a male) from Paviland Cave on the Gower.

"Paviland, on the Gower Peninsular, now looks over the Bristol Channel,
but 30,000 years ago the sea level would have been 250 feet lower,
so the view was of a richly pastured 70-mile wide plain that was full of grazing animals
"

The Red Lady of Paviland

New dating techniques developed by Oxford University and British Museum researchers have pinpointed the age of the 'Red Lady' burial site in Wales, previously thought to be 25,000 years old, to 29,000 years old. Despite the name, the bones are actually those of a man, aged approximately 21 years old. He was in good health at the time of his death and the bone protein analysis indicates that he lived on a diet that consisted of 20% fish, balanced by other foods such as horse, reindeer, roots, acorns and berries. Paviland, on the Gower Peninsular, now looks over the Bristol Channel, but 30,000 years ago the sea level would have been 250 feet lower, so the view was of a richly pastured 70-mile wide plain that was full of grazing animals. In 1823 the remains of The Red Lady of Paviland were discovered by palaeontologist and clergyman Reverend William Buckland, who removed them from the Goat's Hole cave on Gower. He mistakenly assumed the skeleton was female - as its bones were dyed red - and he identified it as being from Roman times. Finds in the Paviland Caves include over 4000 worked flints, necklace bones, stone needles and mammoth-ivory bracelets. Also found buried with the young man were perforated seashell necklaces identical to the 75,000 year old shells discovered at the Blombos site in South Africa.

- from The Red Lady of Paviland, the oldest known buried remains in Britain, Bradshw Foundation

However, a major cold event, which peaked around 18,000 years ago, once again saw the abandonment of the British Isles.  This cold event saw the last major advance of the ice sheets of the Devensian glaciation, which came as far south as Birmingham and covered much of Herefordshire.  Britain was probably not re-colonised by humans until around 13,000 years ago.  In the Midlands, artefacts from this late Upper Palaeolithic period have been found in caves in Herefordshire and Derbyshire.

Further fluctuations in the climate ensued, the severest cold period of which probably again saw the abandonment of Britain, before the current warm phase (the Holocene) began about ten thousand years ago.  From that time to the present the human occupation of Britain has been continuous.

- Shotton Project, University of Birmingham

Wales - Prehistoric Origins

Wales has been inhabited by modern humans for at least 29,000 years.[13] Continuous human habitation dates from the end of the last ice age, between 12,000 and 10,000 years before present (BP), when Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from central Europe began to migrate to Great Britain. At that time sea levels were much lower than today, and the shallower parts of what is now the North Sea were dry land. The east coast of present day England and the coasts of present day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were connected by the former landmass known as Doggerland, forming the British Peninsula on the European mainland. Wales was free of glaciers by about 10,250 BP, the warmer climate allowing the area to become heavily wooded. The post-glacial rise in sea level separated Wales and Ireland, forming the Irish Sea. Doggerland was submerged by the North Sea and, by 8,000 BP, the British Peninsula had become an island.[14][15] By the beginning of the Neolithic (c. 6,000 BP) sea levels in the Bristol Channel were still about 33 feet (10 metres) lower than today.[16][17][18] John Davies has theorised that the story of Cantre'r Gwaelod's drowning and tales in the Mabinogion, of the waters between Wales and Ireland being narrower and shallower, may be distant folk memories of this time.[19]

- from Wikipedia

"the term Magdalenian is more appropriate as it is felt the salient points between
British and continental flints have a great deal in common
"

Lynx Caves Excavations - Tantalising Evidence from the Late Upper Palaeolithic

The stone artifacts have appeared in various forms, large rounded limestone pebbles that have been used as hammer-stones to smaller lithic implements made from flint and chert. The assemblage is typically Late Upper Palaeolithic in appearance and compatible with other flint assemblages from Kent’s Cavern, Gough’s Cave and Creswell Crag Caves and nearer home, Cefn Caves, St. Asaph. At the time (1962), they were described as Creswellian, as they were deemed to differ from those of our continental neighbours. Today, after a great deal of research and debate, the term Magdalenian is more appropriate as it is felt the salient points between British and continental flints have a great deal in common (Jacobi pers. comm.).

The early settlers of the Late Upper Palaeolithic were very adept at hunting; Reindeer and Wild Horse (Tarpan) feature high in their food chain and their discarded bones are amongst the most frequently recovered from cave sites.

- from Lynx Caves Excavations - Tantalising Evidence from the Late Upper Palaeolithic

"the genetic template for European men was set as early as 40,000 years ago"

Europeans Trace Ancestry to Paleolithic People

Y chromosome data show that living Europeans have deep roots in the region- and researchers say genetic markers may be linked to cultures known from archaeological remains. In a report, an international team reports that a wealth of data from the Y chromosome show that more than 80% of European men have inherited their Y chromosomes, which are transmitted only from father to son,  from Paleolithic ancestors who lived 25,000 to 40,000 years ago. Thus, the genetic template for European men was set as early as 40,000 years ago, then modified (but not recast) by the Neolithic farmers who arrived in the region about 10,000 years ago.

- from Europeans Trace Ancestry to Paleolithic People, Ann Gibbons

Paleolithic

Scotland was still glaciated when the cave paintings of Lascaux in France were created, c. 14,000 BC. Humans began to populate Scotland during the current Flandrian interglacial but settlement began much later than in southern Europe due to the adverse climatic conditions further north. So far, a single site (Elsrickle, near Biggar) has produced the only definite evidence of Upper Paleolithic human habitation in Scotland.  - from Wkipedia

"a large part of what is today the North Sea was dry land connecting Jutland with Britain"

During the glacial maximum in Scandinavia, only the western parts of Jutland were ice-free, and a large part of what is today the North Sea was dry land connecting Jutland with Britain. It is also in Denmark that the only Scandinavian ice-age animals older than 13,000 BC are found. In the period following the last interglacial before the current one (Eemian Stage), the coast of Norway was also ice-free.

The Baltic Sea, with its unique brackish water, is a result of melt water from the Weichsel glaciation combining with saltwater from the North Sea when the straits between Sweden and Denmark opened. Initially, when the ice began melting about 10,300 BP, seawater filled the isostatically depressed area, a temporary marine incursion that geologists dub the Yoldia Sea. Then, as post-glacial isostatic rebound lifted the region about 9500 BP, the deepest basin of the Baltic became a freshwater lake, in palaeological contexts referred to as Ancylus Lake, which is identifiable in the freshwater fauna found in sediment cores. The lake was filled by glacial runoff, but as worldwide sea level continued rising, saltwater again breached the sill about 8000 BP, forming a marine Littorina Sea which was followed by another freshwater phase before the present brackish marine system was established. "At its present state of development, the marine life of the Baltic Sea is less than about 4000 years old," Drs. Thulin and Andrushaitis remarked when reviewing these sequences in 2003.

- from Last Glacial Period, Wikipedia

Europe during the Last Galcial Maximum
Europe during the Last Galcial Maximum

Ice caps over the British Isles at the end of the last ice age

Last Glacial Maximum

Last Glacial Maximum
These maps show the rate at which the ice sheet over the British Isles during the last Ice Age melted. The ka on the images is short for thousand years and BP is "before present." So 27 Ka BP is the map of the ice sheet at 27 000 years ago. - University of Sheffield

 

Hypothesised palaeogeography of the UK at (A) 18,000 BP, (B) 10,000 BP, and (C) 5,000 BP (adapted from Coles 1998) (Bicket 2011).
Hypothesised palaeogeography of the UK at (A) 18,000 BP, (B) 10,000 BP, and (C) 5,000 BP (adapted from Coles 1998) (Bicket 2011).
From Past Horizons - adventures in archaeology

"it was only cut off as an island after c. 5,000 BP" (3,000 BC)...
numerous islands would have remained exposed in the North Sea
 even at the end of the Mesolithic
"

Paleolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology on the Sea-bed

The drop of sea-level to –125m OD at the last glacial maximum would have essentially rendered the whole of the southern North Sea and the English Channel dry land, with a substantial drainage network flowing out towards the Atlantic, fed by southward tributaries such as from the Solent region. Once formed in the late last glacial, the Dogger Bank would have been a substantial hilly region in the North Sea plain, and, as sea-level rose in the Holocene, would have remained exposed first as a peninsular and then an island of an extensive archipelago. Coles (1998) suggests that it was only cut off as an island in after c. 5,000 BP when sea-level climbed to within 10–12m of its current height, although Jelgersma’s (1979) sea-level model would suggest this happened earlier. Thus large areas of the Channel and North Sea would have been dry land for the first half of the period in question, and numerous islands would have remained exposed in the North Sea even at the end of the Mesolithic...

"It has been suggested that the North Sea was the heartland
of the Early Mesolithic way of life
"

It has been suggested (eg. Clark 1954; Coles 1998) that the North Sea was the heartland of the Early Mesolithic way of life, based on the exploitation of rich coastal regions, and a rich archipelagic environment combining littoral marine and terrestrial resources. Rich sites showing a similar (Maglemosian) cultural tradition have been found on the fringes of the North Sea in both England and Scandinavia.

- from Paleolithic and Mesolithic Archaeology on the Sea-bed: Marine Aggregate Dredging and the Historic Environment, Francis Wenban-Smith, 2002

Maglemosian (ca. 9000 BC–6000 BC) is the name given to a culture of the early Mesolithic period in Northern Europe. In Scandinavia, the culture is succeeded by the Kongemose culture. The actual name came from an archeological site in Denmark, named Maglemose near Høng on western Zealand, where the first settlement was found in 1900.[1] During the following century a long series of similar settlements were excavated from England to Poland and from Skåne in Sweden to northern France. The Maglemosian people lived in forest and wetland environments using fishing and hunting tools made from wood, bone, and flint microliths. It appears that they had domesticated the dog. [citation needed] Some may have lived settled lives but most were nomadic. [citation needed]. Huts made of bark have been preserved, and the tools were made of flint stone, bone, and horn. A characteristic of the culture are the sharply edged microliths of flintstone which were used for spear heads and arrow heads. A notable feature is the Leister or Fish Spear. Sea levels in northern Europe did not reach current levels until almost 6000 BC by which time they had inundated some territories inhabited by Maglemosian people.

- from Maglemosian Culture, Wikipedia

Rare underwater find of Mesolithic settlement

Maritime archaeologists from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde have found an 8,000 year old settlement under 5m of water in Storstrømmen, with large quantities of rare artefacts and with exceptional preservation conditions...

The newly found Stone Age settlement, which dates to 6,000 BC, was discovered in June, in connection with the archaeological investigations related to the routing of the new sailing channel to Orehoved Harbour on the north coast of Falster. The actual archaeological excavations are on-going during the month of September...

The archaeologists have raised more than 60 flint arrowheads and one larger fragment of the mystic ‘large projectile weapon’, which is characteristic of the Kongemose Culture. The pointed weapon from the excavation is unfortunately broken, and measures just 18cm, but it could have been 35-40cm long in its original form. ‘This isn’t an artefact you see often and is rarely found at settlement sites. The fact that we have found it in connection with a datable habitation layer is quite unique’, tells Morten Johansen.

- from Rare underwater find of Mesolithic settlement

Some of the Maglemosian hunter settlements are found in the bogs of western Zealand, for instance the Maglemose at Mullerup. This bog has given its name to the Maglemose Culture. Two settlements are known from here, which were excavated at the beginning of the 20th century. These were both small sites, apparently associated with a single family. The southern part of both settlements had lain under water during the winter months. This has meant that the bones from the site are very well preserved. Here the hunters’ rubbish dumps were found. Animal bones and other leftovers lay where they were discarded over 8500 years ago.

"As a result of subsequent rises in sea level the coastal settlements are now submerged"

Human bones were also found scattered over some of the settlements, although complete burials are rare. All of the settlements are believed to have been the homes of single families or small groups during the summer period. The deposits of animal bones and other waste at the sites can be explained by the hunters returning to the site year after year. Perhaps during the winter months they moved out to the coast and hunted seals. We can imagine that groups of hunters met at the winter settlements and feasted. As a result of subsequent rises in sea level the coastal settlements are now submerged. Today they lie on the sea bed, and only underwater archaeological research can prize information from the sea about the winter settlements of the Maglemosian people.

- from Hisorrisk Viden, Danmark


The probable extent of land during the late Palaeolithic.
The hunters of Howburn followed their prey across the area that is now submerged beneath the North Sea.

"'Doggerland' once stretched from Scotland to Denmark
and has been described as the 'real heart of Europe'
"

Doggerland

Doggerland is a name given by archaeologists and geologists to a former landmass in the southern North Sea that connected the island of Great Britain to mainland Europe during and after the last Ice Age, surviving until about 6,500 or 6,200 BCE (ed. note 6500-6200 BC) and then gradually being flooded by rising sea levels. Geological surveys have suggested that Doggerland was a large area of dry land that stretched from Britain's east coast across to the present coast of the Netherlands and the western coasts of Germany and Denmark.[2] Doggerland was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period.

During the most recent glaciation, the Last Glacial Maximum that ended in this area around 18,000 years ago, the North Sea and almost all of the British Isles were covered with glacial ice and the sea level was about 120 m (390 ft) lower than it is today. After that the climate became warmer and during the Late Glacial Maximum much of the North Sea and English Channel was an expanse of low-lying tundra, extending around 12,000 BCE as far as the modern northern point of Scotland.[4]

"It may have been the richest hunting, fowling and fishing ground in Europe
available to the Mesolithic culture of the time
"

Evidence including the contours of the present seabed shows that after the first main Ice Age the watershed between North Sea drainage and English Channel drainage extended east from East Anglia then southeast to the Hook of Holland, not across the Strait of Dover, and that the Thames, Meuse, Scheldt and Rhine rivers joined and flowed along the English Channel dry bed as a wide slow river which at times flowed far before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.[3][4] At about 8000 BCE, the north-facing coastal area of Doggerland had a coastline of lagoons, salt marshes, mudflats, and beaches, and inland streams and rivers and marshes, and sometimes lakes. It may have been the richest hunting, fowling and fishing ground in Europe available to the Mesolithic culture of the time.[3][5]

As sea levels rose after the end of the last glacial period of the current ice age, Doggerland became submerged beneath the North Sea, cutting off what was previously the British peninsula from the European mainland by around 6500 BCE.[4] The Dogger Bank, which had been an upland area of Doggerland, is believed to have remained as an island until at least 5000 BCE.[4] Before it flooded completely, Doggerland was a wide undulating plain containing complex meandering river systems, with associated channels and lakes. Key stages are now believed to include the gradual evolution of a large tidal embayment between eastern England and Dogger Bank by 7000 BCE, and rapid sea level rise thereafter, leading to the Dogger Bank becoming an island and Great Britain being finally physically disconnected from the continent.[6]

- from Doggerland, Wikipedia

Bone and antler arrowheads, recovered from the North Sea off the Dutch coast, pay witness to a way of life now long submerged.
Bone and antler arrowheads, recovered from the North Sea off the Dutch coast, pay witness to a way of life now long submerged.
Photograph by Robert Clark, at the Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, Netherlands

Pleistocene by Mauricio Anton
Pleistocene by Mauricio Anton

Doggerland’s Ecosystem

Doggerland had a rich landscape of hills, rivers and lakes and a coastline comprising lagoons, marshes and beaches. It had woodlands of oak, elm, birch, willow, alder, hazel and pine. It was home to horses, aurochs, deer, elks and wild pigs. Waterfowl, otters and beavers abounded in wetland areas and the seas, lakes and rivers teemed with fish. It was probably the richest hunting and fishing ground in Europe at the time and had an important influence on the course of prehistory in northwestern Europe as maritime and river-based societies adapted to this environment.

- from abroadintheyard.com

"People who were living out in what is now the North Sea
would have been displaced very quickly
.
Some headed for Britain.
"

Searching for Doggerland

“There would have been huge population shifts,” says Clive Waddington of Derbyshire-based Archaeological Research Services Ltd. “People who were living out in what is now the North Sea would have been displaced very quickly.” Some headed for Britain. At Howick in Northumberland, on the cliffs that run along Britain’s northeast coast and would therefore have been the first hills they saw, his team has found the remains of a dwelling that had been rebuilt three times in a span of 150 years. Among the earliest evidence of a settled lifestyle in Britain, the hut dates from around 7900 B.C. Waddington interprets its repeated habitation as a sign of increasing territoriality: the resident people defending their patch against waves of displaced Doggerlanders.

“We know how important the fishing grounds were for the subsistence of these people,” says Anders Fischer, an archaeologist at the Danish Agency for Culture in Copenhagen. “If each generation saw its best fishing grounds disappear, they would have to find new ones, and that would often be in competition with neighboring groups. In societies of low social complexity, where you have no authorities to handle conflicts, it would probably have ended with violence.”

Migration, territoriality, conflict: stressful ways of adapting to new circumstances, but adaptations nonetheless. There came a time, however, when the sea exhausted the Doggerlanders’ capacity for survival. Some 8,200 years ago, after millennia of incrementally rising seas, a massive release of meltwater from a giant glacial lake in North America, called Lake Agassiz, caused sea levels to jump by more than two feet. By slowing the circulation of warm water in the North Atlantic, this influx of frigid water triggered a sudden plunge in temperature, causing Doggerland’s coasts—if any remained—to be battered by frigid winds. If that were not enough, around the same time, a landslide on the seafloor off the coast of Norway, called the Storegga slide, triggered a tsunami that flooded the coastlines of northern Europe.

Was the Storegga tsunami the coup de grâce, or had Doggerland already disappeared beneath the sea? Scientists can’t yet be sure. But they do know that sea-level rise slowed down after that. Then, around 6,000 years ago, a new people from the south arrived on the thickly forested shores of the British Isles. They came in boats, with sheep, cattle, and cereals...

- from Searching for Doggerland, National Geographic Society

See also Archaeology: The lost world
See also The Mesolithic Landscape of the Southern North Sea by Simon Fitch

"reindeer was an important prey"

Hamburg Culture

The Hamburg culture or Hamburgian (13,500-11,100 BC) was a Late Upper Paleolithic culture of reindeer hunters in northwestern Europe during the last part of the Weichsel Glaciation beginning during the Bölling Interstatial.[1] Sites are found close to the ice caps of the time.[2]

The Hamburg Culture has been identified at many places, for example, the settlement at Meiendorf and Ahrensburg[3] north of Hamburg, Germany. It is characterized by shouldered points and zinken tools, which were used as chisels when working with horns. In later periods tanged Havelte-type points appear, sometimes described as most of all a northwestern phenomenon. Notwithstanding the spread over a large geographical area in which a homogeneous development is not to be expected, the definition of the Hamburgian as a technological complex of its own has not recently been questioned.[2] The culture spread from northern France to southern Scandinavia in the north and to Poland in the east.

In the early 1980s, the first find from the culture in Scandinavia was excavated at Jels in Sønderjylland. Recently, new finds have been discovered at, for example, Finja in northern Skåne. The latest findings (2005) have shown that these people traveled far north along the Norwegian coast dryshod during the summer, since the sea level was 50m lower than today. In northern Germany, camps with layers of detritus have been found. In the layers, there is a great deal of horn and bone, and it appears that the reindeer was an important prey.

The distribution of the finds in the settlements show that the settlements were small and only inhabited by a small group of people. At a few settlements, archaeologists have discovered circles of stones, interpreted as weights for a teepee covering.

- from Wikipedia

"A still unexplored territory is at the bottom of the North Sea"

Time and Place of Hunting, The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe By Jan Michał Burdukiewicz
Time and Place of Hunting, The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe By Jan Michał Burdukiewicz
Time and Place of Hunting, The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe By Jan Michał Burdukiewicz
Time and Place of Hunting, The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe By Jan Michał Burdukiewicz
Time and Place of Hunting, The Late Pleistocene Shouldered Point Assemblages in Western Europe By Jan Michał Burdukiewicz
Read also Caribou Migration, An Ancient Strategy and the Test of Time

 "recent research has in fact produced sites of similar age from as far to the east as Lithuania, and - most spectacularly - Scotland in the west"

Excavation of a campsite from the Hamburgian culture near Krogsbølle, eastern Denmark

Preliminary investigations of the area near the Danish town Nakskov on the island of Lolland have yielded a small, but seemingly undisturbed lithic inventory from the earliest pioneers that followed northward migrating reindeer herds to southern Scandinavia after the end of the last ice age. Typologically and technologically these tools belong to the latest phase of the so-called Hamburgian culture, well known from the groundbreaking excavations of locales with organic preservation by Alfred Rust in the earlier part of the 20th century. This culture dates to the warm Bølling phase in the earlier part of the Late Glacial (c. 14,500-14,000 BP), while its geographic spread is traditionally thought to include Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Poland. However, recent research has in fact produced sites of similar age from as far to the east as Lithuania, and - most spectacularly - Scotland in the west.

- from Aarhus University

Younger Dryas

A return to much colder conditions in the period 10,800 to 10,000 BP is marked by a dramatic fall of 5–7°C in mean annual sea temperatures in the North Atlantic. Further evidence of climatic deterioration is indicated by the southern limit of winter sea ice which migrated from a position close to Iceland (near where it is today) to a point off the north coast of Iberia. This, coupled with potentially stronger cyclonic activity in the North Atlantic and a northerly wind flow, appears to have provided the right conditions for increased precipitation, much of it probably in the form of snow, feeding local glaciers in the Scottish Highlands and north Wales. According to the GISP-2 ice-core data, the sharp fall in temperatures and the return to a more glacial climate seem to have occurred extremely rapidly, perhaps within as little as a few centuries (Alley et al. 1993).

These climatic changes are reflected in the pollen record by evidence for the disruption of birch parkland and increased frequencies of plant communities typical of open tundra. A similar climatic signal is given by the fossil beetle faunas which show that, if anything, temperatures in Britain were slightly cooler than those of western Europe. The latter observation is consistent with the deflection of the warm Gulf Stream currents away from the western European seaboard.

The return to more open tundra-like conditions is also indicated by the reappearance of reindeer, as well as several records of steppe pika (Ochotona pusilla). The possibility that the climate became progressively more arid in the later part of the Younger Dryas is implied by the occurrence of several different species of Artemisia. Such dryness may also have stimulated the growth of wild grasses, creating grazing conditions especially favourable to wild horses and reindeer. Certainly, the few radiocarbon dates on horses of this period all belong to the second half of the stadial.

- from The Archaeology of Britain, Edited John Hunter and Ian Ralston, 1999

Settlement patterns in the North Sea at about 10,000 to 9,500 BP

Britain's Oldest House?

Alex Bayliss, of English Heritage's Scientific Dating Division, realised that the house uncovered at Howick offered a unique dating opportunity. There were thousands of ideal dating samples in the form of nutshells to choose from; the resources were available to date up to 20 samples (radiocarbon dating is an expensive process); and the best part was that there was a sequence of hearths from inside the house, one on top of the other, sometime separated by layers of clean sand.

This meant that Alex knew the order in which the dates from individual hearths should fall, the earliest at the bottom of the sequence, and this would help to narrow down the range of each date. Had 20 samples from the interior of the house been dated without knowledge of their order, then the best that could probably have been hoped for would have been to say that the house fell within a 400- or 500-year date range. With the information from the sequence, possible only because the house had been so carefully excavated, Alex was able to state that the house was built in about 7,600 BC and, even more remarkably, that it had been lived in for perhaps as long as 100 years.

- from Britain's Oldest House?

"The house dates to at least 9,000 BC – when Britain was part of continental Europe"

Star Carr Excavations Enter Exciting New Phase

Last year a team of archaeologists, from York and the University of Manchester, discovered Britain’s earliest surviving house. The house dates to at least 9,000 BC – when Britain was part of continental Europe. The research team unearthed the 3.5 metres circular structure next to an ancient lake at the site, near Scarborough, which archaeologists say is comparable in importance to Stonehenge. They also excavated a well preserved 11,000 year-old tree trunk with its bark still intact and the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe.

- from Past Horizons, adventures in archaeology, Jan 10, 2012

Red deer antler head-dress

From Star Carr, Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, England
Early Mesolithic, about 9,500 years old
From Star Carr, Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, England

Perforated part skull and antlers of red deer

In the early post glacial, at the beginning of the present phase of warm climate, the site of Star Carr was situated on the edge of a lake surrounded by open woods of birch and pine trees. During the excavation of the site, twenty-one adult red deer skull parts with antlers were found. All had holes made through the back of them. As in this example, the lines of cut marks made by flint tools show that the skin was deliberately removed from the skulls. The bones forming the top of the nose were then broken off and the edges of the remaining skull part trimmed. The antlers were also broken off and the remaining stumps thinned down and trimmed around the base. The two holes in the back of the skull were made by cutting and scraping away bone on both sides.

These worked antlers are thought to be head-dresses. The holes would have been used to tie them to the head with a leather thong. They may have been worn by hunters as a disguise, but it is more likely that they were part of a costume worn on special occasions, perhaps during religious ceremonies.

- from the British Museum

"Barbed antler and bone points have been found"

Fading Star

What this work has shown is that Star Carr is not a "type site" within this landscape: it is unique. None of the other early mesolithic sites has the same kind of artefact assemblage. At Star Carr 192 barbed antler and bone points have been found (which is over 97% of the total number found in Britain!). Only one other broken barbed point has been found on the lake, at No Name Hill. The antler mattocks, stone axes and beads made of shale, animal teeth and amber found at Star Carr have also not been found on the other sites around the lake. As if that was not enough, Clark's antler headdresses find parallels on only three sites on the continent, each with one example. Star Carr has 21.

- from Fading Star, British Archaeology, The Voice of Archaeology in Britain and Beyond, Issue 96, September / October, 2007

See also Star Carr, in the words of Professor Nicky Milner

One of Scotland's oldest ancient homes unearthed during construction works in Edinburgh

THE remains of what is believed to be one of Scotland’s earliest homes have been uncovered during construction works. The ancient dwelling was found during an archaeological excavation in a field at Echline in South Queensferry, Edinburgh, in preparation for the building of the Forth Replacement Crossing. A 7m oval pit is all that remains of the dwelling, dated to the Mesolithic period around 10,250 years ago. It has been recorded as one of the earliest houses in Scotland.

- from One of Scotland's oldest ancient homes unearthed during construction works in Edinburgh

 

"The Ahrensburgian area also included vast stretches of land
now at the bottom of the North and Baltic Sea
"

Ahrensburg Culture

The Ahrensburg culture or Ahrensburgian (11th to 10th millennia BCE) was a late Upper Paleolithic nomadic hunter culture (or technocomplex) in north-central Europe during the Younger Dryas, the last spell of cold at the end of the Weichsel glaciation resulting in deforestation and the formation of a tundra with bushy arctic white birch and rowan. The most important prey was the wild reindeer. The earliest definite finds of arrow and bow date to this culture, though these weapons might have been invented earlier. The Ahrensburgian was preceded by the Hamburg and Federmesser cultures and superseded by mesolithic cultures (Maglemosian). Ahrensburgian finds were made in southern and western Scandinavia, the North German plain and western Poland. The Ahrensburgian area also included vast stretches of land now at the bottom of the North and Baltic Sea, since during the Younger Dryas the coastline took a much more northern course than today. - Wikipedia

Maglemosian Culture

Maglemosian (ca. 9500 BC–6500 BC) is the name given to a culture of the early Mesolithic period in Northern Europe. In Scandinavia, the culture is succeeded by the Kongemose culture. The actual name came from an archaeological site in Denmark, named Maglemose near Høng on western Zealand, where the first settlement was found in 1900.[1] During the following century a long series of similar settlements were excavated from England to Poland and from Skåne in Sweden to northern France. The Maglemosian people lived in forest and wetland environments using fishing and hunting tools made from wood, bone, and flint microliths. It appears that they had domesticated the dog. [citation needed] Some may have lived settled lives but most were nomadic. [citation needed]. Huts made of bark have been preserved, and the tools were made of flintstone, bone, and horn. A characteristic of the culture are the sharply edged microliths of flintstone which were used for spear heads and arrow heads. A notable feature is the Leister or Fish Spear. Sea levels in northern Europe did not reach current levels until almost 6000 BC by which time they had inundated some territories inhabited by Maglemosian people.

- from Wikipedia

"people belonging to this haplogroup all descend from a single man
who lived between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago
"

I1 is identified by at least 15 unique mutations, which indicates that this lineage has been isolated for a long period of time, or experienced a serious population bottleneck. Although the first mutation splitting I1 away from I2 may have arisen as long as 20,000 years ago, people belonging to this haplogroup all descend from a single man who lived between 10,000 and 5,000 years ago. - Eupedia

"A recent hypothesis is that much of the remaining coastal land, already much reduced in size from the original land area, was flooded by a tsunami around 6200 BC"

In July 2012, the results of a fifteen-year study of Doggerland by the universities of St Andrews, Dundee and Aberdeen, including artefacts and analysis of survey results, were displayed at the Royal Academy in London.[14] Richard Bates of St Andrews University said:[14]

"We have speculated for years on the lost land's existence from bones dredged by fishermen all over the North Sea, but it's only since working with oil companies in the last few years that we have been able to re-create what this lost land looked like....We have now been able to model its flora and fauna, build up a picture of the ancient people that lived there and begin to understand some of the dramatic events that subsequently changed the land, including the sea rising and a devastating tsunami."

- from Doggerland, Wikipedia

See also Relative sea-level change and evidence for the Holocen Storegga Slide tsunami from a high-energy coastal environment
See also The catastrophic final flooding of Doggerland by the Storegga Slide tsunami

Storegga Tsunami Flooded Doggerland

First the drainage of the large North American glacial lake, Lake Agassiz. The catastrophic melt water release from Lake Agassiz may have caused an abrupt 0.25–0.5m sea-level jump around 8300 years ago, and triggered the so-called ‘8200 calBP’ cold event around the Atlantic. This would have inundated a large part of Doggerland and furthermore it may have become unusually cold and windy on the remaining coasts of Doggerland. (See A Possible Tsunami in the Labrador Sea Related to the Drainage of Glacial Lake Agassiz ~ 8400 Years BP)

Ed. Note: It's also interesting to note that around the same period the Persian Gulf (re: Jeffrey Rose) and the Black Sea also flooded.

Secondly the Storegga Slide Tsunami about 200 years later or around 8000 years ago, which would have had a catastrophic impact on the contemporary coastal Mesolithic population...

As we are talking about a coastal area Doggerland was probably relatively densely populated for that time – I am talking about near 1 inhabitant per km3. Maybe some 700 to 3000 individuals were affected. This does not necessarily imply that all were killed immediately, although given the likely rapidity and scale of the event, a significant number of people would almost certainly have been caught and drowned by the rapidly rising waters, while many others would have been displaced. The consequences would not have been limited to the wave’s immediate impact, as productive coastal areas could have been devastated, shellfish beds destroyed and covered by sands, together with any fixed fishing facilities, well-attested for the Late Mesolithic period. There are signs that the tsunami probably occurred during late autumn, so that any stored foods meant to last over the winter may also have been lost, with subsequent starvation among survivors. It is conceivable, particularly in the context of continuing rising sea-levels at this time, that the final abandonment of the remaining remnants of Doggerland as a place of permanent habitation by Mesolithic populations was brought about by the Storegga tsunami. Following the Storegga Slide tsunami, it appears, Britain finally became separated from the continent and, in cultural terms, the Mesolithic there goes its own way.

- from Storegga Tsunami Flooded Doggerland

Explaining the Storegga Slide

The Storegga Slide (Fig. 1) is one of the largest submarine slides discovered, and has been known since the 1970s (Bugge, 1983). Recent studies conclude that the slide occurred as one main event 8200 years ago and removed between 2500 and 3500 km3 of sediment from the slide scar (Haflidason et al., 2005). The slide generated a tsunami that hit the west coast of Norway (run up 10–12 m), Scotland (4–6 m), Shetland (20–30 m) and the Faroes (>10 m) (Bondevik et al., 2003)

The slide was most likely triggered by a strong earthquake in an area 150 km downslope from the Ormen Lange gas field and developed as a retrogressive slide. The unstable sediments in the area disappeared with the slide 8200 years ago. A new ice age with infilling of glacial sediments on top of marine clays in the slide scar would be needed to create a new unstable situation at Ormen Lange.

- from Explaining the Storegga Slide, Petter Bryna, et al, Marine and Petroleum Geology 22 (2005) 11–19

Location of tsunami deposits
Location of tsunami deposits

Storegga Slide

Based on carbon dating of plant material recovered from sediment deposited by the tsunami, the latest incident occurred around 6100 BCE.[2] In Scotland, traces of the subsequent tsunami have been recorded, with deposited sediment being discovered in Montrose Basin, the Firth of Forth, up to 80 km (50 mi) inland and 4 m (13 ft) above current normal tide levels.

At, or shortly before, the time of the last Storegga Slide, a land bridge known to archaeologists and geologists as "Doggerland" existed, linking Great Britain with Denmark and the Netherlands across what is now the southern North Sea. This area is believed to have included a coastline of lagoons, marshes, mudflats, and beaches, and to have been a rich hunting, fowling and fishing ground populated by Mesolithic human cultures.[4][5][6] Although Doggerland was physically submerged through a gradual rise in sea level, it has been suggested that coastal areas of both Britain and mainland Europe, extending over areas which are now submerged, would have been inundated by a tsunami triggered by the Storegga Slide. This event would have had a catastrophic impact on the contemporary Mesolithic population, and separated cultures in Britain from those on the European mainland.[7]

- Wikipedia

"The east coast of Scotland was struck by a 70 feet (21 m) high tsunami around 6100 BC"

Landslide off the coast of Norway causes Tsunami
Landslide off the coast of Norway causes Tsunami
From Mail Online, May 2, 2014

Storegga tsunami

Isobase models estimate contemporary sea surface level offshore at c. 14 m below the present day mean high water spring tides. Geological studies of coastal deposits in Scotland and Norway attributable to the tsunami indicate that the tsunami runup exhibits strong local and regional variability. In parts of the Shetland Isles,

"the runup at the coast may have been as much as between +25/+30m above sea level."

The tsunami sediments identified in coastal localities are considered particularly valuable as a synchronous marker horizon. Given the prevalence for exploitation of the coastal zone at the time this event is likely to have been catastrophic for the human population in part of Scotland.

- from Paleolithic and Mesolithic Scotland ScARF (Scottish Archaeological Research Framework) Panel Report

See also Record-breaking Height for 8000-Year-Old Tsunami in the North Atlantic
See also Reconstructing the Pattern and Depth of Flow Onshore in a Paleotsunami from Associated Deposits

Tsumanis affecting the British Isles

The east coast of Scotland was struck by a 70 feet (21 m) high tsunami around 6100 BC, during the Mesolithic period. The wave was caused by the massive underwater Storegga slide off Norway, which dates from around the same time. The tsunami even washed over some of the Shetland Islands. Tsunamite (the deposits left by a tsunami) dating from this event can be found at various locations around the coastal areas of Scotland, and are also a tourist feature in the Montrose Basin, where there is a layer of deposited sand about 0.6 metres (2.0 ft) thick.

At the time, what became the east coast of England was connected to the areas of modern Denmark and the Netherlands by a low-lying land bridge, now known to archaeologists as Doggerland. The area is believed to have had a coastline of lagoons, marshes, mudflats, and beaches, and may have been the richest hunting, fowling and fishing ground in Europe then available.[3][4] Much of this land would have been inundated by the tsunami, with a catastrophic impact on the local human population.[5]

- from Wikipedia

"The impact of this tsunami across the low-lying coast of Doggerland must have been devastating. Many km of coastline are likely to have been destroyed within a few hours, perhaps minutes and many lives were lost."

Low Hauxley dig reveals evidence of ancient tsunami

Evidence has been uncovered of a huge tsunami, which cut Britain off from the rest of Europe 8,000 years ago. Excavations at Low Hauxley, near Druridge Bay in Northumberland, have unearthed material, which experts say, was deposited by the giant tidal wave. The dig is part of a £300,000 project investigating a Bronze Age burial mound - or cairn. Lead archaeologist, Dr Clive Waddington, described the site as a "staggering find". During the Mesolithic period - in about 6,100 BC - Britain broke free of mainland Europe for good, after landslides in Norway triggered a huge tsunami.

- from Low Hauxley dig reveals evidence of ancient tsunami

Elsewhere on the site we found various other pits both within the tsunami deposit but also, excitingly, beneath it. More hazelnut shells from these features will be used to date the features and therefore the deposits that they were dug into. Finding evidence of occupation beneath the tsunami means that we are potentially looking at evidence of human activity on the site dating back to over 8000 years ago.

- from Project Updates, Low Hauxly dig, Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Doggerland Lost

The stone age people were taken by surprise. In front of the coast near Inverness, in a place which would have been some ten meters above sea level, "archaeologists have recovered almost 5,000 flint artifacts, bone fragments and a fireplace. On some day close to 7,000 BC a small group of Mesolithic hunters were in a natural hollow in the dune. A few hours earlier, the massive sub-marine Storegga landslide occurred 1,000 km to the north within the Arctic Ocean between Norway and Iceland. It created a huge tsunami that probably hit their beach with a height of 8m. More than 17,000 cubic kilometers of white, stony sand buried everything as far as could be seen to the north and south. The impact of this tsunami across the low-lying coast of Doggerland must have been devastating. Many km of coastline are likely to have been destroyed within a few hours, perhaps minutes and many lives were lost."

- from W. Patterson - University of Saskatchewan. Coastal Catastrophe, (paleoclimate research document)

Migration from Doggerland

According to some archaeological interpretations based on the scarcity of archaeological findings, northern Europe was abandoned as people moved to southern refuges during the peak of the last glacial maximum (Mellars 1974; Evans 1975), from where they reexpanded north when the climate improved (Housley et al. 1997). However, others have proposed that some people could have stayed in the north, especially in areas that are now submerged under the North Sea (Coles 1998). When the Scandinavian and British ice sheets reached their maximum extent and the North Sea as a consequence receded to its lowest level (Fairbanks 1989) Britain was connected to the continent by a land bridge. This dry land, referred to as Doggerland, is now believed to have lasted longer and been larger than previously thought and may have been inhabited (Wymer 1991; Coles 1999). After the ice receded, they could have radiated out from those regions into communities further north (illustrated in fig. 4). Some of those now in the north of Europe (e.g., northern Germany) may represent people who migrated from the south, while some people in that region historically moved further north.

"8,600 years ago a group of people were living in their own island paradise
in what is now Søgne in Vest-Agder
"

Farmers, Mariners and Lords of Long-Ago

8,600 years ago a group of people were living in their own island paradise in what is now Søgne in Vest-Agder. They were a robust kind of people, healthy, and probably living in affluence just by spending a few hours each day fishing, hunting sea-mammals, shooting fowl, or gathering edible plants. We have no idea what kind of language they used, but they did speak. Their brains were as big and as functional as ours. They were modern human beings in every physiological sense of the word, and they led a life perfectly atuned to the natural rhythm of their island Garden of Eden. Death, too, however, was part of their life, and it seems that they buried their dead family members close to where they lived. This is where some of them were found by archaeologists in 1994. Skeletal remains of perhaps as many as five individuals have been excavated from a shallow bay at one small island in Søgne. The first individual being found, an adult woman, was baptized ’Sol’ (Sun) by the people who found her. To this day she is the oldest human skeleton found in Norway...

However, it is only in the millennium after this that the diagrams indicate forest clearance on Lista. Major clearance does not seem to have taken place until the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, 3,500-4,000 years ago. A more established farming system was probably not in place until then. Archaeology tells the same story: Artefacts recognized as belonging to the early North European funnel beaker culture are concentrated on Lista, while in the rest of Agder only few, isolated inds are known. This strengthens the hypothesis that the Neolithic culture reached Lista as a direct cultural loan from Jutland...

"among the objects that had accompanied the deceased was a rare Roman gold medallion"

A burial with a very peculiar content was recovered at Vestre Hauge on Lista in the 19th century. It was a man’s grave, and among the objects that had accompanied the deceased was a rare Roman gold medallion, a triple solidus from the reign of Valentinian (364-375). This particular medallion was issued in Trier in present-day Germany when the Emperor resided there in the years 367-75. Medallions like this was undoubtedly struck to be presented by the emperor as gifts in commemoration of a particular occasion. How the medallion, which shows few traces of wear, ended up in a barrow in far-away Lista we can only speculate. But it cannot be ruled out that its owner had performed military services for the Emperor, or was his ally. Archaeological inds from Agder, east and west, show that relations between the northern ‘barbarians’ and the Romans were quite close and direct at times.

- from Farmers, Mariners and Lords of Long-Ago, Archaeology and prehistory in the Agder region

 

"Modern populations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia may therefore share ancestry with people who lived in this region perhaps as recently as 7,500 YBP"


Hypothetical extension of the land bridge, that is, Doggerland, during the Holocene/late Mesolithic (10,000 YBP)
and hypothetical expansion routes (modified from Coles 1999).

Coles (1999) proposed that the occupation of this land bridge may have played a role in delaying the onset of the Neolithic in Britain and Scandinavia, as a consequence of encounters between the Mesolithic northern populations and the agriculturist newcomers. Case (1969), in reference to the mixture of different traits of the British Neolithic, suggested that some of the donor cultures may have lived in coastal regions that are now submerged or eroded. Modern populations in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia may therefore share ancestry with people who lived in this region perhaps as recently as 7,500 YBP. This might also explain the presence of specific Neolithic haplotypes (such as J1b1) exclusive to the British Isles and Scandinavia (Helgason et al. 2000; Töpf 2003), previously thought to represent posterior links between these populations. Common ancestry could of course reflect common origins anytime between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Saxon periods, but we focus on the period when Doggerland was exposed due to the supporting archaeological evidence and the opportunity for northward expansion availed by the land bridge.

"the genetic landscape of southeast Britain may have been shaped
by older links with the continent
when Doggerland still existed"

McEvoy et al. (2005) also suggested that the genetic landscape of southeast Britain may have been shaped by older links with the continent, when Doggerland still existed. Genetic continuity has been proposed to exist among northern populations for other species as well (e.g., for Rana lessonae; Snell, Tetteh, and Evans 2005).

- from Tracing the Phylogeography of Human Populations in Britain Based on 4th–11th Century mtDNA Genotypes
See also Doggerland: the cultural dynamics of a shifting coastline

Eastern Scotland

North Sea - The southern North Sea holds abundant evidence for submerged landscapes and evidence of occupation in Doggerland (Gaffney et al. 2007, 2009).

"The species of mammal recorded from the Scottish North Sea are... reindeer..."

In the northern sector of the North Sea the fossil evidence is spread more thinly and is more fragmentary. The species of mammal recorded from the Scottish North Sea are (in order of abundance of fossils): reindeer, Rangifer tarandus; bison, Bison sp.; musk-ox, Ovibos moschatus; woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius; red deer, Cervus elaphus; and some woolly rhino, Coelodonta antiquitatis (Flemming 2003).

Artefacts, as opposed to unworked animal bone, from the North Sea are mainly to be found in the southern reaches, from the Brown Ridge area (Loewe Kooijmans 1970-71; Verhart 2004). With regard to Scotland finds of this kind are limited to a single worked flint from vibrocore number 60+01/46 obtained as part of a BGS programme in the UK shelf some 150km north-east off Lerwick, near Viking bank, in a water depth of 143m (Long et al. 1986). While it is possible that this find came from an area of dry land and is thus to be regarded as a submerged indication of prehistoric settlement, it is equally possible that it is the result of a loss at sea, either in ancient or recent times.

- from Summary of Marine Palaeo-studies in Scotland

Northern Hunters

During the Quaternary glaciation, or most recent ice age, the whole of the Scandinavian Peninsula was covered by an ice sheet. In about 11,000 BC, as the ice cap began to retreat, groups of hunter-gatherers – members of the Ahrensburg culture - gradually moved north in order to hunt reindeer. The survivors of these hunter-gatherers are the Sámi, or Lapps (see the Sámi Archaeology website). Nowadays, they are herders, rather than hunters of the reindeer.

- from Archaeology in Europe, Early Scandinavian Prehistory: c. 11,000-500 BC

"The cultural complex derived from the final Palaeolithic Ahrensburg culture
of northwestern Europe
"

The Sami People

The Sámi people are the indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. The traditional Sami life style, dominated by hunting, fishing and trading, was preserved to the Late Middle Ages when the modern structures of the Nordic countries were established... The commonly held view today is that the earliest settlement of the Norwegian coast belongs to one cultural continuum comprising the Fosna culture in southern and central Norway and what used to be called the Komsa culture in the north. The cultural complex derived from the final Palaeolithic Ahrensburg culture of northwestern Europe, spreading first to southern Norway and then very rapidly following the Norwegian coastline when receding glaciation at the end of the last ice age opened up new areas for settlement. The rapidity of this expansion is underlined by the fact that some of the earliest radiocarbon dates are actually from the north.

- from Wikipedia

Sami (Lapp) Family, Norway c. 1900
Sami (Lapp) Family, Norway c. 1900

"The most common haplogroup among the Sami is N1c, with I1 as a close second"

Sami Y-DNA

Three Y chromosome haplogroups dominate the distribution among the Sami: N1c (formerly N3a), I1 and R1a. The most common haplogroup among the Sami is N1c, with I1 as a close second. Haplogroup R1a in Sami is mostly seen in the Swedish Sami and Kola Sami populations, with a low level among the Finnish Sami. Tambets and colleagues suggested that N1c and R1a probably reached Fennoscandia from eastern Europe, where these haplogroups can be found in high frequencies.[3]

However the two haplogroups have a distinctly different linguistic distribution. R1a1a is common among Eastern Europeans speaking Indo-European languages, while N1c correlates closely with the distribution of the Finno Ugrian languages. For example N1c is common among the Finns, while haplogroup R1a is common among all the neighbours of the Sami.[8] Haplogroup I1 is the most common haplogroup in Sweden, and the Jokkmokk Sami in Sweden have similar structure as among Swedes and Finns for haplogroup I1 and N1c.[9]

- from Wikipedia

Scandinavian Phylogeographic Data II: Y-Chromosome

The frequency distribution of Y-chromosome haplogroups in Fennoscandia and Europe as a whole is laid out in Table 2 below.[9] The main haplotypes represented are I1, N1c ( the old N3) and R1. Haplogroup I1 is common in Europe and has it highest frequency in Scandinavia and the Balkans. It originated at the beginning of the LGM some 22,000 BP, probably when some groups went to the Ukrainian refuge near the Black Sea and others to the refuge in the Balkans. Hammer and Zegura give an age of mutation for I at 5,950±2,450 (2002: 314). Rootsi et al. have times since divergence of 15.9±5.2 for I1a, 10.7±4.8 for I1b* and 14.6±3.8 for I1c (2004: 135). When the ice began to melt, those carrying the I haplogroup expanded to the northwest in the form of three subclades I1a (most common in Scandinavia), I1b (common in the Balkans and Eastern Europe) and I1c (which has its highest frequency in Germany at ca. 11%). Clade I is widespread in Europe and mostly absent elsewhere.

- from Sami Prehistory Revisited: transactions, admixture and assimilation in the phylogeographic picture of Scandinavia, John Weinstock, University of Texas

Saami and Berbers - An Unexpected Mitochondrial DNA link

The sequencing of entire human mitochondrial DNAs belonging to haplogroup U reveals that this clade arose shortly after the “out of Africa” exit and rapidly radiated into numerous regionally distinct subclades. Intriguingly, the Saami of Scandinavia and the Berbers of North Africa were found to share an extremely young branch, aged merely ~ 9,000 years. This unexpected finding not only confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers that repopulated northern Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum but also reveals a direct maternal link between those European hunter-gatherer populations and the Berbers.

From Saami and Berbers - An Unexpected Mitochondrial DNA link

See also Before the Fall of the Reindeer People
See also Photoset - Sami People

 

Our mtDNA test indicates Haplogroup H4a1a4b
(for Glenda Waugh)

"H4 is an uncommon branch"

Mitochondrial haplogroup H is a predominantly European haplogroup that originated outside of Europe before the last glacial maximum (LGM). It first expanded in the northern Near East and southern Caucasus between 33,000 and 26,000 years ago, and later migrations from Iberia suggest it reached Europe before the LGM. Its branch H4 is an uncommon branch and is found at low frequencies in both Europe and the Near East. Further research will better resolve the distribution and historical characteristics of this haplogroup.

- familytreedna.com

Haplogroup H4 Distribution in Europe

Haplogroup H4 Distribution in Europe
From FTDNA

Other H subclades were also probably found among Mesolithic or Late Upper Paleolithic Europeans based on their exclusive presence in Europe today. This could be the case of haplogroups H4, H10, H11, H17, H45, as well as many minor subclades for which too little data is available at the moment, but that seem to be exclusively European. H4 was found in Neolithic Spain and is found today among both the Basques and the Sardinians, two populations with a high percentage of mixed Mesolithic and Neolithic European ancestry. However H4 was never found among the early Neolithic farmers from the Near East or South-East of Europe. H10 and H11 have a stronger presence in Eastern and Central Europe and would have re-expanded from the northern Black Sea region rather than from Southwest Europe after the LGM...

"The Corded Ware culture yielded samples belong to... H4a1"

Haplogroup H2b, H6a1b, H13a1a1a and many other undetermined H subclades (including many probable H1 and H5) turned up among the mtDNA samples from the Yamna culture, which occupied the Pontic-Caspian Steppe during the Early Bronze Age. The Corded Ware culture, which is associated with the expansion of Y-haplogroup R1a from the steppes to Central Europe and Scandinavia, yielded samples belonging to H1ca1, H2a1, H4a1, H5a1, H6a1a and H10e. Ancient DNA from the Catacomb culture, strongly associated with Y-haplogroup R1a, yielded samples belonging to H1, H2a1 and H6. The Unetice culture, which is thought to mark the arrival of R1b in Central Europe (but overlapping with the previous R1a expansion), had individuals belonging to H2a1a3, H3, H4a1a1a2, H7h, H11a, H82a...

H4a: found in the Neolithic Cardium Pottery culture in Portugal and Spain.

- eupedia.com

For some haplogroups, particularly the more common ones, multiple chronologically distinct arrivals to Europe are extremely likely. In addition, the genetic landscape of Europe has probably been further confounded by the major climatic changes that have occurred since the arrival of the first modern humans. In particular, the early Paleolithic populations of Northern and Central Europe either became extinct or retreated to the south during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) 20 kya, and there was a gradual repeopling from southern refuge areas only when climatic conditions improved, from 15 kya. This scenario is supported not only by recent work on archaeological dating (Housley et al. 1997; Richards 2003) but also by the phylogeographic evidence provided by mtDNA haplogroup V (Torroni et al. 1998; 2001a) and Y-chromosome haplogroups R1b and I1b2 (Semino et al. 2000; Cinniog˘lu et al. 2004; Rootsi et al. 2004).

Among the mtDNA haplogroups of Europe, haplogroup H displays two unique features: an extremely wide geographic distribution and a very high frequency in most of its range. Indeed, it is by far the most prevalent haplogroup in all European populations except the Saami, is very common in North Africa and the Middle East, and retains frequencies of 5%–10% even in northern India and Central Asia, at the edges of its distribution range (Richards et al. 2002).

Previous studies have proposed that haplogroup H (i) originated in the Middle East 30–25 kya; (ii) expanded into Europe in association with a second Paleolithic wave, possibly contemporary with the diffusion of the Gravettian technology (25–20 kya); and (iii) was strongly involved in the late-glacial expansions from iceage refugia after the LGM (Torroni et al. 1998; Richards et al. 2000). In addition, because of its high frequency and wide distribution, haplogroup H most likely participated in all subsequent episodes of putative gene flow in western Eurasia, such as the Neolithic diffusion of agriculture from the Near East, the expansion of the Kurgan culture from southern Ukraine, and the recent events of gene flow to northern India. As a result, it is likely that the dissection of H into subhaplogroups of younger age might reveal previously unidentified spatial frequency patterns, which in turn could be correlated to prehistoric and historical migratory events. However, until now, haplogroup H has been only partially resolved genealogically (Herrnstadt et al. 2002) allowing for the identification of 11 subclades (H1–H11) (Quinta´ns et al. 2004; Loogva¨li et al. 2004), the phylogeography of which has been evaluated only in rare instances (Tambets et al. 2004). Therefore, the objective of this study is to provide new information concerning the molecular dissection of haplogroup H and to determine whether its subhaplogroups do indeed show such spatial patterns.

- from The Molecular Dissection of mtDNA Haplogroup H Confirms That the Franco-Cantabrian Glacial Refuge Was a Major Source for the European Gene Pool - American Journal of Human Genetics

See also Tracing the Phylogeography of Human Populations in Britain Based on 4th–11th Century mtDNA Genotypes

I haven't seen any further discussion on the H4a subgroup, so I will add some of the findings of the great article published in NATURE COMMUNICATIONS in April 2013. Entitled "Neolithic mitochondrial haplogroup H genomes and the genetic origins of Europeans".

For H4a the great news is that they found two skeletons associated with a BELLBEAKER CULTURE burial in southeast Germany that were carefully analyzed to H4a, using the most stringent and cutting edge techniques to eliminate any contamination. Thus it associates this mtDNA with this culture, in the period around 2200 BC. This culture was associated with agriculture, including the keeping of livestock, and may also indicate that the origins of the H4a were via the Black Sea, likely through Anatolia (Turkey). The association of mtHaplogroup subclades with specific cultures is just beginning, and indeed the techniques only developed in the past three years for carrying out this meticulous work.

- from tmoffatt at A Genetic Genealogy Community

Although mtDNA haplogroup H4 is not very frequent today, it has shown up nicely in Ancient DNA from two sites in Germany across three major archaeological cultures. As an aside, this also happens to be my mtDNA. The samples are as follows:

Culture: Corded Ware
Country: Germany
Site: Quedlinburg [QUEXII 1]
Date: 2300-2130 BC
mtDNA: H4a1

Culture: Bell Beaker?
Country: Germany
Site: Quedlinburg [QUEXII 2]
Date: 2050-1940 BC
mtDNA: H4a1

Culture: Unetice
Country: Germany
Site: Eulau [EUL 41]
Date: 2200-1550 BC
mtDNA: H4a1a1a2

Culture: Unetice
Country: Germany
Site: Eulau [EUL 41]
Date: 2115-1966 BC
mtDNA: H4a1a1

- Last edited by Richard A. Rocca; 06-19-2015 at 02:18 PM.

 

Y Haplogroup I (M170)

Y-DNA test results indicates our Waugh Haplogroup as I1 M253

Haplogroup I distribution

Ken Nordtvedt's Comments about Haplogroup I Tree and Conjectured Spread Map

Y-DNA haplogroup I is a European haplogroup, representing nearly one-fifth of the population. It is almost non-existent outside of Europe, suggesting that it arose in Europe. Estimates of the age of haplogroup I suggest that it arose prior to the last Glacial Maximum.

The two main subgroups of haplogroup I likely divided approximately 28,000 years ago:

I1-M253 et al has highest frequency in Scandinavia, Iceland, and northwest Europe. In Britain, haplogroup I1-M253 et al is often used as a marker for "invaders," Viking or Anglo-Saxon. The I1b-M227 subclade is concentrated in eastern Europe and the Balkans and appears to have arisen in the last one thousand to five thousand years. It has been reported in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Ukraine, Switzerland, Slovenia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Croatia, and Lebanon.

I2-M438 et al includes I2* which shows some membership from Armenia, Georgia and Turkey; I2a1-P37.2, which is the most common form in the Balkans and Sardinia. I2a1a-M26 is especially prevalent in Sardinia. I2a2-M436 et al reaches its highest frequency along the northwest coast of continental Europe. I2a2a-M223 et al occurs in Britain and northwest continental Europe. I2a2a1-M284 occurs almost exclusively in Britain, so it apparently originated there and has probably been present for thousands of years.

- from Y-DNA Haplogroup I and its Subclades - 2013

Y-DNA Ages

In the case of Y-DNA "molecular clock" age estimates are always based on a handful of STR markers, which do not seem but a pointer and not the real stuff. The real stuff is in the SNPs instead but the problem is that, right now, we know only a few of the many that must be lurking in the actual Y chromosomes that all men carry in their cells. As the exact amount of SNPs in any given lineage is unknown, there is no way of counting them and, that way, establishing the relative chronology of the Y-DNA phylogeny.

However this will change soon if is not already doing so, because full chromosome sequencing is every day cheaper and that is what has allowed, for example the 1000 Genomes Project. A few weeks ago, an open access paper by A. Van Geylesteen et al., emphasized this immediate future in which our knowledge of the Y-DNA tree will almost literally explode.

- from Y-DNA Ages

Haplogroup I is the oldest haplogroup in Europe and in all probability the only one that originated there (apart from deep subclades of other haplogroups). It is thought to have arrived from the Middle East as Haplogroup IJ between 45,000 and 30,000 years ago, and developed into haplogroup I approximately 25,000 years ago. The I1 branch is estimated to have split away 20,000 years ago and evolved in isolation in Scandinavia during the late Paleolithic and Mesolithic. I1 is defined by at least 25 unique mutations, which indicates that this lineage experienced a serious population bottleneck. Men belonging to this haplogroup all descend from a single ancestor who lived between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago.

- from Eupedia

The polymorphism M170 represents a putative Palaeolithic mutation which age has been estimated to be about 22,000 years (Semino et al. 2000), similar value of about 23,000 ± 7,700 years was given by Rootsi et al. (2004). It has been proposed by Semino et al. (2000) that M170 originated in Europe in descendants of men who arrived from the Near East about 25,000 years ago.

The initial spread of the haplogroup I carriers in Europe is usually linked to the diffusion of the largely pan-European Gravettian technology. Gravettian is the second subdivision of the Upper Paleolithic technological phase in Western Europe (from 27,000 to 21,000 years ago). Gravettian culture earlier phase (c.28,000-23,000 ya) of the European Upper Paleolithic is characterized by a stone-tool industry with small pointed blades used for big-game hunting (bison, horse, reindeer and mammoth). It is divided into two regional groups: the western Gravettian, mostly known from cave sites in France, and the eastern Gravettian, with open sites of specialized mammoth hunters on the plains of central Europe and Russia. The most characteristic artworks made by Gravettian artists were the famous Venus figurines.

Haplogroup I-M170 is a component of the present European Y-chromosome gene pool accounting on average for 18% of the total paternal lineages and is the only major clade of the Y phylogeny, autochtonically arisen, widespread over Europe but virtually absent elsewhere, including Near East (Semino et al. 2000; Barac et al. 2003; Rootsi et al. 2004).

- Unknown source

"These may be the only pre-Neolithic Y lineages left in Europe"

It is believed that Haplogroup I originated about 25,000 to 30,000 years ago in the Balkans, I2 about 17,000 years ago in the Balkans, I2b about 13,000 years ago in Central Europe and I1 between 5-10 thousand years ago (and possibly up to 15,000 years ago) in "Scandinavia". "Scandinavia" at that time would have included areas of human habitation across the "North Sea" (Doggerland) and throughout the "British Isles". As the sea levels rose with the melting of the glacial ice, present day Scandinavia became geographically isolated from the rest of Europe and Haplogroup I1 became the dominant haplogroup in modern day Scandinavia. I believe that I1 could more appropriately be called the Doggerland Haplogroup (see below). As noted in Eupedia.com, "I1 is identified by at least 15 unique mutations, which indicates that this lineage has been isolated for a long period of time, or experienced a serious population bottleneck. Although the first mutation splitting I1 away from I2 may have arisen as long as 20,000 years ago, people belonging to this haplogroup all descend from a single man who lived between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago. This corresponds to the arrival of the Indo-European, suggesting that a high percentage of the indigenous I1 men could possibly have been killed by the new immigrants." This also corresponds to the flooding of Doggerland and the timing of the Storegga Slide tsunami.

Y DNA

Haplogroup I is a grouping of several quite distantly related lineages. These may be the only pre-Neolithic Y lineages left in Europe. Looking at the three main clusters, according to Rootsi et al., with up-dated nomenclature according ISOGG:

- I1a in Rootsi et al., now known as I1, is mainly associated with Scandinavia in modern populations and is common in several parts of England.

- I1b in Rootsi et al., now known as I2a is associated with the Balkans and are not common in Britain and Ireland.

- I1c in Rootsi et al., now known as I2b is less clearly associated with any particular part of Europe.

- from Wikipedia

Haplogroup I-M170

In the midst of this last great cold spell, very roughly about 25,000 years ago, a little baby boy was born with a mutation in his Y-chromosome. No one knew anything about it, least of all the little boy; it didn’t affect his life at all. But geneticists have come to recognize the mutation which took place at the time of this little boy’s conception—marker M170—as the beginning of a new and distinct gene group, called a “Haplogroup,” and lettered as the letter “I”.

After the birth of the haplogroup I

The earth has experienced warm period. But this improvement in the climate would not endure. Early occupation of Europe was arrested then reversed, as another prolonged period of severe cold gripped the continent—the last Ice Age. It continued for thousands of years; it’s most severe stage is called the Last Glacial Maximum, or LGM, which encompassed the furthest extent of the ice sheets upon the land.

The air would have been on average 10-12 degrees cooler and much more arid. In between the ice and the tree line, drought-tolerant grasses and loess dunes would have dominated the landscape.

Mankind could do little more than survive, and was forced to retreat south to a few scattered enclaves in Asia and Europe. Scientists speculate that human enclaves favored the high ground because it provided commanding views of the territory below and maximized sunlight by avoiding the shadows of the valleys. At this time our species numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but the earth could not support an increase in Homo sapiens sapiens. The emphasis was merely on survival. “During this time, it isn’t possible to venture too far north within Europe as the ice sheets cover much of northern Europe and tundra exists for several miles beneath them. The humans in this part of the world are relatively recent visitors and are not so adapted to the colder climes as are the people of Siberia. Thus, they take refuge below the tree line which at 18,000 years ago, the time of the last glacial maximum, extends across southern Europe. The refugia of Iberia (R1b), the Balkans (I) and Ukraine (R1a) allow people to ‘wait out’ the worst of the ice-age.” (Ed. note: R1b and R1a are now considered to be Neolithic arrivals)

If we fast forward to 12 000 years ago as shown here, the ice has retreated and the land has become much more supportive to life.

- from familytreedna.com

Last Glacial Maximum and tree line across Europe
Last Glacial Maximum and tree line across Europe


This map shows the
(believed to have been*) spread of Haplogroups R1b, I and R1a (12,000 years ago).
These three major haplogroups account for approx 80% of Europe's present-day population
Ed. Note: 12,000 years ago the North Sea was dry land and Britain was connected to the continent
.
* R1b and R1a are now believed to have been much later Neolithic arrivals from the east

R1b

R1b (Y-DNA) Distribution
R1b (Y-DNA) Distribution

"The discovery of what was thought to be "European lineages" in Central Asia, Pakistan and India hit the final nail on the coffin of a Paleolithic origin of R1b in Western Europe, and confirmed the Indo-European link. All the elements concur in favour of a large scale migration of horse-riding Indo-European speakers to Western Europe between 2500 to 2100 BCE." Read more about the NEW Theory on R1b

Ed Note: Haplogroup I is considered "proto-European".

Y-haplogroups present in Europe
Y-haplogroups currently present in Europe
The Neolithic arrivals of R1b and R1a displaced the indigenous I haplogroups

Another extinction:

There is a good possibility that there was a large extinction in our ancestors 5000 years after the founding of I - haplogroup. Today, the genetic tree of humanity indicates there were only 8 males living at that time who were contributors do ALL of today's I-haplogroup population. The 8 contributing males living 5000 years after the founding of I-haplogroup were certainly not the total population of living I-haplogroup males of that time. But this suggests how precarious that haplogroup was for a long period of its early existence.

- from familytreedna.com

Haplogroup I

Haplogroup I emerged roughly 24-28,000 years ago in Europe, somewhere close to the Near East, amidst the initial colonization of Europe during Paleolithic times. Of all the major haplogroups found in Europe today haplogroup I is considered the only core haplogroup to have originated in Europe, and along with haplogroup R, to have been present in Europe prior to the last Ice Age (Last Glacial Maximum). The expansion of haplogroup I was possibly linked to the spread of Aurignacian and Gravettian cultures, both artistically and technologically advanced.

Members of haplogroup I along with all European populations were dramatically affected by the onset of the last Ice Age, which made most of northern and central Europe uninhabitable during the period spanning ~18-13,000 years ago. Representatives of haplogroup I retreated to refuge areas in Iberia and the Balkans where living conditions were more hospitable. As the Ice Age receded, members of haplogroup I dispersed from these refuges into surrounding areas, displaying contrasting distribution patterns that still persist in modern European populations.

"During the repopulation of Europe haplogroup I1-M253 emerged ~8,000 years ago near present-day Denmark and dispersed westward to possibly occupy the Doggerland land bridge, an area that has since become covered by the lower North Sea."

Members of haplogroup I1-M253 also migrated into Scandinavia where it is currently found at high frequencies in Denmark (33%), northern Sweden (26%), southern Sweden (35%), Norway (39%), and in the Saami (29%), a group indigenous to present day Nordic countries.

In contrast to the expansion of haplogroup I from Iberia, dissemination from the Baltic refuge was accomplished mostly by members of sublineage I2-M438. Haplogroup I2-M438, which further resolves into subgroups I2a-P37.2 and I2b-M436, emerged from the Baltics to spread across eastern Europe reaching into western regions of Russia and the Near East, as far as Anatolia. I2a-P37.2 subdivides into I2a1-M423 and I2a2-M26 with haplogroup I2a1-M423 prevalent throughout eastern Europe in countries such as the Ukraine (17%), Albania (17%), Slovenia (20%), Croatia (31%), and Bosnia (40%), and haplogroup I2a2-M26 frequent in Sardinian populations. Haplogroup I2b-M436 has a more unusual distribution with I2b*-M436 representatives scattered sparsely through regions of north and central Europe compared to its subgroup I2b1-M223 which is more frequent in these regions, indicating these two groups have somewhat different histories despite being closely related.

- from Sutherlanddnaproject.com

 

Haplogroup I1 (M253)

I-M253 map

"Men belonging to this haplogroup all descend form a single ancestor
who lived between 10,000 and
7,000 years ago"

Geographic distribution

Haplogroup I1 is the most common type of haplogroup I in northern Europe. It is found mostly in Scandinavia and Finland, where it typically represent over 35% of the Y chromosomes. Associated with the Norse ethnicity, I1 is found in all places invaded by ancient Germanic tribes and the Vikings. After the core of ancient Germanic civilisation in Scandinavia, the highest frequencies of I1 are observed in other Germanic-speaking regions, such as Germany, Austria, the Low Countries, England and the Scottish Lowlands, which all have between 10% and 20% of I1 lineages.

Origins & History

Haplogroup I is the oldest major haplogroup in Europe and in all probability the only one that originated there (apart from very minor haplogroups like C1a2 and deep subclades of other haplogroups). Haplogroup IJ would have arrived from the Middle East to Europe some 35,000 years ago, then developed into haplogroup I soon afterwards. It has now been confirmed by ancient DNA test that the first Homo sapiens to colonize Europe during the Aurignacian period (45,000 to 28,000 years ago), belonged to haplogroups CT, C1a, C1b, F and I.

It is estimated that the I1 branch bifurcated from the rest of haplogroup I some 27,000 years ago. I1 is defined by over 300 unique mutations, which indicates that this lineage experienced a serious population bottleneck. Most of the Late Glacial and Mesolithic remains tested to date belonged to haplogroup I* or I2. It is not yet clear in which part of Europe I1 originated. It has been speculated that I1 evolved in isolation in Scandinavia during the late Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, when hunter-gatherers from southern Europe recolonised the northern half of the continent from their Last Glacial Maximum refugia. The oldest attested evidence of postglacial resettlement of Scandinavia dates from 11,000 BCE with the appearance of the Ahrensburg culture. However, five Y-DNA samples from Mesolithic Sweden, dating from c. 5800 to 5000 BCE and tested by Lazaridis et al. (2013) and Haak et al. (2015) all turned out to belong to haplogroup I2.

The earliest sign of haplogroup I1 emerged from the testing of Early Neolithic Y-DNA from western Hungary (Szécsényi-Nagy et al. (2014)). A single I1 sample was identified alongside a G2a2b sample, both from the early Linear Pottery (LBK) culture, which would later diffuse the new agricultural lifestyle to most of Poland, Germany and the Low Countries. This means that haplogroup I1 was present in central Europe at the time of the Neolithic expansion.

It is therefore possible that I1 lineages were among the Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers that were assimilated by the wave of East Mediterranean Neolithic farmers (represented chiefly by Y-haplogroup G2a). There is also evidence from the samples of the Early Neolithic Starčevo culture and Cardium Pottery culture that haplogroup I2a lived alongside G2a farmers both in south-eastern and south-western Europe.

The most likely hypothesis at present is that I1 and I2 lineages were dispersed around Europe during the Mesolithic, and that some branches prospered more than others thanks to an early adoption of agriculture upon contact with the Near Eastern farmers who were slowly making their way across the Balkans and the Mediterranean shores. The small groups of farmers from the early LBK culture in Hungary surely included a majority of G2a men accompanied by other minor haplogroups assimilated along the way over the centuries, including I1 men. Yet distinct families would have spread in different directions and met varying successes in their expansion. It would appear that a founder effect in the northern LBK population led to a sudden explosion of I1 lineages, perhaps in part thanks to their better knowledge of the Central European terrain and fauna (since hunting was typically practised side by side to agriculture to complement the farmers' diet). I1 would later have spread to Scandinavia from northern Germany.

Both the Funnelbeaker and Pitted Ware cultures represent a merger between the Neolithic (farming) and Mesolithic (hunter-gathering) lifestyles. Neolithic farmers from Germany penetrated late into Scandinavia and in small numbers. There is archeological evidence that Neolithic farmers settled in southern Scandinavia and lived side by side with hunter-gatherers for several centuries during the Funnelbeaker culture. Skoglund et al. 2012 tested and compared the DNA of one Neolithic farmer and three hunter-gatherers from Sweden dating from 5,000 years ago. It turned out that the farmer was much closer genetically to modern Mediterranean people, especially the Sardinians, who are considered to be the closest modern population to Neolithic European farmers. The hunter-gatherers's DNA resembled that of modern Northeast Europeans, and perhaps even more that of the Balts, Finns and Samis than Scandinavians.

Scandinavian hunter-gatherers would have adopted the new Neolithic lifestyle little by little, using pottery and keeping domesticated animals (sheep, cattle, pigs and goats) to complement their traditional diet of fishing and game hunting. The cultivation of wheat, barley and legumes was fairly limited due to the cold climate. The cold climate was actually a barrier to the expansion of farmers from the continent. This is why Scandinavians retained a greater percentage of Mesolithic ancestry than virtually all other Europeans, apart from the Samis, Finns, Balts and Russians.

No ancient Y-DNA from the Funnelbeaker culture in Scandinavia has been tested to date, but it is likely that I1 really started gathering momentum toward the end of the Funnelbeaker period. It might also have been among the Funnelbeaker lineages that were most successfully assimilated by Proto-Indo-European invaders during the Corded Ware culture (aka Battle-Axe culture in Scandinavia). Most I1 individuals today share a common ancestor around the time of the transition between the Funnelbeaker and Corded Ware periods.

- from http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_I1_Y-DNA.shtml

Phylogenetic Tree of Haplogroup I1 M253
Phylogenetic Tree of Haplogroup I1 M253

Phylogenetic Timeline Calibrated to Archaeological Record (jpg)
- from Y-DNA Ages

See How Britain Became an Island

Current distribution of Haplogroup I subclades
Current distribution of Haplogroup I subclades

I1-M253

I1-M253: Despite its young TMRCA, this clade could have its origin in a Mesolithic migration of Haplogroup I from South-Eastern Europe about 5,000 BC. This is by no means certain. Although we have found no-one alive today carrying just one or two of the many markers that define I1, each one of these markers may define a lineage that has died out in the male line. So all that is left is the healthy lineage I1, which appears to pop up out of nowhere in southern Jutland about 2,200 BC and is found today in Scandinavia and among descendants of the Vikings. There is no trail of earlier clades from South-Eastern Europe. So in theory Haplogroup I could have arrived from any southern Ice Age refuge as soon as Scandinavia was left habitable by the shrinking glaciers. It is only the fact that the spread of Haplogroup I overall leans towards Eastern Europe that has inclined researchers to look south-east for its Ice Age refuge.

- from The Story of Y-DNA Haplogroup I

Haplogroup I1-M253

During the Neolithic period, pre-I1 and I1 people were part of the successive Ertebølle culture (5300-3950 BCE) and Funnelbeaker culture (4000-2700 BCE). The Corded Ware period (3200-1800 BCE) marks the arrival of the Indo-European R1a people from the Ukrainian steppes.

I1 is identified by at least 15 unique mutations, which indicates that this lineage has been isolated for a long period of time, or experienced a serious population bottleneck. Although the first mutation splitting I1 away from I2 may have arisen as long as 7,750 years ago*, people belonging to this haplogroup all descend from a single man who lived less than 5,000 years ago. This corresponds to the arrival of the Indo-European, suggesting that a high percentage of the indigenous I1 men could possibly have been killed by the new immigrants.

The first mutation that gives rise to subclade I1 appeared 3,500 years ago*. (1,500 years before Christ)

The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of I1 lived from 3,500 years ago somewhere in the far northern part of Europe, perhaps Denmark, according to Nordtvedt. His descendants are primarily found among the Germanic populations of northern Europe and the bordering Uralic and Celtic populations, although even in traditionally German demographics I1-M253 is overshadowed by the more prevalent Haplogroup R.

Haplogroup I1-M253 is the most common I subclade. It is found mostly in Scandinavia and Northern Germany, where it can represent over 35% of the population. Associated with the Norse ethnicity, it is found in all places invaded by the ancient Germanic tribes and the Vikings.

- from familytreedna.com

The I1 subclade, defined by SNP M253 is prominent in Scandinavia and other Nordic countries, which includes Sweden (40-50%), Norway (40%), Finland (20%) and Denmark (40%). It is the most prevalent I subhaplogroup in Sweden and TMRCA estimates are 6,000-8,000 years ago. This is after the time when the glaciers are believed to have retreated from Fennoscandia. The Saami population around Lappland in the northern regions of Fennoscandia also has high levels of this subclade. I1 levels diminish moving in the eastern direction from Finland toward Russia and its frequency is low in other Eastern European regions (5-1%). This and additional information from mtDNA haplogroups has provided evidence that the Saami came from a Southern European source rather than from Siberia and the East.

The presence of haplogroup I1 in Scandinavia is linked with Viking (Norwegian or Danish) excursions in the North Atlantic and the dissemination of haplogroup I1 in England, Ireland, Scotland and Iceland. It is also found at high levels in Germany (~25%) and the Netherlands (~17%). Subclade I1 is associated with the Anglo-Saxons who were believed to be descendents of Celtic and Germanic groups emanating from the Low Countries and Frisia (areas near the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Denmark). Estimates of TMRCA for the Anglo-Saxon I1 subclade range from 1,500 to 4,000 years ago. There is also speculation that the spread of Anglo-Saxons (and subclade I1) to England took place through a land bridge, known as Doggerland that connected continental Europe to England around 10kya.

- from genebase.com

y-Haplogroup I1 STR "Cluster" Analysis


Here is the latest tree with some of the SNPs that have been found within Haplogroup I1.
The SNPs shown in red are the new tentative ones that have recently been found in some Geno 2.0 samples
From y-Haplogroup I1 STR "Cluster" Analysis, Terry Robb, Jan, 2013

Y-Haplogroups I1 and R1b in European Countries | Possible y-Haplogroup I1 Dispersal / Expansion

 

Waugh Family Y DNA

M253 (I1) -P109-S10891-Y13930-Y14225

According to YFull's calculations Haplogroup I-P109 was formed about 4100 years ago and each of the major subbranches (Y14999, Y5621, Y3664, Y5621, S10891 and Y3662) were formed about 3400 years ago. Therefore, the spread of the P109 marker began between 2000 to 1400 BC or in the Nordic Bronze Age . The TMRCA for S10891 is 3100 years ago, for Y13930 (or FGC21732) it's 2800 years ago and for Y14225 it's 800 years ago (around 1200 AD). Y13930 (FGC21732) is the major division within S10891 that appears to separate the mainly British Isles branch from the Scandinavian (mainly Norwegian & Swedish) branch. If YFull's calculations are correct (and based on the limited sample size)  it's possible that Norse settlement in the British Isles began at least as early as 800 BC.  Several Bronze Age archaeological sites in the British Isles contain Baltic Amber (and other trade goods) that must have moved (along with traders and possible migrants) across the North Sea by boat.

Our Y-DNA-111 markers (for Jeff Waugh) indicate that we are M253-L22-P109 (I1a1b1 by ISOGG).
Big-Y DNA results indicate a new terminal haplogroup of I-S10891 (Nordtvedt May 26, 2014).
Yfull identifies new subclade under IS10891 of I-Y13930 (April, 2015).
Yfull identifies new subclade under I-Y13930 of I-Y14225 (June, 2015)
FTDNA identifies FGC21765 under S10891 (Nov, 2015)

P-109 Distribution in Europe
P-109 Distribution in Europe
From The I1d1 (I-P109) yDNA Haplogroup Project - Y-DNA Member Distribution Map

SNP Analysis

L22+ (aka S142+) is the main Nordic subclade. It is also very common in Britain, especially on the east coast where the Vikings settled most heavily, in the Low Countries and Normandy (also doubtlessly the heritage of the Danish Viking) as well as in Poland and Russia (Swedish Vikings). P109+ A mostly southern Scandinavian subclade, with a presence in all the regions settled by the Danish Vikings. It has been found sporadically in many parts of Europe, such as western Iberia, northern Italy, the Balkans, Lithuania and Russia.

- from Haplogroup I1 (Y-DNA), Eupedia

TMCRA

The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMCRA) for P-109 was estimated by Ken Nordtvedt at approximately 3200 YBP (as of November, 2013). YFull estimates formation of P109 at 4100 YBP, TMRCA at 3400 YPB, I-S10891 formation at 3400 YBP and the TMRCA at 3100 YBP (as of June, 2017).

Big-Y DNA results indicate a new terminal haplogroup of I-S10891 (Nordtvedt May 26, 2014).

Haplogroup P109 - S10891 - Y13930 (FGC21732)


N. Taban  (June, 2017)


I-FGC21732 as of June 4, 2017
Waugh is FGC21765
From Stephan Wagner Damianowitsch

My closest BigY matches

Waugh

My closest BigY match is with Donald E. Waugh who goes back to a Lyman Waugh (1814-1882) of Jefferson County, New York. Lyman Waugh is probably a descendant of the Waughs of Lichtfield, Connecticut, and it's not known where these Waughs originated but based on the closeness of the match they were probably from Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Both Donald and I are now in a new subclade under S10891 of Y14225 estimated to have formed 2300 YBP with a TMRCA (for Donald and I) of 800 YBP.

Smith

"I have just received my Chromo2 results - I am Scandinavian I-S142 with a further subtype of I-S10891. My paternal line can be traced back to the town of Goosnargh, Lancashire, England and to the 1770s... I live a few miles away from Cuerdale." - Stephen Smith, Dec 19, 2014

Simmons

Another close FTDNA BigY match (I'm FTDNA kit # 266907) is with William Samuel Simmons (FTDNA # 180401 with a known SNP difference of 1) who goes back to Charles Simmons 1750-1847. I found an ancestry.com tree that has that Charles going back to John Simmons (b. 1690) in Sussex, England. I also found that according to the book "Colonial Families of Pennsylvania" (Author: Blinn): "There is a family of Simmons, who have been resident at Seaford, in the county Sussex, for the past three centuries and a half. They evidently have corrupted their appellative from Seaman, which has gone through the following phases since 1553: Seeman, Seaman, Seamans, Semons, Simons, Simonds Simmonds, Symonds, Symmonds, and finally SIMMONS." It would seem that our branch of S10891 has roots in both Dumfriesshire, Scotland and Sussex, England. How did "we" come to be in both of these areas?

- Jeff Waugh, July 12, 2014

Simmons in Sussex date from 1553 in Seaford. These Simmons were said to have been Norse invaders who had settled there. The name seems originally to have been Seaman. The Simmons of Seaford remained connected with the sea and later became prominent local figures in the town. Elsewhere in Sussex, there were Symons and Symonds spellings until the Simmons name seems to have established itself in the mid-1700’s.

- from selectsurnames3.com

Joy (Hiberno-Norse)

Another close BigY match (FTDNA kit # N8115) goes back to John Joy, b.1834 Doon, Limerick, Ireland.

The earliest record of vikings at Limerick is in 845, reported by the Annals of Ulster, and there are intermittent reports of vikings in the region later in the 9th century.[6] Permanent settlement on the site of modern Limerick had begun by 922.[7] In that year a Viking jarl or prince called Tomrair mac Ailchi—Thórir Helgason—led the Limerick fleet on raids along the River Shannon, from the lake of Lough Derg to the lake of Lough Ree, pillaging ecclesiastical settlements. Two years later, the Dublin vikings led by Gofraid ua Ímair attacked Limerick, but were driven off.[8] The war between Dublin and Limerick continued until 937 when the Dubliners, now led by Gofraid's son Amlaíb, captured Limerick's king Amlaíb Cenncairech and for some reason destroyed his fleet.[9] However, no battle is actually recorded and so a traditional interpretation has been that Amlaíb mac Gofraid was actually recruiting Amlaíb of Limerick for his upcoming conflict with Athelstan of England,[10] which would turn out be the famous Battle of Brunanburh. The 920s and 930s are regarded as the height of Norse power in Ireland and only Limerick rivalled Dublin during this time. The last Norse king of Limerick was Ivar of Limerick, who features prominently as an enemy of Mathgamain mac Cennétig and later his famous brother Brian Boru in the Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib.[11] He and his allies were defeated by the Dál gCais, and after slaying Ivar Brian would annexe Norse Limerick and begin to make it the new capital of his kingdom. The power of the Norsemen never recovered, and they reduced to the level of a minor clan; however, they often played pivotal parts in the endless power struggles of the next few centuries.

- Wikipedia

See:
Viking Ship Museum - Limerick

Viking-age gold and silver from Irish crannogs and other watery places
The Longphort in Viking-age Ireland

Castles, Lordship and Settlement in Norman England and Wales

The great castle of the de Warenne family at Lewes (Sussex) was one of numerous Norman baronial capita 'twinned' with a nearby monastic house - the Cluniac priory of St Pancras being established at the foot of the fortress in 1077.

- from Castles, Lordship and Settlement in Norman England and Wales, historytoday.com, By O.H. Creighton , Published in History Today Volume: 53 Issue: 4 2003

Norman

The Normans (from Nortmanni: “Northmen”) were originally pagan barbarian pirates from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland who began to make destructive plundering raids on European coastal settlements in the 8th century. During the later 9th century their raids on the northern and western coastlands of France grew in scale and frequency, and the Vikings had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine River by about 900. A Viking named Rollo, who had already won a reputation as a great leader of Viking raiders in Scotland and Ireland, soon emerged as the outstanding personality among the new settlers. In 911 the Frankish king Charles III the Simple made the Treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte with Rollo, ceding him the land around the mouth of the Seine and what is now the city of Rouen. Within a generation the Vikings, or Normans, as they came to be known, had extended their rule westward to the districts of Lower Normandy. From then on until the mid-11th century, the history of the Normans in Normandy was marked by a line of ruthless and forceful rulers calling themselves counts, or dukes, of Normandy and struggling to establish political hegemony over the indigenous Frankish population of the region.

- from Encyclopaedia Britannica

Settlers in Sussex and Part of Surrey

History is silent concerning Norse colonies on our southern coasts, but the custom and old place-names which have been mentioned point to a considerable settlement of Scandinavians in Sussex, and Sweons or Swedes among them. That Swedes came among the Vikings, as already mentioned, is proved by the runic monuments of their country. In the district of Vaksala (parish of old Upsala) there is still existing an inscription to Sigvid, `the England sea-farer.` In Vestermanland there is another `to a worthy young man, and he had gone to England.` In Gestrikland, near Gefle, is another made by relatives to `their brother Bruse when he set out for England.`(18) Some of these and other inscriptions maybe memorials of actual settlers in our country. There is additional evidence relating to Northmen. The Domesday names Totenore, Sidenore, Venninggore or Waningore, Icenore, and the other early names Cymenore, Kynnore, and Cotenore, show by their terminations traces of Scandinavian people. Among other Danish or Scandinavian traces in the old place-names are those beginning with Sale, which may refer to settlers from Sealand. These are the Domesday places Salecome and Salhert, now Salehurst, and Salemannaburn,(19) a name for one of the old hundreds.

- from Wilcuma.org.uk

In Gloppen in the counties of Sogn og Fjordane in western Norway

In Gloppen in the counties of Sogn og Fjordane in western Norway archaeologists have unearthed some exotic items at the burial site of a great chieftain (Eidehøvdingen) dating from around 400 AD – amongst them were gold coins from the Byzantine Empire and drinking cups made of glass! In their last book “The Quest for Odin” Heyerdahl / Lillieström have assembled extensive evidence for the importance of this main trading route from Russia through Bjarmeland (today’s Arkhangelsk area in northern Russia) into Varanger in the north of Norway. The authors further refer to the legendary introduction to Orknøyingenes Saga, where it is maintained that their ancestral father – the mighty chieftain Fornljot - originated from the innermost part of the Gulf of Finland, the centre of a mighty realm comprising Finland and Kvenland. The fact that the north of Norway historically played a central role, and withheld a dominant position for many years, in the trading traffic and cultural exchange between the “far East” and the North Sea area, has long since been acknowledged by historians, and has also lately been confirmed by archaeological excavations, like those in the Lofoten area.

- From Ivar Gault at ivargault.com

Local Things in Sogn og Fjordane

Things – from the Old Norse word þing, meaning assembly - were an early system of justice and administration.

The Gulating Law mentions two levels of things below Gulatinget: fylkesting (county things) and fjordungsting (there were four fjordungstings in one county thing). These things were open to all free men, although we do not have any historical records relating to how they may have functioned. Local things had different functions and names, such as våpenting (weapon thing), manntalsting, kongeting (the king’s thing) and skipreideting. There seems to have been a regular spring thing, but the thing could also be summoned when anyone had reason to do so and on five nights notice. Autumn things are also known.

It is likely that the local things met in a fixed place, although in certain cases they met at a specific location, such as a murder site, or in the location being discussed in the case of rental agreements. The locations of many of these thing sites are still unknown. There are at least 40 place names in Sogn og Fjordane which contain the element ting, and these may have been created over a long period of time. The name Tinghaug (thing mound) is quite common, and indicates an outdoor thing site.

- from thingsites.com

Hordaland

Hordaland surrounds what is presently the city of Bergen – which did not exist at the time of the Vikings. According to the Wikipedia entry for Hordaland, in considering the name given to this geographical area in Western Norway, The first element is the plural genitive case of hordar, the name of an old Germanic tribe (see Cherudes). The last element is land as in ‘land, region’. Similarly the entry for Kinsarvik (a place in Hordaland) the following is given under the history of the Vikings of the area. In the time of Julius Ceasar a clan known as Charudes was reported to live in the Jutland region of Denmark. The people were reported to be involved in many battles and thereby had a tradition of warfare. At about the time as the fall of Rome and the arrival of the Huns there was a great movement of people in Europe. The Charudes were squeezed between the Angles, Saxons, and the Jutes. The clan, which was by now referred to as Horder or Harding left Denmark and settled in Scotland, Iceland and the area around what is now Kinsarvik Norway setting up an independent kingship. The state of Hordaland and the region of Hardanger are named for this people.

It is interesting that the very first recorded Viking raid in Britain, which occurred in 789 AD near Portchester on the south coast of England, involved men from Hordaland. It was recorded that, “there came for the first time three ships of Northmen from Hordaland……… who slew the king’s representative. According to the narrative, Those were the first ships of Danish men which came to the land of the English. It has typically been assumed that a mistake must have been made and these were Norwegians, but perhaps Danish reflects the Charudes origin of these people. The actual name of these people in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (Lund Ms.) is “Herethas”, dwellers in the Norse Hordaland on the Hardangerfjord. From their ravages Hiruaith comes to be the Irish name for Norway (Chambers, 1912, p. 214). Chambers identifies them with the “Hord a Jotlandic”, the inhabitants of the Hardesyssel area and the Charudes of Ptolemy.

- from The Cimbri Nation of Jutland, Denmark and the Danelaw, England: A Chronological Approach Based on Diverse Data Sources by David K. Faux

Charudes

It is possible that the disappearance of the Harudes on the European continent and the Jutish peninsula is because they emigrated into Norway and settled in what was forever after called Hordaland. It is also possible that the surviving members of the tribe that had lost against the Romans in 58 AD retreated first to Jutland and then returned to their original homeland in Norway – whoever knows? According to Jordanes, Norway was in fact their homeland, and parts of the tribe had emigrated southwards some time in prehistory.

By the 7th century AD, Jordanes describes the Arochi as living in Scandza once more. Whether they were “originally” from Norway or “originally from Jutland is uncertain, but it is beyond doubt that the Hǫrðar were a tribe that came to rule the enormous fjord and mountain landscape known as Hǫrðaland – no longer a land in its own right but to this day, Hordaland is the name of a great county region (and people of Hordaland are called Hordalendinger)

-from Charudes in Hordaland

The Vikings on the Balkans

The Vikings on the Balkans
From The Vikings on the Balkans (95 MB pdf)

Varangians

Having settled Aldeigja (Ladoga) in the 750s, Scandinavian colonists played an important role in the early ethnogenesis of the Rus' people and in the formation of the Rus' Khaganate. The Varangians (Varyags, in Old East Slavic) are first mentioned by the Primary Chronicle as having exacted tribute from the Slavic and Finnic tribes in 859. The Vikings were rapidly expanding in Northern Europe: England began to pay Danegeld in 859, and the Curonians of Grobin faced an invasion by the Swedes at about the same date. Due largely to geographic considerations, it is often argued that most of the Varangians who traveled and settled in the eastern Baltic, Russia, and lands to the south came from the area of modern Sweden .[17]

- Wikipedia

Who were the Rus?

According to the Russian Primary Chronicle (ca. 1040-1118 AD), the Rus were a group of "Varangians," possibly of Swedish origin, who had a leader named Rurik. Rus appears to be derived from the Finnish word for Sweden, *Rotsi, later Ruotsi, which in turn comes from Old Swedish rother, a word associated with rowing or ships, so that rothskarlar meant "rowers" or "seamen."

- from the vikinganswerlady.com

Men Mentioned in the Sagas who Served in the Varangian Guard of Byzantium

The Varangian Guard existed from around 911, when the Scandinavian Rus signed a treaty with Byzantium establishing relations for trade and military service. Men from Scandinavia continued to serve in the Varangian Guard until 1204, when the unit virtually disappeared after Crusaders sacked the city of Byzantium. The Icelanders, who are responsible for preserving much of the surviving Old Norse literature, were extremely proud of the tradition in which certain Icelandic men made the long journey to enter the service of the Byzantine Emperor, and tales of such men had a big impact on the saga literature of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The vast majority of Varangians, of course, were from Russia, Kiev, or eastern Scandinavia. It was the rarity of Icelanders who served there that made them worth mentioning in the sagas.

- from the vikinganswerlady.com

Read more about the Varangians in Byzantium

 

Wauchope/Walkup Surname - Family Tree DNA Project

Y-DNA test results received thus far reveal multiple distinct male lines of Wauchope / Waugh, with likely origins as follows:
See the results for the Wauchope/Walkup Surname - Family Tree DNA Project - Y-DNA Classic Chart

1. E1b1b1a1b Mediterranean Haplogroup - Thracian auxiliary Roman army soldier (c. AD 43-410), whose descendants eventually settled in Scotland

Evidence shows members of this group to be that of the extant Wauchobs of Counties Donegal and Tyrone, Ulster. Family tradition states three Wauchope brothers arrived to Ireland in 1642 as Cromwellian soldiers in the Scottish army under General Munro. Their exact connection back to the Borders of Scotland whence they came is not certain, but presumed to be Dumfriesshire. Results from this group demonstrate a genetic link between the modern spellings Wachob, Walkup, and Wauchope. Hopefully, a link to a more recent line of Waughs will be found. Also, The Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) analysis reveals this group may be linearly descended prior to AD 550 from the Hubbards of Cheshire, England.

2. I1 Nordic Haplogroup - Scandinavian of the Danelaw (c. 9th century) or of the Normans (c. the Norman Conquest of 1066)

Group A. Evidence shows members of this group to be that of the extant Waughs of Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Results from this group demonstrate a genetic link between the modern spellings Walkup and Waugh. Results also show a genetic link with a known alternative pronunciation of Waugh from northern England, that being Waff.

Note: To my opinion, all of them in the 2A - I1 Nordic group are P109. So they are welcomed to join the I-P109 project. Ideally, they should test for P109, but they are so close to you (name+Y-STR signature) that they are 99,9% P109. - Nicolas Taban, FTDNA P109 Project Administrator

Group B. Evidence shows members of this group to be that of the extant Waughs of Roxburghshire, Scotland.

Note: Members of Group A and B are not closely matched.

3. I2a British Isles Haplogroup - Native to Scotland and Ireland after the last glacial age (c. 4,000 BC)

Evidence shows members of this group to be from Scotland.

4. R1b1a2 Western Europe Haplogroup - Celtic (rather than Anglo-Saxon or Norwegian) of the Normans (c. the Norman Conquest of 1066) or of the native Britons (c. 6th century BC)

Group A. Evidence shows members of this group to be that of the late Wauchopes of Niddrie-Merschell, Midlothian (formerly Edinburghshire), Scotland. Results from this group demonstrate a genetic link between the modern spellings Wahab and Wauchope.

Group B. Evidence shows members of this group to be that of the Waughs of a yet unknown location, likely the Borders. Preliminary results show a possible genetic link between the modern spellings of Waugh and Bauchop, strengthening the tradition of an early place-name connection.

Note: Members of Group A and B are not closely matched.

- from familytreedna.com

See also Scottish DNA Project - Y-DNA Results

The Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties

/219/ LX OE hope, ME hop(e),
“small enclosed valley, and especially a smaller opening branching out from the main dale; a blind valley”. On the Scottish side of the Border the term seems to be applied indiscriminately to any type of valley. It is most common in Slk, Rxb, and the upland areas of Bwk and Dmf. Some of the names below may belong to the OE period. The occurrence of such personal names as Eċ ġ here , C
ū ðberht , Aldwine, as first elements points t o the lOE or eME period for the formation of the compounds.

ROXSBURGHSHIRE
WAUCHOPE (Hbk) : (86, 2 C): /223/
Waleuhop (P), 1165-1214 LSMM; Walchop (P), 1266, 1373 Rot Scac; Wachop (P), 1384 ib ; Wachope, Blaeu. OE walh, “foreigner, slave”, is the first element: cf W~ (Lang) (infra ).

DUMFRIESSHIRE
WAUCHOPE (Lang): (89, 8 B):

Walghope, 1296 CDS; Walughop(dale), 1333-6 ib . Cf Wauchope (Sdn) (supra ). ? OE wealh “insipid” > Sc wauch “nasty -smelling”.

from Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties, May G. Williamson, University of Edinburgh, 1942

 

The Nordic Bronze Age

Map of the Nordic Bronze Age Culture c 1200 BC
Map of the Nordic Bronze Age Culture c 1200 BC

The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age) is a period of Scandinavian prehistory from c. 1700–500 BC. The Bronze Age culture of this era succeeded the Late Neolithic Stone Age culture and was followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age. The archaeological legacy of the Nordic Bronze Age culture is rich, but the ethnic and linguistic affinities of it are unknown, in the absence of written sources. Some scholars also includes sites in what is now northern Germany, Pomerania and Estonia in the Baltic region, as part of its cultural sphere.

Even though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures fairly late through trade, Scandinavian sites presents a rich and well-preserved legacy of bronze and gold objects. These valuable metals were all imported, primarily from Central Europe, but they were often crafted locally and the craftsmanship and metallurgy of the Nordic Bronze Age was of a high standard. The archaeological legacy also comprise locally crafted wool and wooden objects and there are many tumuli and rock carving sites from this period, but no written language existed in the Nordic countries during the Bronze Age. The rock carvings have been dated through comparison with depicted artifacts, for example bronze axes and swords. There are also numerous Nordic Stone Age rock carvings, those of northern Scandinavia mostly portray elk.

"Thousands of rock carvings from this period depict ships"

Thousands of rock carvings from this period depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships, suggest that ships and seafaring played an important role in the culture at large. The depicted ships, most likely represents sewn plank built canoes used for warfare, fishing and trade. These ship types may have their origin as far back as the neolithic period and they continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as exemplified by the Hjortspring boat.[2]

- Wikipedia

"shipping played an important role"

The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age) is the name given by Oscar Montelius to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian prehistory, c. 1700–500 BC, with sites that reached as far east as Estonia. Succeeding the Late Neolithic culture, its ethnic and linguistic affinities are unknown in the absence of written sources. It is followed by the Pre-Roman Iron Age... Many rock carvings depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships suggest that shipping played an important role. Thousands of rock carvings depict ships, most probably representing sewn plank built canoes for warfare, fishing, and trade. These may have a history as far back as the neolithic period and continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as shown by the Hjortspring boat.

- Wikipedia

"Mycenaean Greece, the Villanovan culture, Phoenicia and Ancient Egypt have all been identified as possible sources of influence for Scandinavian artwork from this period"

Nordic Bronze Age

Even though Scandinavians joined the European Bronze Age cultures fairly late through trade, Scandinavian sites present rich and well-preserved objects made of wool, wood and imported Central European bronze and gold. The Scandinavians adopted many important European and Mediterranean symbols while adapting these to create a unique Nordic style. Mycenaean Greece, the Villanovan culture, Phoenicia and Ancient Egypt have all been identified as possible sources of influence for Scandinavian artwork from this period. The foreign influence is believed to have been due to the amber trade. Amber found in Mycenaean graves from this period originates from the Baltic Sea, so it is reasonable to assume that the culture that arose in the Nordic Bronze Age constituted one supply end of the so-called Amber Road. Many petroglyphs depict ships, and the large stone formations known as stone ships suggest that shipping played an important role. Several petroglyphs depict ships that have been identified as plausibly Mediterranean.

- from Scandinavian Prehistory

"The finds on the beach could be more than 4,000 years old"

Shifting sand dunes reveal large Bronze Age settlement

Shifting sands have revealed a significant complex of Bronze Age buildings in Orkney. Archaeologists made the discovery at Tresness in Sanday while on a walk in poor weather on Monday. The remains of 14 houses and stone tools, including knives, have been described as "one of the biggest complexes of Bronze Age settlement in the Scottish isles". The finds on the beach could be more than 4,000 years old. Archaeologists believe the houses were buried by sand dunes in the second millennium BC - but have recently been exposed by the actions of weather and the sea.

Prof Jane Downes and Christopher Gee, of the University of the Highlands and Islands, Prof Colin Richards, of the University of Manchester and Dr Vicki Cummings, of University of Central Lancashire, made the discovery. They were on a sea shore walk to visit a known archaeological site when they spotted the remains of the houses and stone tools.

Prof Downes, who specialises in the Bronze Age, said: "This must be one of the biggest complexes of Bronze Age settlement in the Scottish isles, rivalling the spreads of hut circles in other parts of mainland Scotland." The scale of the Sanday has been described as "unparalleled in Orkney". The islands are well-known for the Skara Brae Neolithic settlement. 'Thrilling discovery' Cath Parker, leader of the Sanday Archaeology Group, said: "This is incredibly exciting. "The archaeological landscape concealed beneath Sanday's shifting sands never ceases to amaze us. "I'm sure the local community will relish the opportunity to be involved with any work which stems from this thrilling discovery."

- from BBC, Dec 9, 2015
See also Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Scotland

"From at least the sixteenth century BC
amber was moved from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean area
"

The Amber Road

From at least the sixteenth century BC amber was moved from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean area.[2][3] The breast ornament of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen (ca. 1333-1324 BC) contains large Baltic amber beads [4][5][6] Heinrich Schliemann found Baltic amber beads at Mycenae, as shown by spectroscopic investigation.[7] The quantity of amber in the Royal Tomb of Qatna, Syria, is unparalleled for known second millennium BC sites in the Levant and the Ancient Near East.[8] Amber was sent from the North Sea to the temple of Apollo at Delphi as an offering. From the Black Sea, trade could continue to Asia along the Silk Road, another ancient trade route. In Roman times, a main route ran south from the Baltic coast through the land of the Boii (modern Czech Republic and Slovakia) to the head of the Adriatic Sea (modern Gulf of Venice). The Old Prussian towns of Kaup and Truso on the Baltic were the starting points of the route to the south. In Scandinavia the amber road probably gave rise to the thriving Nordic Bronze Age culture, bringing influences from the Mediterranean Sea to the northernmost countries of Europe. Sometimes the Kaliningrad Oblast is called the Янтарный край, which means "the amber area".

- Wikipedia

"Most of the amber found in Mycenaean Greece,
Italy and Levant
comes from the Baltic Sea"

Amber in the Ancient Near East

In antiquity, the source of the amber found in the Mediterranean area can be determined by means of infrared spectroscopy. Most of the amber found in Mycenaean Greece, Italy and Levant comes from the Baltic Sea. In archaeological contexts, amber occurs in the form of beads, amulets, ornaments, jewellery, and rectangular plaques. It was an object of trade and barter in the Baltic and Mediterranean areas (Todd 1985: 292-301; Heltzer 2000: 169-176). Amber jewellery is abundant in Bronze Age Aegean contexts, though it occurs infrequently in Bronze Age eastern Mediterranean contexts beyond the Aegean. The total recorded amber objects includes seventeen amber scarabs in Egypt, two beads from Assur, and six beads from Enkomi (Cyprus) (Bachhuber 2006: 352, n. 90).The earliest amber in the Near East may date from ca. 1800B.C.E., two beads at Assur (Harding et al. 1974: 169), or ca. 2400B.C.E., at Tell Asmar. The last excavations at Qatna (Syria), reveal that amber was imported into Late Bronze Age Syria and used for making the prestige artefacts found in a Royal tomb of ca. 1340 B.C.E. There were found beads and a unique vessel in the form of a lion, likely fashioned in Syria from raw amber imported from the Baltic via the Aegean (Mukherjeeet al. 2008: 49-59). Thousands of beads of glass, agate, carnelian, quartz, faience, ostrich eggshell, and amber were found at Uluburun (shipwreck, late 14 th Century B.C.E.), near Kas, at the south coast of Turkey (Bass 1991: 69-82; Pulak 1988: 1-37).More than forty beads of Baltic amber have been recovered from the Uluburun shipwreck (Pulak 1998: 218; Bachhuber 2004: 204, table 9). Many more amber beads likely floated away from the Uluburun ship, as amber is neutrally buoyant...

"The breast ornament of King Tutankhamen contains large Baltic amber beads"

For the Egyptians amber was "the tears of the eye of Ra, the sun god ". The eye of Ra is most often connected with protection, divine justice, punishment and vengeance. Amber was also associated with the lioness goddess Sekhmet, daughter of Ra and one of his eyes. Small pieces of amber have been discovered inserted beneath the skin covering the hands of Egyptian mummies, in order to protect the dead in the afterlife (Todd 1985: 292 ss.). Baltic amber beads were found in the tomb of Teti (ca. 2345-2333 B.C.E.), at Saqqara. The breast ornament of King Tutankhamen (ca. 1333-1324 B.C.E.) contains large Baltic amber beads (Reeves 1990; Serpico 2000: 451-454). During the reign of Thutmose III (ca. 1500 B.C.E.), in the tribute scenes at the tomb of Rekhmire (TT 100) is registered a delivery from Greece of "a great heap of amber, which is measured by the heket, making 36.692 deben (ca.3424 kg)" (Breasted 1906: II, § 761). In this case, we believe that it could be a delivery of amber, probably from the Baltic area, through Mycenaean envoys.

- from Amber in the Ancient Near East

"The Adabrock Hoard includes Irish bronze implements, beads of Irish gold, some Baltic amber, a piece of possibly Mediterranean glass and a broken bronze cup of most probably central European origin"

The Adabrock Hoard, Lewis Island, Hebrides

The Adabrock Hoard

From The Atlantic Iron Age: Settlement and Identity in the First Millennium BC By Jon Henderson
From The Atlantic Iron Age: Settlement and Identity in the First Millennium BC By Jon Henderson

From The Archaeology of Skye and the Western Islaes By Ian Armit
From The Archaeology of Skye and the Western Islaes By Ian Armit

"exploitation of the tin resources in Britain is believed to have started before 2000 BC,
 with a thriving tin trade developing with the civilisations of the Mediterranean
"

The Legendary Tin Mines of Cornwall

When Rome was still a tiny village on the Palatine Hill. Phoenician traders were sailing their ships the length and breadth of the Mediterranean and beyond in search of goods to be sold or traded for a handsome profit. There were great risks in making a long sea voyage and bringing home a valuable cargo, but the enormous profit that could be made from selling the goods made the risks worthwhile. The key was to trade a product that was unique, very desirable, hard to get, or desperately needed for other products that were common in the land of the people with whom you were trading. These products may be rare and desirable someplace else, and the trader now had something with which he could once again make a profit.

Tin was just such a product in the ancient world. Our technology today would not be possible without oil and electricity. In the same way, tin was vital to the ancients because it was needed in the making of bronze. Bronze was an alloy, or a mixture of two or more metals. To make bronze, the metalsmith mixed copper with the proper amount of tin. Copper tools and weapons by themselves were too soft and did not long remain sharp. Tin made the copper harder and also made the molten metal fill the mold more completely when it was cast into useful objects like axe heads, hammers, and jewelry. So many useful articles were made of bronze in ancient times that no civilization could thrive very long without a supply of it or the copper and tin needed to make it. The secrets of making iron were well known by the time the Romans made their entrance into history, but iron products were difficult to make, and rusted easily. Besides, it was hard to make iron that didn't have cracks and weak spots. With hard work and a skilled craftsman, good iron tools and weapons could be had but bronze was much more suitable for most metal articles.

"Julius Caesar knew of the importance of British tin
when he invaded the island in 55 to 54 B.C.
"

The deposits of tin in the ancient world were usually small and not very plentiful. The Phoenicians discovered the tin deposits of the British Isles either from an early explorer or through their own exploring and seeking out of new products and markets for them. They kept the knowledge of the Cornish tin mines a closely guarded secret so they could control trade in the metal and charge a high price for it. After the Punic wars, Carthage, the one remaining city of the Phoenicians, became less and less an important economic power. With their well - known efficiency and thoroughness, the Romans counted access to the British tin mines as one of the advantages of conquering the island. Julius Caesar knew of the importance of British tin when he invaded the island in 55 to 54 B.C. After the conquest of Britain during the reign of Claudius, the Romans were in control of most of the world's supply of the metal. The province of Britain was not a highly profitable one to the Romans, but tin was one commodity that made it essential for the Romans to conquer and keep this remote part of their vast empire.

- from jaysromanhistory.com

Mining in Cornwall and Devon

Tin is one of the earliest metals to have been exploited in Britain. Chalcolithic metal workers discovered that by putting a small amount of tin (5 – 20%) in molten copper an alloy called bronze was produced that was easier to work and harder than copper. The oldest production of tin-bronze is in Turkey about 3500 BC but exploitation of the tin resources in Britain is believed to have started before 2000 BC,[6] with a thriving tin trade developing with the civilisations of the Mediterranean. The strategic importance of tin in forging bronze weapons brought the southwest of Britain into the Mediterranean economy at an early date. Later tin was also used in the production of pewter.

"Cornwall was traditionally thought to have been exclusively conducted by Phoenician metal traders from the eastern Mediterranean"

Mining in Cornwall has existed from the early Bronze Age Britain around 2150 BC. Cornwall was traditionally thought to have been exclusively conducted by Phoenician metal traders from the eastern Mediterranean.[7][8] However, it is likely that the first century BC tin trade with the Mediterranean was later controlled by the Veneti of Brittany.[9][8] Britain is one of the places proposed for the Cassiterides, that is Tin Islands, first mentioned by Herodotus.

"Pytheas of Massalia travelled to Britain about 325 BC
where he found a flourishing tin trade
"

As demand for bronze grew in the Middle East the local supplies of tin ore (casserite) became used up and searches were made over all the known world for new supplies, including Britain. Control of the tin trade seems to have been in Phoenician hands and they kept their sources secret. The Greeks understood that tin came from the Cassiterides, the "tin islands", of which the geographical identity is debated. By 500 BC Hecataeus knew of islands beyond Gaul where tin was obtained. Pytheas of Massalia travelled to Britain about 325 BC where he found a flourishing tin trade, according to the late report of his voyage. Posidonius referred to the tin trade with Britain around 90 BC but Strabo in about 18 AD did not list tin as one of Britain's exports. This is likely to be because Rome was obtaining its tin from Spain at the time. Camden[10] identified the Cassiterides with the Scilly Isles and gave first currency to the belief that the Phoenicians traded to Britain.[11] However, there is no tin mining on the Scilly Isles apart from minor exploratory excavations. Timothy Champion found it likely that the trade of the Phoenicians with Britain was indirect and under the control of the Veneti of Brittany.[12] Champion, discussing Diodorus Siculus's comments on the tin trade, states that "Diodorus never actually says that the Phoenicians sailed to Cornwall. In fact, he says quite the opposite: the production of Cornish tin was in the hands of the natives of Cornwall, and its transport to the Mediterranean was organised by local merchants, by sea and then over land through France, well outside Phoenician control."[13] The Rillaton Cup and the Pelynt Dagger are two artefacts that have been found in Cornwall that show contact with the Mycenaean Greek world.[14][15]

- Wikipedia

"The period began in c. 1700 BC with the start of bronze importation; first from Ireland
and then increasingly from central Europe
"

Sweden - Bronze Age

Sweden's southern third was part of the stock-keeping and agricultural Nordic Bronze Age Culture's area, most of it being peripheral to the culture's Danish centre. The period began in c. 1700 BC with the start of bronze importation; first from Ireland and then increasingly from central Europe. Copper mining was never tried locally during this period, and Scandinavia has no tin deposits, so all metal had to be imported though it was largely cast into local designs on arrival. Iron production began locally toward the period's end, apparently as a kind of trade secret among bronze casters: iron was almost exclusively used for tools to make bronze objects.

- from Sweden Bronze Age (1700 BC - 501 BC)

"The discovery reveals the high level of sophistication
maritime trade in Europe
had reached, even in ancient times"

3,000-year-old shipwreck shows European trade was thriving in Bronze Age

The discovery of one of the world's oldest shipwrecks shows that European trade was thriving even in the Bronze Age, according to experts. The vessel, carrying copper and tin ingots used to make weapons and jewellery, sank off the coast near Salcombe in Devon and is thought to date from 900BC. But it was only last year that the South West Maritime Archaeological Group, a team of amateur archaeologists, brought its cargo to the surface. The discovery was not announced until this month's International Shipwreck Conference, in Plymouth, Devon. It is thought that the goods - 259 copper ingots and 27 of tin - were destined for Britain but collected from several different sources in Europe. The discovery reveals the high level of sophistication maritime trade in Europe had reached, even in ancient times.

- from 3,000-year-old shipwreck shows European trade was thriving in Bronze Age

Ancient sting nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections

A piece of nettle cloth retrieved from Denmark's richest known Bronze Age burial mound Lusehøj may actually derive from Austria, new findings suggest. The cloth thus tells a surprising story about long-distance Bronze Age trade connections around 800 BC. The findings have just been published in Nature's online journal Scientific Reports.

- from Ancient sting nettles reveal Bronze Age trade connections, University of Copenhagen

"The Amesbury Archer was originally from the Alps region"

The Amesbury Archer

The latest tests on the Amesbury Archer, whose grave astonished archaeologists last year with the richness of its contents, show he was originally from the Alps region, probably Switzerland, Austria or Germany. The tests also show that the gold hair tresses found in the grave are the earliest gold objects found in Britain. The grave of the Archer, who lived around 2,300 BC, contained about 100 items, more than ten times as many objects as any other burial site from this time. When details were released, the media dubbed the Archer “The King of Stonehenge”.

- from Tests Reveal Amesbury Archer 'King of Stonehenge' was a settler from the Alps, Wessex archaeology online

"Bronze Age remains of a Mediterranean boy near the monument"

Buried at Stonehenge: boy with the amber necklace

Stonehenge was attracting sightseeing families thousands of years ago, archaeologists believe after discovering the Bronze Age remains of a Mediterranean boy near the monument. The teenager is believed to have been part of a wealthy group that travelled 1,600 miles from southern Europe to Britain, taking in the stone circle along the way. His find is thought to be important because it is likely he was too young to travel on his own and was probably part of a large family group. He is the third ancient foreigner to be found near the World Heritage Site in the last few years but the other two were grown men thought to be tradesman or warriors. His discovery further suggests that the stone circle would have been a place of pilgrimage or sightseeing akin to a medieval cathedral as long as 4,000 years ago. "They may have come to Britain for different reasons but Stonehenge would have been well known across Europe – rather like a medieval cathedral," said Dr Andrew Fitzpatrick, part of Wessex Archaeology who made the find. "They may have come to trade but visited Stonehenge a long the way. It would have been an awesome sight. It would have been one of the greatest temples of its time." The boy – aged 14 or 15 – had travelled to Britain from Spain, Italy, Greece or France, crossing the English Channel in a primitive wooden boat or canoe around 1550BC. Unfortunately he died – probably from illness – and was buried in a primitive grave around two miles away still wearing what would have been an expensive amber necklace. Dubbed the Boy with the Amber Necklace he is the third long distance traveller to be find near the monument since digging started at nearby Boscombe Down Airbase. Archaeologists have previously showed that the Amesbury Archer – a man buried with a treasure trove of copper and gold and discovered in 2002 – was born in the German Alps.

- from Buried at Stonehenge: boy with the amber necklace
See also Stonehenge boy 'was from the Med'

"Available evidence thus points to Cornwall
as the sole early source of tin in Central and Northern Europe
"

Tin sources and trade in ancient times

Due to the scattered nature of tin deposits around the world and its essential nature for the creation of tin bronze, tin trade played an important role in the development of cultures throughout ancient times. Archaeologists have reconstructed parts of the extensive trade networks of ancient cultures from the Bronze Age to modern times using historical texts, archaeological excavations, and trace element and lead isotope analysis to determine the origins of tin objects around the world (Valera & Valera 2003; Rovia & Montero 2003; Maddin 1998).

"The Etruscans themselves found the need to import tin from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula at that time and later from Cornwall"

- Europe

Europe has very few sources of tin. It was therefore of extreme importance throughout ancient times to import it long distances from known tin mining districts of antiquity, namely Erzgebirge along the modern border between Germany and Czech Republic, the Iberian Peninsula, Brittany in modern France, and Devon and Cornwall in southwestern Britain (Benvenuti et al. 2003, p. 56; Valera & Valera 2003, p. 11). Another minor source of tin is known to exist at Monte Valerio in Tuscany, Italy. This source was exploited by Etruscan miners around 800 BCE, but it was not a significant source of tin for the rest of the Mediterranean (Benvenuti et al. 2003). The Etruscans themselves found the need to import tin from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula at that time and later from Cornwall (Penhallurick 1986, p. 80)

"Available evidence thus points to Cornwall
as the sole early source of tin in Central and Northern Europe
"

It has been claimed that tin was first mined in Europe around 2500 BCE in Erzgebirge, and knowledge of tin bronze and tin extraction techniques spread from there to Brittany and Cornwall around 2000 BCE and from northwestern Europe to northwestern Spain and Portugal around the same time (Penhallurick 1986, p. 93). However, the only Bronze Age object from Central Europe whose tin has been scientifically provenanced is the Nebra sky disk, and its tin (and gold, though not its copper), is shown by tin isotopes to have come from Cornwall (Haustein, Gillis & Pernicka 2010). In addition, a rare find of a pure tin ingot in Scandinavia was provenanced to Cornwall (Ling et al. 2014). Available evidence thus points to Cornwall as the sole early source of tin in Central and Northern Europe.

"the extraction of tin in England, France, Spain, and Portugal had begun
and tin was traded to the Mediterranean
"

- Mediterranean

It is possible that as early as 2500 BCE, Erzgebirge had begun exporting tin, using the well established Baltic amber trade route to supply Scandinavia as well as the Mediterranean with tin (Penhallurick 1986, pp. 75–77). By 2000 BCE, the extraction of tin in England, France, Spain, and Portugal had begun and tin was traded to the Mediterranean sporadically from all these sources. Evidence of tin trade in the Mediterranean can be seen in a number of Bronze Age shipwrecks containing tin ingots such as the Uluburun off the coast of Turkey dated 1300 BCE which carried over 300 copper bars weighing 10 tons, and approximately 40 tin bars weighing 1 ton (Pulak 2001).

- Wikipedia

"Chemical analyses of blue beads previously found in Danish Bronze Age graves from that period show that the ornaments originated in glass workshops of Egypt’s pharaohs and Fertile Crescent rulers"

Ancient Egyptian blue glass beads reached Scandinavia

Trade routes connected Egypt and Mesopotamia with Denmark by 3,400 years ago and remained active until at least 3,100 years ago, say archaeologist Jeanette Varberg of Moesgaard Museum in Højbjerg, Denmark, and her colleagues. Chemical analyses of blue beads previously found in Danish Bronze Age graves from that period show that the ornaments originated in glass workshops of Egypt’s pharaohs and Fertile Crescent rulers, the researchers report December 13 in the Journal of Archaeological Science...

"Northern Europeans swapped amber for high-end glass objects"

Northern Europeans swapped amber for high-end glass objects, Varberg’s group proposes. It’s already known that Baltic amber, mined along the coasts of Denmark and nearby countries, reached Central European and Mediterranean sites more than 3,000 years ago. Baltic amber was used for a lion-shaped cup from that time previously discovered in Syria and for beads and scarabs found in Egyptian King Tutankhamen’s tomb, Varberg says... In addition, a roughly 3,300-year-old shipwreck discovered off the Turkish coast in 1982 included Baltic amber beads and glass items among its cargo of luxury items, indicating that these goods traveled along common trade routes.

Bright blue glass beads such as those from the ancient Danish graves “make perfect sense” as items that could have been exchanged for Baltic amber, comments archaeometallurgist Thilo Rehren, who directs a campus of University College London in Doha, Qatar. “These new results demonstrate that the globalization of trade is not a modern invention.”

Varberg’s team analyzed 23 glass beads from 10 Danish Bronze Age graves that are held at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. Chemical signatures were obtained by blasting microscopic craters on beads’ surfaces with a tiny laser beam, enabling another device to identify the material’s molecular structure. Results were compared with chemical signatures of 10 ancient Egyptian glass fragments, also studied by Varberg’s team, and of Mesopotamian glass items previously assessed with the laser technique by other researchers.

"Two Danish beads were made of Egyptian cobalt-blue glass"

Two Danish beads were made of Egyptian cobalt-blue glass. Cobalt in these finds contained concentrations of nickel, zinc and manganese typical of cobalt-colored glass items and fragments found at several ancient Egyptian workshops. One of the two beads came from the approximately 3,400-year-old grave of a woman who lay among an array of bronze ornaments. The glass bead and two amber beads were found next to the woman’s upper right arm. The other Egyptian bead also came from a woman’s grave.

Remaining beads displayed characteristics of Mesopotamian glass, including a relatively high concentration of copper and blue cobalt consisting of a distinctive blend of nickel, zinc and manganese. Most Mesopotamian beads also came from women’s graves.

"Many Bronze Age graves in Europe contain both amber and glass objects"

Many Bronze Age graves in Europe contain both amber and glass objects. The new evidence raises the possibility that ancient Egyptian religious beliefs — in particular, regarding the color yellow (seen in amber) as a sign of the sun’s power, and the color blue (featured in glass beads) as symbolizing the sea that created the sun and life — influenced people in southern Scandinavia, Varberg speculates.

- from Ancient Egyptian blue glass beads reached Scandinavia
See also Danish Bronze Age glass beads traced to Egypt

 

Among the garbage finds were a few pieces of jewelry, like the blue bead pictured above
Among the garbage finds were a few pieces of jewellery, like the blue bead pictured above

Scientists find 1,500 year old pre-Viking settlement beneath new airport site

Ørland Airport is located in a region of Norway that changed dramatically after the last ice age ended. The area was once completely covered by a thick, heavy layer of ice whose weight caused the Earth's crust to sink below sea level. When the glaciers melted, much of this region remained underwater, creating a secluded bay where today there is nothing but dry land. At the fringes of this vanished bay, archaeologists with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Museum found the remains of what appears to have been a large, wealthy farming community...

"these people had enough wealth to trade for glass"

Perhaps the most exciting discoveries so far have come from large middens, or garbage piles. By sifting through trash, scientists can learn about everything from what the villagers ate (lots of fish and seabirds) to what they wore. Among the garbage finds were a few pieces of jewelry, like the blue bead pictured above. They also found a shard of green glass from a goblet, most likely made in Germany's Rhine Valley. Ingrid Ystgaard, an archaeologist with the museum, noted in a release that this finding is incredibly significant because it reveals that "[these] people had enough wealth to trade for glass." She added that the now-inland region was once a port, situated ideally "at the mouth of Trondheim Fjord, which was a vital link to Sweden and the inner regions of mid-Norway."

Midden materials of this age, roughly 1,500 years old, have never been found before in Norway. They were preserved so well at this site because the ancient villagers buried them in sand with low acidity. As a result, the midden didn't decay as quickly as garbage tossed aside by Iron Age villagers elsewhere. What's emerging from this ongoing excavation is a rare look at a culture that's long-gone, along with the lost coastline that once nourished it.

- from Scientists find 1,500 year old pre-Viking settlement beneath new airport site

800 Years of Human Sacrifice in Kent

Respectful Late Bronze Age burial in England is typically urned cremation in closely clustered cemeteries. The treatment of the bodies deposited in the Cliffs End pit complex is strikingly deviant. Basically what they’re doing here is killing people and livestock, manipulating their remains ritually, often exposing them on site for a time, and finally inhuming them in pits. Bone preservation is perfect, leaving it all too clear what is going on. And it goes on for 800 years, well into the Middle Iron Age about 200 cal BC. A three-century hiatus during the Early Iron Age, I speculate, may be covered by the part of the feature that hasn’t been excavated.

Who were these people then? Could anybody at Cliffs End get roped in for sacrifice and be denied respectful burial at the whim of the local druid? Historical and ethnographic accounts suggest that this is unlikely. Small low-tech societies have a strong sense of in-group versus out-group. If you don’t get your urn in the clan’s urn field in this era, it’s highly likely that you are simply not a clan member. And here’s where stable isotopes come in, a fantastic data source that sees more and more use in interpreting bone finds. Among the questions isotopes can answer today are main food sources and geographical area of residence.

Andrew Millard of Durham University analysed all suitable teeth from 25 individuals.

Here’s the geographical breakdown of the sacrificial victims’ area of origin:

36% local
32% southern Norway or Sweden
20% western Mediterranean
12% indeterminate

- from 800 Years of Human Sacrifice in Kent
See also Living on an Island

 

"What is so special about this area is that the carvings date from Stone and Bronze Ages"

Bardal, Norway

Bardal Rock Carving, Trondaleg, Norway
Bardal Rock Carving, Trondaleg, Norway

At Bardal in South-Beistad, not far from Steinkjer city centre, you will find one of Trøndelag's largest collections of rock carvings. The 300 m2 large rock surface consists of over 400 paintings. What is so special about this area is that the carvings date from Stone - and Bronze Ages.

- from visitnorway.com

"Beginning in the twelfth century B.C., Scandinavian smiths produced decorative objects which were imitated in Ireland"

Treasures of Early Irish Art, 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.

Treasures of Early Irish Art, 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.
Treasures of Early Irish Art, 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.
From Treasures of Early Irish Art, 1500 B.C. to 1500 A.D.

See also Celts and Vikings - Scandinavian Influences on the Celtic Nations

"Contacts between Ireland and Denmark have deep roots"

In search of amber: Long distance directional movement between Bronze Age Ireland and Denmark, and an analogy from the early medieval literature of Ireland

When viewed over the longue durée, and at a macro-scale, it is evident that there was a considerable flow of traffic between the North-Sea and Atlantic networks (Cunliffe 2001). Contacts between Ireland and Denmark have deep roots, at least as early as the late Neolithic / Chalcolithic and earlier Bronze Age, and were likely driven, at least in part, by the latter’s lack of native metal sources. While, from a Danish perspective, the quantity of material may appear minor in comparison to that which arrived from central European sources (Vandkilde 1996: 294-308), objects from Ireland and/or Britain did end up in the archaeological record of Denmark and southern Sweden. Even a conservative estimation, from 1968 (Harbison), based on object form, clearly illustrates this point. Subsequent studies of metal composition, and more recent isotopic analysis, support a British/Irish origin for these objects, such as the flat axe from the Pile hoard from southern Sweden (Vandkilde pers comm). The rarity of objects of Irish/British forms does not diminish their importance, rather it may have enhanced it and their occasional imitation, in other metals by local smiths, underlines how their significance might have been perceived. While it is possible that these items reached Denmark and Sweden via a land route across the continent, their occurrence inthis maritime region with few intermediaries, might be construed as suggesting their directional arrival by sea; a potential surely underlined by the wealth of maritime iconography from Scandinavia’s Bronze Age (Crumlin-Pedersen and Thye 1995; Kaul 1998). On-going isotope analyses by Johan Ling appears to suggest that a substantial amount of the raw materials in artefacts of non-Irish/British form, in both the earlier and later Bronze Age, may also have originated in Ireland or Britain (Ling et al. 2013).

"One possible axis of interaction from Ireland to Denmark
is via south-western and eastern Scotland and then across the North Sea
"

The first link in this chain between north-eastern Ireland and south-western Scotland is, from a geographical perspective, no surprise. As one would expect, coastal communities living so close were in frequent contact, so frequently that at least in some periods they are likely to have considered themselves one community. Certainly by the early historic period, communities on both sides of this stretch of sea spoke the same language and even fell within one kingdom (Lane and Campbell 2000). Neolithic interaction between these regions is perhaps best illustrated by the exchange of axes of traceable lithology, such as porcellanite from Northern Ireland (Sheridan 1986), and shared 3 monument types (Waddell 1991/1992: 32). From the Early Bronze Age, ‘bowl tradition’ pottery (2160-1920 BC after Brindley 2007) points to continued interaction along this route as far as the east coast of Scotland (Waddell 2010: 153), perhaps indicating the movement of potters through a pattern of marital exchange. The distribution of the later Cordoned Urn tradition pottery (1730-1500 BC after Brindley 2007) is once again strikingly consistent with this axis of interaction (Waddell 2010: 160) and interestingly, for our discussion, the distribution of this pottery tradition has previously been interpreted as potentially representing important middlemen in the transmission of products from the copper workshops of south-west Ireland to Scotland and beyond (Waddell 1995: 162). These are just a few of many distributions of material culture which could be quoted as evidencing there curring contact along this axis. What they indicate is intense interaction from Ireland to the east of Scotland, in the direction of Denmark, both over a long period of time and connected with the flow of metal.

- from In search of amber: Long distance directional movement between Bronze Age Ireland and Denmark, and an analogy from the early medieval literature of Ireland

"From the Greek trading town of Massalia on the Rhone, the route crossed France and ended in Brittany, whence ships crossed the English Channel to Britain"

Tin from Brittany and Cornwall


From Encyclopedia of European Peoples By Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason

"This 'prehistoric' connection of Cornwall and Brittany set the stage for the link that continued into the medieval era"

Armorica

Map of Briton settlements in the 6th-century, including what became Brittany and Britonia (in Spain).
Map of Briton settlements in the 6th-century, including what became Brittany and Britonia (in Spain).

Trade between Armorica and Britain, described by Diodorus Siculus and implied by Pliny[3] was long-established. Because, even after the campaign of Publius Crassus in 57 BC, continued resistance to Roman rule in Armorica was still being supported by Celtic aristocrats in Britain, Julius Caesar led two invasions of Britain in 55 and 54 in response. Some hint of the complicated cultural web that bound Armorica and the Britanniae (the "Britains" of Pliny) is given by Caesar when he describes Diviciacus of the Suessiones, as "the most powerful ruler in the whole of Gaul, who had control not only over a large area of this region but also of Britain"[4] Archaeological sites along the south coast of England, notably at Hengistbury Head, show connections with Armorica as far east as the Solent. This 'prehistoric' connection of Cornwall and Brittany set the stage for the link that continued into the medieval era.

- Wikipedia

From Encyclopedia of European Peoples By Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason
From Encyclopedia of European Peoples By Carl Waldman, Catherine Mason

"They controlled the tin trade from mining in Cornwall and Devon"

The Veneti (Gaul)

Judging by Caesar's Bello Gallico the Veneti evidently had close relations with Bronze Age Britain; he describes how the Veneti sail to Britain.[1] They controlled the tin trade from mining in Cornwall and Devon.[2] Caesar mentioned that they summoned military assistance from that island during the war of 56 BC.[3]

- Wikipedia

"bringing up a large number of ships, of which they had a very great quantity"

Julius Ceasar

The sites of their towns were generally such that, being placed on extreme points [of land] and on promontories, they neither had an approach by land when the tide had rushed in from the main ocean, which always happens twice in the space of twelve hours; nor by ships, because, upon the tide ebbing again, the ships were likely to be dashed upon the shoals. Thus, by either circumstance, was the storming of their towns rendered difficult; and if at any time perchance the Veneti overpowered by the greatness of our works, (the sea having been excluded by a mound and large dams, and the latter being made almost equal in height to the walls of the town) had begun to despair of their fortunes; bringing up a large number of ships, of which they had a very great quantity, they carried off all their property and betook themselves to the nearest towns; there they again defended themselves by the same advantages of situation. They did this the more easily during a great part of the summer, because our ships were kept back by storms, and the difficulty of sailing was very great in that vast and open sea, with its strong tides and its harbors far apart and exceedingly few in number.

"for sails they used skins and thin dressed leather"

For their ships were built and equipped after this manner. The keels were somewhat flatter than those of our ships, whereby they could more easily encounter the shallows and the ebbing of the tide: the prows were raised very high, and, in like manner the sterns were adapted to the force of the waves and storms [which they were formed to sustain].

"The ships were built wholly of oak,
and designed to endure any force and violence whatever
"

The ships were built wholly of oak, and designed to endure any force and violence whatever; the benches which were made of planks a foot in breadth, were fastened by iron spikes of the thickness of a man's thumb; the anchors were secured fast by iron chains instead of cables, and for sails they used skins and thin dressed leather. These [were used] either through their want of canvas and their ignorance of its application, or for this reason, which is more probable, that they thought that such storms of the ocean, and such violent gales of wind could not be resisted by sails, nor ships of such great burden be conveniently enough managed by them.

The encounter of our fleet with these ships' was of such a nature that our fleet excelled in speed alone, and the plying of the oars; other things, considering the nature of the place [and] the violence of the storms, were more suitable and better adapted on their side; for neither could our ships injure theirs with their beaks (so great was their strength), nor on account of their height was a weapon easily cast up to them; and for the same reason they were less readily locked in by rocks. To this was added, that whenever a storm began to rage and they ran before the wind, they both could weather the storm more easily and heave to securely in the shallows, and when left by the tide feared nothing from rocks and shelves: the risk of all which things was much to be dreaded by our ships.

- from C. Julius Caesar. Caesar's Gallic War. Translator. W. A. McDevitte. Translator. W. S. Bohn. 1st Edition. New York. Harper & Brothers. 1869. Harper's New Classical Library.

 

Nordic Migration

"The correct context is that the North Sea was not really a barrier, but rather a conduit, that allowed access between many of these areas for easy movement and migration." - Russell Goodrich

Viking ships

Maritime Archaeology | The Germanic Invasions | The Vikings | Viking Empires | | The Gall-Gaedhil | Scandinavian Dialects
Place-name Evidence | Norse Thing Sites | Viking Hoards | Cumbria and The Viking CoastPagan Norsemen | The Norman Invasion

"Connections with Scandinavia have certainly been happening since the Neolithic"

Maritime Archaeology

4,000-year-old sunken ship found in Turkey is among oldest in the world

A recent excavation at the port of Urla underwater archaeological site in Turkey has revealed a sunken ship that is believed to date back 4,000 years, according to a report in Hurriyet Daily News. The surprising discovery is the oldest known shipwreck ever found in the Mediterranean, and is also among the oldest known shipwrecks worldwide.

- from 4,000-year-old sunken ship found in Turkey is among oldest in the world

World's Oldest Shipwreck Yields Incredible Cargo

Model of the Uluburun shipwreck: Wiki Commons
Model of the Uluburun shipwreck: Wiki Commons

"Also on board was a ton of tin ingots of unknown origin"

An entire decade of archaeological investigation into what is the world’s oldest known shipwreck has revealed a vast cornucopia of ancient treasures, and the wreck was voted by Scientific American journal to be one of the ten greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century... The ship was carrying over 20 tons of cargo at the time of sinking, including both raw materials and finished goods. Careful mapping of the distribution of objects allowed the excavators to distinguish between the cargo and the crew’s personal belongings. The cargo included items from at least seven different cultures, including Mycenean (Greek), Syro-Palestinian (forerunners of the Phoenicians), Cypriot, Egyptian, Kassite, Assyrian and Nubian. The main cargo was 10 tons of Cypriot copper in the form of 350 oxhide ingots (‘oxhide’ refers to the shape of the ingots, which had four legs or handles for easy lifting and transportation on horseback). Also on board was a ton of tin ingots of unknown origin. The copper and tin were likely destined to be melded into bronze...

"Among the more exotic objects aboard were...
Baltic Amber beads from northern Europe"

Among the more exotic objects aboard were ebony logs from Egypt, elephant tusks and hippopotamus teeth (to create ivory inlays), tortoiseshells (to be used as sound boxes for musical instruments such as the lute), ostrich eggshells (for use as containers) and Baltic amber beads from northern Europe... The ship itself was 15 metres long and is the earliest known example of a ship constructed using the advanced mortise and tenon technique, where planks were joined by flat tongues of wood inserted into slots cut into the planks. Dendrochronological dating of a branch of fresh-cut firewood aboard the ship suggests a date of around 1306 BCE for the sinking of the ship. This fits rather well with the presence of the seal of Nefertiti, whose husband reigned during the mid-14th century BCE.

- from World's Oldest Shipwreck Yields Incredible Cargo

 

"this individual and others besides him, did travel over long distances from no later than the 3rd millenium BC and that these travels must have involved seafaring..."

The Amesbury Archer

Amesbury Archer

Bronze Age Amber

"The existence of these complex craft offers the strongest argument
that sewn-plank boats would have been available for seafaring...
even quite rough seas can be mastered by these craft."

Seafaring plank boats of the Bronze age

Bronze Age seafarers

Directional Exchange
 

From Argonauts of the North Sea - a Social Maritime Archaeology for the 2nd Millennium  BC

2,700-year-old Phoenician Shipwreck Discovered in Maltese Waters

Phoenician ship carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd century AD. Image source: Wikipedia
Phoenician ship carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd century AD. Image source: Wikipedia

It is a unique and immensely important finding as it is the oldest known shipwreck in the central Mediterranean, it is among the oldest and most complete Phoenician ships ever recovered, and it will serve to shed light on inter-regional trade and exchange in antiquity... One of the project's researchers explained that the shipwreck is a typical Phoenician vessel which would have measured some 50 feet long... The Phoenician civilization, which lasted from 1550 BC to 300 BC, was based in present-day Tyre in Lebanon. They travelled across most of the Mediterranean, not as conquerors but as traders. The strategic location of the Malta in the Mediterranean made the islands a safe refuge for the Phoenicians during their long sea voyages. By the 7th Century BC the Phoenician presence was part of the identity of the Maltese islands.

- from 2,700-year-old Phoenician Shipwreck Discovered in Maltese Waters

Ferriby

This unusual and interesting name is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational surname deriving from either of the places called North Ferriby and South Ferriby in Lincolnshire. These two places are opposite each other on the Humber river. Both places are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Ferebi', and both share the same meaning and derivation, which is 'the village at the ferry', derived from the Old Norse 'feria, ferja', ferry, with 'by', homestead, village.

- from The Internet Surname Database

"The Ferriby boats support the belief that man was capable of crossing oceans
more than 4,000 years ago
"

The Ferriby Bronze Age Boats (on the Humber)

The Ferriby bronze age boats are probably one of the most important finds in maritime archeology. The technology and size of the boats has lead experts re-evaluate bronze age society. The Ferriby boats support the belief that man was capable of crossing oceans more than 4,000 years ago. In 1937 shifts in tidal currents had exposed the strata and that day they saw three great oak planks protruding from the estuarine clay: the brothers recognised them as the remains of a boat from antiquity. But how old? Initially it was thought to be of Viking origin, until analysis dated it from the bronze Age, more than 2500 years earlier. In 1963, Ted made his most significant find, the third of the Bronze age boats. A 50 ft craft having the shape of a melon slice, with space for 18 paddlers. It was made of thick oak planks bound with twisted yew branches, and sealed with a moss caulking. The latest dating technology has determined that the bronze age boat could be 4,000 years old, making it Europe’s first known seacraft.

- from North Ferriby's Bronze Age Boats

Dates for Ferriby Boats, as at March 2001

In 1996, a piece of oak plank with carved features surviving on it for it to be recognised as a piece of boat plank of the type similar to the Ferriby trio was found by the Hull Natural History Society on the Holderness coast at Kilnsea. It had probably been washed from an exposure of clay deposits in an extinct tidal channel connected with the estuary of the ancient Humber. It was dated by the AMS method of radioactive assay to between 1870-1670 BC, that is several centuries earlier than the age previously estimated for the Ferriby Boats at about 1300 BC. The Ferriby Heritage Group, with funds given by the Sir James Reckitt Trust Charity, then commissioned a programme to obtain revised dates for the Ferriby Boats using the same AMS process partly as a check on the earlier radiocarbon dates and partly in the hope that the very precise AMS process might make it possible to separate the ages of the three finds from each other. Only two out of the three determinations, those for F1 and F2 proved successful so that the second objective was not achieved, but figures were announced in 1998 which gave date ranges of 1890-1700 BC for F1 and 1930-1750 BC for F2, marginally outdating that for the Kilnsea plank.

"seaworthy enough to ply the seaways of the North Sea coasts"

It is clear from this that boats with common characteristics were built and used in estuaries and coastal waters around Britain from Early Bronze Age times and may have survived for a thousand years or more thereafter into the Middle and Later Bronze Age. Study of the incomplete remains discovered has led to suggested reconstructions which are thought to be seaworthy enough to ply the seaways of the North Sea coasts and the English Channel. In the Early Bronze Age there is archaeological evidence for the appearance of goods in Britain of undoubted mainland origin such as central European bronze and Baltic amber. The theory is now being advanced that such overseas exchanges became possible through the existence of craft of this kind.

- from ferribyboats.co.uk

See The Ferriby Boats - Europe's Oldest Seacraft
See Argonauts of the North Sea - a Social Maritime Archaeology for the 2nd Millennium  BC

 

Dover Bronze Age Boat

Dover Bronze Age Boat

The Dover boat has been dated by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) to between 1575 – 1520 BC, Middle Bronze Age, but five others are older – Ferriby 3, especially, could be over 400 years older – so no, it is not the oldest. The wide spread of dates has subsequently led to speculation that the sewn-plank method was widespread throughout Britain for an extended period of time; ‘…these elaborate boat designs were the product of a long lineage, of perhaps several centuries’ duration’ (Wright in Clark, 2004a, 260 – 1)...

Noort points out that; ‘if we ask whether these boats could have occasionally crossed the North Sea [or the Channel] then the answer is most probably affirmative’ (in Clark, 2004b, 92). Harding believes that there is no other explanation other than that the Dover boat operated in the Channel (2000, 181) although he also claims that until the discovery of it in 1992 the ones from Ferriby were thought; ‘suited only to riverine traffic’ (2000, 184), however, Roberts notes that a recent reconsideration of photographs taken of the bottom of Ferriby 1 during its recovery ‘revealed the sweeping rocker now generally accepted’ to indicate sea-going capabilities (2006,73) and, rightly, points out that all assumptions or conclusions regarding Bronze Age seafaring are based on a tiny sample of examples and are ‘necessarily made with caution’ (2006, 77).

Van de Noort also suggests that; ‘recent findings imply that sewn-plank boats were the most likely candidates of craft being employed for seafaring and directional exchange in the Early Bronze Age’ (2006, 283) referring to the fact that our main evidence for cross-channel trade is artefacts; ‘Land-based archaeological evidence increasingly shows these communications to have been extensive’ (Coates, 2005, 38).

The planks from Goldcliffe and Caldicot ‘show the significance of the Severn Estuary for communications and trade’ (Chadwick, 2008, 2). In fact, all the imports found in Britain must have got here somehow, consequently either we went there or they came here in some kind of sea-going vessel, for example; ‘Pots from Brittany have been found in burials in Wessex on the Isle of Wight’ (Parker Pearson, 1994, 109) and ‘Gold ornaments crafted in Wessex have also been found in Brittany’ (Parker Pearson, 2005, 87). However, although Parker Pearson agrees that people were making coastal trips he seems to imply that they may have made trips that would involve losing sight of land (1994, 109), but on a clear, calm day, when the experienced seamen knew it was relatively safe to make the journey, you can see France clearly from Dover and Folkestone, and visa-versa. And Champion points out the nodal position of Kent and the wide range of contacts that can be assumed from the artefacts discovered which makes it ‘seem very reasonable to suppose that many of these contacts were made by sea’ (in Williams, 2007, 95).

- from How Significant is the Dover Bronze Age Boat
See also  800 Years of Human Sacrifice in Kent & Landon Bay Shipwreck

 

"The Hjortspring Boat is northern Europe’s oldest plank-built vessel"

The Hjortspring boat

The Hjortspring Boat is northern Europe’s oldest plank-built vessel. The boat is almost 20 metres long. This fast, flexible vessel weighed 530 kilos and could carry 24 men with weapons as well as other gear. The boat consists of a bottom plank and two wide planks on each side, sewn together with bast. The ends of the boat are held together by two blocks. At both ends the boat is furnished with two curving extensions. The planks are of lime wood and the paddles of maple. The Hjortspring Boat is evidence of shipbuilding with roots dating back to the Bronze Age.

- Historisk Viden, Danmark

The Hjortspring boat

 

"The boat is the oldest find of a wooden plank ship in Scandinavia"

The Hjortspring boat

The Hjortspring boat is a vessel designed as a large canoe, from the Scandinavian Pre-Roman Iron Age, that was excavated in 1921–1922 from the bog known as Hjortspring Mose on the island of Åls in Sønderjylland, southern Denmark.[1] The vessel was a clinker-built wooden boat of 18 m length (length overall), 13 m long inside and 2 m wide with space for a crew of some 20 who propelled the boat with paddles. It was built around 400-300 BC.[2]

The boat is the oldest find of a wooden plank ship in Scandinavia and its closest parallels are the thousands of petroglyph images of Nordic Bronze Age ships. When found, it contained a great quantity of weapons and armour, including 131 shields of the Celtic type, 33 beautifully crafted shieldbosses, 138 spearheads of iron, 10 iron swords, and the remains of several mailcoats. The sinking of the vessel has therefore been interpreted as a deliberate war sacrifice.[3]

The strange design of the stern and bow has not yet been explained. The parts sticking out connected with a vertical stick do not seem to have had any function for the vessel's stability. The split shape of the bow is very similar to the ancient Baidarka kayak, which is still produced in modern variants, as used by native people in North Russia. The rugged end pieces in the stern and bow were enough to attach the planks to form the shape of a canoe.

- Wikipedia

See also Study of Boat Figures in Alta Rock Art and other Scandinavian locations

 

"In this voyage he travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain"

Pytheas of Massalia

Pytheas of Massalia (Ancient Greek: Πυθέας ὁ Μασσαλιώτης; Latin: Massilia; fl. 4th century BC), was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia (modern-day Marseilles). He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC.

In this voyage he travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain. He is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun. The theoretical existence of a Frigid Zone, where the nights are very short in summer and the sun does not set at the summer solstice, was already known. Similarly, reports of a country of perpetual snow and darkness (the country of the Hyperboreans) had been reaching the Mediterranean some centuries before. Pytheas is the first known scientific visitor and reporter of the arctic, polar ice, and the Germanic tribes. He introduced the idea of distant Thule to the geographic imagination, and his account of the tides is the earliest known to suggest the moon as a cause for their production.

- Wikipedia

Pytheas - Iceland
From The Farfarers: A New History of North America by Farley Mowat

 

Roman trireme mosaic from Carthage, Bardo Museum, Tunis
Roman trireme mosaic from Carthage, Bardo Museum, Tunis

"The inhabitants of Britain who dwell about the headland of Belerium are unusually hospitable and have adopted a civilized manner of life because of their intercourse with foreign traders"

Pytheas

Pytheas sailed from Brittany to Belerium (Land's End) in Cornwall, the southwestern tip of Britain, which was the source of tin. He described what he found: "The inhabitants of Britain who dwell about the headland of Belerium are unusually hospitable and have adopted a civilized manner of life because of their intercourse with foreign traders. It is they who work the tin, extracting it by an ingenious process. The bed itself is of rock but between are pieces of earth which they dig out to reach the tin. Then they work the tin into pieces the size of knuckle bones and carry it to an island that lies off Britain and is called Ictis (St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall); for at the time of ebb tide the space between this island and the mainland becomes dry, and they can take the tin in large quantities over to the island on their wagons."

"From Cornwall, Pytheas sailed north through the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland
all the way to the northern tip of Scotland
"

Pytheas's Voyage ca. 315 BC
Pytheas's Voyage ca. 315 BC

From Cornwall, Pytheas sailed north through the Irish Sea between Britain and Ireland all the way to the northern tip of Scotland, probably going as far as the Orkney Islands. Along the way, he stopped and traveled for short distances inland and described the customs of the inhabitants. Beyond northern Scotland, Pytheas described another land called the "Island of Thule." (Ever since, the far northern extremes of the earth have had the poetic name of Thule: it is now given to the northernmost town in Greenland.) It is not clear whether Pytheas actually went to Thule or merely reports what he heard about it.

"Thule was probably Norway in the present region of the city of Trondheim"

According to Pytheas, Thule is six days' sail north of Britain. In midsummer, the sun retires to its resting place for only two or three hours. The inhabitants lived on wild berries and "millet" (in this case, probably oats) and made mead (a drink) from wild honey. From his description, Thule was probably Norway in the present region of the city of Trondheim, although other locations have been suggested. North of Thule he was told of a land where the sea became solid and the sun never set in summertime. These reports seemed so crazy to the people of the Mediterranean world that his report was not believed and was ridiculed for years later.

From Thule, Pytheas sailed back to Britain and down its east coast and then crossed the North Sea to the North Frisian Islands off the coast of Germany and to the island of Heligoland, which he called Abalus. He said: "In the spring the waves wash up amber on the shores of this island. The inhabitants use it as fuel instead of wood … and also sell it to their neighbors the Teutons." From there Pytheas sailed back along the coast of Europe and returned home.

- Encyclopedia.com

Read more about Pytheas and early contact at The Iron Age c 700BC - AD43, III: First Contacts

 

"The interior of Britain is inhabited by a people who,
according to oral tradition are aboriginal
;
the maritime districts by immigrants who crossed over from Belgium to plunder"

“The interior of Britain is inhabited by a people who, according to oral tradition - so the Britons themselves say - are aboriginal; the maritime districts by immigrants who crossed over from Belgium to plunder, and attack the aborigines, almost all of them being called after the tribes from whom the first comers were an offshoot. When the war was over they remained in the country and settled down as tillers of the soil. The population is immense: homesteads, closely resembling those of the Gauls, are met with at every turn; and cattle are very numerous. Bronze or Gold coins are in use, or, instead of coins, iron bars of fixed weight. Tin is found in the country in the inland, and iron in the maritime districts, but the latter only in small quantities; bronze is imported. Trees exist of all the varieties which occur in Gaul, except the beech and the fir. Hares, fowls, and geese they think it impious to taste; but they keep them for pastime or amusement. The climate is more equable than in Gaul, the cold being less severe.”

- Julius Caesar, ‘The Gallic War’ Book V Chapter 12

 

"It has been suggested that the Romans supported and equipped Germanic tribes in the part of Germania which is today's Denmark"

Germanic-Roman Contacts

It has been suggested that the Romans supported and equipped Germanic tribes in the part of Germania which is today's Denmark. Archaeological sources tell of Roman equipment and arms that have been discovered as far north as Scandinavia. Danish archaeologists: Lars Jørgensen, Birger Storgaard and Ulla Lund Hansen have suggested Germano-Roman alliances, in which Romans supported a Germanic power in today's Denmark. According to Jørgensen, this was either to destabilize Scandinavia, or to create a Roman friendly power which could help ensure peace and stability in the border areas.[5]

- Wikipedia

The Cimbrian Flood

The Cymbrian flood (or Cimbrian flood) was a large-scale incursion of the sea in the region of the Jutland peninsula in the period 120 to 114 BC, resulting in a permanent alteration of the coastline with much land lost. This disaster killed many, and sent others living in the area south, in search of new lands. It was one of a number of such conflagrations of nature in northwest Europe during the Roman period, the climate between 300 BC and about 100 AD producing frequent storms and the blowing of sand near the coast.[1][2]

As a result of this flood, the tribes of the Cimbri, Teutons and Ambrones migrated south to the lands of the Romans, precipitating the Cimbrian War (113 to 101 BC). The contemporary Greek geographer Strabo, though sceptical, describes the flood and its consequences thus:

As for the Cimbri, some things that are told about them are incorrect and others are extremely improbable. For instance, one could not accept such a reason for their having become a wandering and piratical folk as this that while they were dwelling on a Peninsula they were driven out of their habitations by a great flood-tide; for in fact they still hold the country which they held in earlier times; and they sent as a present to Augustus the most sacred kettle in their country, with a plea for his friendship and for an amnesty of their earlier offences, and when their petition was granted they set sail for home; and it is ridiculous to suppose that they departed from their homes because they were incensed on account of a phenomenon that is natural and eternal, occurring twice every day. And the assertion that an excessive flood-tide once occurred looks like a fabrication, for when the ocean is affected in this way it is subject to increases and diminutions, but these are regulated and periodical.[3]

- from Wikipedia

The War with the Cimbri, Teutones and Tigurini

The Cimbri, Teutones and Tigurini, fugitives from the extreme parts of Gaul, since the Ocean had inundated their territories, began to seek new settlement throughout the world, and excluded from Gaul and Spain, descended into Italy and sent representatives to the camp of Silanus and thence to the senate asking that "the people of Mars should give them some land by way of pay and use their hands and weapons for any purpose it wished."

- from The Epitome of Roman History by Florus, published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1929

Read also The Cimbri - A Chronology

The Teutons

The Teutons (Latin: Teutones, Teutoni) were a Germanic tribe[1] mentioned by Greek and Roman authors, notably Strabo and Marcus Velleius Paterculus. According to a map by Ptolemy, they originally lived in Jutland, which is in agreement with Pomponius Mela, who placed them in Scandinavia (Codanonia).[2] Rather than relating directly to this tribe, the broad term, Teutonic peoples or Teuton in particular, is used now to identify members of a people speaking languages of the Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family generally, and especially, of people speaking German.

- from Wikipedia

Teutons

As indicated above, the term "Teuton" has been applied to the entire Germanic branch of Indo-European peoples, but it should be noted that it also seems to have been the name of a particular tribe. The Teutons as a specific tribe seem to have been based originally in northern Jutland, where a district, Thy, still memorializes their name. At some point in the 2nd Century BCE, the began migrating southward, up the Oder, into Silesia, and across Slovakia into what would nowadays be modern Austria and Slovenia.. There they encountered Romans, fought them, wandered west into Gaul, crossed for a time into Spain, before returning to Gaul and Austria, and were finally brought down by Gaius Marius in 101 BCE. During these wanderings, they were in close contact, perhaps even confederation, with the Cimbri, although the two nations split up before the final battles with Marius.

- from Regnal Chronologies

See also Cimbri and Teutons

Faroe Islands

Archaeologists have found definitive proof that people were living on at least one of the Faroe Islands at some point between the 4th and 6th Centuries AD - which is far too early for these intrepid settlers to be true Vikings... "There is now firm archaeological evidence for the human colonisation of the Faroes by people some 300 to 500 years before the large-scale Viking colonisation of the 9th Century AD, although we don't yet know who these people were or where they came from," he said. The colonisation of the Faroes hundreds of years before the Viking conquest of coastal regions beyond north-west Europe, stretching from Scandinavia to Iceland, Greenland and as far as North America, indicates that there must have been another, earlier group of sea-faring northern Europeans capable of extensive oceanic exploration.

- from Denmark’s historic claim to the Faroes in doubt as archaeologists find proof that islands were inhabited before arrival of first Norse colonists

History of the Faroe Islands

Archaeological evidence has been found of settlers lived on the Faroe Islands in two successive periods prior to the arrival of the Norse, the first between 400-600 AD and the second between 600-800 AD.[1] Scientists from Aberdeen University have also found early cereal pollen from domesticated plants, which further suggests people may have lived on the islands before the Vikings arrived.[2] Archaeologist Mike Church noted that Dicuil (see below) mentioned what may have been the Faroes. He also suggested that the people living there might have been from Ireland, Scotland or Scandinavia, with possibly groups from all three areas settling there.[3]

There is a Latin account of a voyage made by Saint Brendan, an Irish monastic saint who lived around 484–578, there is a description of "insulae" (islands) resembling the Faroe Islands. This association, however, is far from conclusive in its description.[4]

- Wikipedia

The Vikings were not the first colonizers of the Faroe Islands

We report on the earliest archaeological evidence from the Faroe Islands, placing human colonization in the 4th–6th centuries AD, at least 300–500 years earlier than previously demonstrated archaeologically. The evidence consists of an extensive wind-blown sand deposit containing patches of burnt peat ash of anthropogenic origin. Samples of carbonised barley grains from two of these ash patches produced 14C dates of two pre-Viking phases within the 4th–6th and late 6th–8th centuries AD. A re-evaluation is required of the nature, scale and timing of the human colonization of the Faroes and the wider North Atlantic region.

- from The Vikings were not the first colonizers of the Faroe Islands
See also First Colonizers of the Faroe Islands were not the Vikings

Papar in the Faroes

There are also several toponyms relating to the Papar in the Faroe Islands. Among these are Paparøkur near Vestmanna, and Papurshílsur near Saksun. Vestmanna itself is short for Vestmannahøvn, meaning the "harbour of the Westmen" (Irish). A churchyard in Skúvoy also has tombstones which display a possible Gaelic origin or influence.[2]

Some suggest that Grímur Kamban may have been responsible for driving them out, despite probably being a Norse-Gael himself:

"According to the Faereyinga Saga... the first settler in the Faroe Islands was a man named Grímur Kamban – Hann bygdi fyrstr Færeyar, it may have been the land taking of Grímur and his followers that caused the anchorites to leave... the nickname Kamban is probably Gaelic and one interpretation is that the word refers to some physical handicap, another that it may point to his prowess as a sportsman. Probably he came as a young man to the Faroe Islands by way of Viking Ireland, and local tradition has it that he settled at Funningur in Eysturoy."[2]

- Wikipedia

The "Papar" in the North Atlantic
The "Papar" in the North Atlantic

Papar

The Papar (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈpʰaːpar̥]; from Latin papa, via Old Irish, meaning "father" or "pope") were, according to early Icelandic historical sources, a group of Irish or Scottish monks resident in parts of what is now Iceland at the time of the arrival of the Norsemen on the island. There is some archaeological evidence of their presence.[1][clarification needed]

The Scandinavians began settling in Iceland in 874 AD, but the oldest source to mention the existence of the Papar was written in the Íslendingabók ("Book of the Icelanders"), between 1122 and 1133. Such figures are mentioned in the Landnámabók (the Icelandic Book of Settlements) which relates that the Norse found Irish priests in Iceland when they arrived, together with bells and crosiers.

An earlier source that could possibly refer to the Papar is the work of Dicuil, an early 9th-century (825 AD) Irish monk, which discussed the wandering of "holy men" to the lands of the north. However, it is not known whether Dicuil is speaking about Iceland, as Gaelic hermits also settled in other islands of the north such as Orkney and Shetland.

- Wikipedia
See also The Papar Project

The Broighter Hoard

The Broighter boat - National Museum of Ireland
The Broighter boat (National Museum of Ireland)

The remarkable Broighter hoard, arguably the finest treasure trove of the Irish Iron Age, was discovered on a February evening in 1896 by two Derry men, Thomas Nicholl and James Morrow. They had been ploughing a stubble field adjacent to the shoreline of Lough Foyle when they suddenly hit something hard...

It soon became clear that these initially innocuous looking objects actually represented a gold hoard of stunning quality. In total it contained a model boat, two twisted bar torcs, two necklaces, a beaten bowl and an elaborately decorated buffer torc. The most remarkable piece is probably the small boat. This is a unique find in an Irish context and represents the earliest depiction of a sailing ship from Ireland. Finely crafted, it measures 18.4 cm long by 3 7.6 cm wide and weighs approximately 85g. The vessel contains benches, rowlocks, two rows of nine oars and a paddle rudder for steering. It also included tools for grappling, three forks, a yardarm and a spear. If it is to scale the model boat would mimic a vessel that measured approximately 15m in length.

- from The Broighter Hoard - Irish Archeology

"a boat of considerable size which would also have been propelled by sail"

The Broighter Hoard

The remaining finds were a small bowl of unknown function and a remarkable model of a boat, together with its fittings. Judging from the number of oars, it represents a boat of considerable size which would also have been propelled by sail.

- from The National Museum of Ireland

The Broighter Hoard - The Boat

The Boat is the most unique item in the hoard and unlike any other metal object made from precious metals from this time period. It is the earliest depiction of a sailing ship from Ireland and shows just how advanced the civilisation was at this time. This delicate model measures only 18cm long and 7.5 centimetres wide, and weighs just 85g – if it was to scale, it would be a replica of a boat around 15m in length with a full sail and mast. When the two ploughmen hit the objects with their ploughs, the boat took the brunt of the damage, and required painstaking restoration work. Its design shows remarkable attention to detail and accuracy, including all the necessary items for a fully functioning boat such as a bench, 2 rows of 18 oars, a paddle rudder for steering, tools for grappling, forks, a yardarm and a spear. If you believe the theory that the objects were used as an offering, then it is highly likely that they were intended for the Celtic sea god Manannan mac Lir, who was associated in Irish legends with Lough Foyle, sailing ships and a magical horse capable of journeying over land and water.

- from Irish Treasures: The Broighter Hoard

 

The Germanic Invasions

The map shows an approximate distribution of the tribes/peoples/confederacies north of the Roman Empire by the middle of the third century. It is important to recognise that the homogeneity of peoples implied in by the map is extremely misleading. All Scythians were not displaced by the Goths upon their arrival in the beginning of the third century, while many may have migrated beyond the Dnieper, many others may have remained behind. The distinctions are also difficult to apply as some of the terms were often used interchangebly by Roman commentators. Indeed, ‘Eunapius, Claudius Cladianus and Olympiodorus usually mean “Goths” when they write “Scythians”.’ - from The Origins Goths: Migration, Diffusion and Gothic Banality

The Germanic Invasions, AD 378-439

The Germanic Invasions, AD 378-439
The Germanic Invasions, AD 378-439

The Vandals

The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe, or group of tribes, who were first heard of in southern Poland, but later moved around Europe establishing kingdoms in Spain and later North Africa in the 5th century.[1] The Vandals are believed to have migrated from southern Scandinavia to the area between the lower Oder and Vistula rivers during the 2nd century BC and to have settled in Silesia from around 120 BC.[2][3][4] They are associated with the Przeworsk culture and were possibly the same people as the Lugii. Expanding into Dacia during the Marcomannic Wars and to Pannonia during the Crisis of the Third Century, the Vandals were confined to Pannonia by the Goths around 330 AD, where they received permission to settle by Constantine the Great. Around 400, raids by the Huns forced many of the Germanic tribes like the Goths to migrate to the Roman Empire, and fearing that they might be targeted next, the Vandals were pushed westwards crossing the Rhine into Gaul along with other tribes in 406.[5] In 409, the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula, where their main groups, the Hasdingi and the Silingi, settled in Gallaecia (northwest) and Baetica (south central) respectively.

"A Vandal fleet of 60 ships..."

In 456 a Vandal fleet of 60 ships threatening both Gaul and Italy was ambushed and defeated in Corsica by the Western Roman general Ricimer.[59] In 457 a mixed Vandal-Berber army returning with loot from a raid in Campania were soundly defeated in a surprise attack by Western Emperor Majorian at the mouth of the Garigliano river.[60]

As a result of the Vandal sack of Rome and piracy in the Mediterranean, it became important to the Roman Empire to destroy the Vandal kingdom. In 460, the Western Roman Emperor Majorian launched an expedition against the Vandals, but was defeated at the Battle of Cartagena. In 468 the Western and Eastern Roman empires launched an enormous expedition against the Vandals under the command of Basiliscus, which reportedly was composed of a 100,000 soldiers and 1,000 ships. The Vandals defeated the invaders at the Battle of Cap Bon, capturing the Western fleet, and destroying the Eastern through the use of fire ships.[54] Following up the attack, the Vandals tried to invade the Peloponnese, but were driven back by the Maniots at Kenipolis with heavy losses.[61] In retaliation, the Vandals took 500 hostages at Zakynthos, hacked them to pieces and threw the pieces overboard on the way to Carthage.[61]

In the 470s, the Romans abandoned their policy of war against the Vandals. The Western general Ricimer reached a treaty with them,[54] and in 476 Genseric was able to conclude a "perpetual peace" with Constantinople. Relations between the two states assumed a veneer of normality.[62] From 477 onwards, the Vandals produced their own coinage, restricted to bronze and silver low-denomination coins. The high-denomination imperial money was retained, demonstrating in the words of Merrills "reluctance to usurp the imperial prerogative".[63]

Although the Vandals had fended off attacks from the Romans and established hegemony over the islands of the western Mediterranean, they were less successful in their conflict with the Berbers. Situated south of the Vandal kingdom, the Berbers inflicted two major defeats on the Vandals in the period 496–530.[54]

- Wikipedia

"The Geats were Beowulf's clan
 - a seafaring tribe residing in the south of Sweden
"

The Geats

The Geats were Beowulf's clan - a seafaring tribe residing in the south of Sweden. As the poem suggests, the Geats appear to have been conquered and disappeared into history. The seafaring Geats appear to be the invading `Danes' of whom Gregory of Tours writes concerning an attack by Chlochilaicus (Hygelac) against the Franks in 520. Later they were connected to the Gautar people who were eventually subjugated by the Swedes in territory inland of Sweden.

Given this history, F.R. Klaeber speculates that Beowulf himself was born in about the year 495. He defeats Grendel and his mother to save Hroðgar's kingdom in 515. Following Hygelac's raid in 520, he eventually becomes king of the Geats when Heardred was killed in 533. Fifty years after that, the poem says that Beowulf is killed by the dragon, but few scholars are willing to commit to any specific date.

The Geats are referred to as the Geatas, Guð-Geatas (War-), the Sæ-Geatas (Sea-), and the Weder-Geatas (Weather-).

- from Beowulf Website, The geats

"The Geats were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting what is now Götaland"

The Geats were a North Germanic tribe inhabiting what is now Götaland ("land of the Geats") in southern Sweden. The name of the Geats also lives on in the Swedish provinces of Västergötland and Östergötland, the Western and Eastern lands of the Geats, and in many other toponyms. The earliest known surviving mention of the Geats appears in Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.), who refers to them as Goutai. In the 6th century, Jordanes writes of the Gautigoths and Ostrogoths (the Ostrogoths of Scandza); and Procopius refers to Gautoi. The Norse Sagas know them as Gautar; Beowulf and Widsith as Gēatas.[4]

- Wikipedia

The Wulfingas, Wuffingas, or Ylfings (the 'wolf-clan') provided the core tribe or group of the eastern Geats. The Ylfing variation of the name raises the possibility that they were the otherwise mysterious Kylfings who traded and plundered in the Finnmark region of the far north. Other than that, the Wulfingas are known for their feud with the Germanic Hundings or Hundingas (the 'hound-clan') who are mentioned in two Old English epic poems, Beowulf and Widsith - the hounds versus the wolves is classic tribal totemic behaviour. The feud clearly began in Scandinavia, and probably ended when the Wuffingas migrated to Britain to create the kingdom of the East Angles. However, they may not have been the Wulfingas before the migration. Wolf coins found in East Anglia had been minted by the Iceni in the late first century AD. It seems likely that the Wulfingas could have taken their name from some element that already existed in the territory, much like many other migrants were taking local names and adapting them. In which case, the question is what were the Wulfingas known as before their arrival in East Anglia?

- The History Files, European Kingdoms, Northern Europe

Gothia

Map showing Westro Gothia and Ostro Gothia in southern Sweden
Map showing Westro Gothia and Ostro Gothia in southern Sweden, 17th century
Image source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

Västergötland

There are many ancient remains in Västergötland. Most prominent are probably the dolmens from the Funnelbeaker culture, in the Falköping area south of lake Vänern. Finnestorp, near Larv, was a weapons sacrificial site from the Iron Age.[3] The population of Västergötland, the Geats appear in the writings of the Greek Ptolemaios (as Goutai), and they appear as Gautigoths in Jordanes' work in the 6th century. The province of Västergötland represents the heartland of Götaland, once an independent petty kingdom with a long line of Geatish kings. These are mainly described in foreign sources (Frankish) and through legends. It is possible that Västergötland had the same king as the rest of Sweden at the time of the monk Ansgar's mission to Sweden in the 9th century, but both the date and nature of its inclusion into the Swedish kingdom is a matter of much debate. Some date it as early as the 6th century, based on the Swedish-Geatish wars in Beowulf epos; others date it as late as the 12th century... Västergötland received much early influence from the British Isles and is generally considered to be the bridgehead of Christianity's advance into Sweden. Recent excavations at Varnhem suggest that at least its central parts were Christian in the 9th century. - Wikipedia

The Goths

Several similarities between the work of Jordanes/Cassiodorus exist in a Norse saga known as ‘Gutasaga’, as it narrates the earliest known history of Gotland in the Old Gutnish dialect of the Old Norse language. Fiction is common throughout its first passages (as the island is believed to be under a spell which hides it under water during daylight, making it visible solely during nighttime), but afterward posits a similar theory concerning the migration of the Goths to southern Europe. According to the ‘Gutasaga’, it is quite likely that the Goths navigated on the rivers Vistula, Dniester and Dnepr to the Black Sea where they encountered Greek merchants, ensuring economic links which will be later know to the Norsemen throughout the Viking Age as well.

- from The Goths: The History of a Forgotten Ancient People of the North

See also The early history of the Goths and Gothic language and
The Origins Goths: Migration, Diffusion and Gothic Banality

Invasions of the Roman Empire 100-500 AD


Map showing Invasions of the Roman Empire 100-500 AD

Ostrogoths

The Ostrogoths (Latin: Ostrogothi or Austrogothi; Italian: Ostrogoti) were the eastern branch of the later Goths (the other major branch being the Visigoths). The Ostrogoths traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea, during the 3rd and 4th centuries. They built an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Ostrogoths were probably literate in the 3rd century, and their trade with the Romans was highly developed. Their Danubian kingdom reached its zenith under King Ermanaric, who is said to have committed suicide at an old age when the Huns attacked his people and subjugated them in about 370.

Mentioned in several sources up to the third century AD when they apparently split into at least two groups, the Greuthungi in the east and Tervingi in the west, the two Gothic tribes shared many aspects, especially recognizing a patron deity the Romans named Mars. This so-called "split" or, more appropriately, resettlement of western tribes into the Roman province of Dacia was a natural result of population saturation of the area north of the Black Sea. The Goths in Dacia established a vast and powerful kingdom during the third and fourth centuries between the Danube and the Dniepr in what is now Romania, Moldova and western Ukraine. This was a multi-tribal state ruled by a Gothic elite but inhabited by many other interrelated but multi-tongue tribes including the Iranian-speaking Sarmatians, the Germanic-speaking Gepids, the Thracian-speaking Dacians, other minor Celtic and Thracian tribes and possibly early Slavs.[15] Unfortunately the exact geographical dividing line between the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths is not known but in general terms, the Visigoths occupied Dacia, Moldavia and Walachia, whereas the Ostrogoths lived in the steppe regions beyond the Dniester River, ruling over a large confederation of Germanic and Scythian tribes, covering a vast territory in what is now Ukraine and areas of southern Russia. Jordanes calls the realm Oium, or Aujum.[16]

- Wikipedia

Ostrogothic Kingdom 526 AD

Map showing Ostrogothic Kingdom c. 526 AD
Map showing Ostrogothic Kingdom c. 526 AD

Map showing P109 distribution throughout the "Ostrogothic Kingdom"
Map showing P109 distribution throughout the "Ostrogothic Kingdom"
Four of these markers are P109 - FGC21732
From Family Tree DNA

DNA: Based on a very limited sample size it appears as though haplogroup FGC21732 may have originated in the area of Sweden inhabited by the Geats / Goths.

 

The Vikings

The Vikings

"those trading contacts may have occurred generations before the violent raids
described in contemporary texts
"
- from Archaeology.org, The Vikings in Ireland

Vikings

Vikings were of three types of Scandinavians: Swedes, whose expeditions were mainly eastwards to places such as Russia; Norweigans (Norse), who concentrated on the western seaboard of what is now Scotland, on Ireland, on the Irish Sea coasts including the Dublin area, on the Isle of Man, and on what is now Cumbria; and thirdly, Danes, who were more interested in eastern England and the north-east (including the Northumbrian kingdom), and what is now Yorkshire. The activities of the Vikings included a mix of trading, raiding, settlement and conquest.

- Wikipedia

See Migration and the creation of identity in the Viking diaspora

 

Viking Homelands and Settlement Areas

Viking Homelands and Settlement Areas

The Vikings: Life and Legend

Brooch shaped like a ship, c 800-1050, Denmark
Brooch shaped like a ship, c 800-1050, Denmark

The exhibition presents Vikings as raiders and pirates (the probable original meaning of the word in Old Norse) who were also merchants, travelling as far as Russia and the Byzantine empire in order to trade goods, from whalebone to slaves. Their achievements were extraordinary. Between the 8th and 12th centuries (the period known as ‘the Viking age’), they became the first people to operate simultaneously in four continents and tie much of the known world together through trade and migration. They were the first Europeans to cross the Atlantic and reach North America (which they called ‘Vinland’); they settled in Iceland (permanently), Greenland (for centuries) and Newfoundland (briefly).

The opening section of the exhibition demonstrates how these people voyaged forth from an inhospitable homeland of rock and limited land for farming. An animated map illuminates the routes they followed across seas and up rivers to found the first Russian state, Rus, based in Kiev; to trade in Constantinople where a body of them made up the personal guard of the Byzantine emperors; to become the paramount power in the British Isles, establishing the first towns in Ireland, including Dublin; to penetrate as far south as the Mediterranean and the coasts of North Africa, and as far west as Greenland and Newfoundland.

The Vale of York Hoard
The Vale of York Hoard

The Vale of York Hoard demonstrates an entirely different frame of mind, being evidently treasure stolen during Viking raids. It is being shown in its entirety for the first time since it was discovered with metal detectors near Harrogate in 2007 and jointly acquired by the British Museum and York Museums Trust. It’s been described as ‘the whole Viking world in one cup’. Consisting of a cup in which were placed some 617 coins, 6 arm rings and a quantity of bullion and hack-silver, the hoard is the largest and most important Viking hoard found since the Cuerdale Hoard was found in Lancashire in 1840, part of which is also included in the exhibition. With coins and silver from places as far removed as Ireland and Uzbekistan, these hoards reveal the true extent of the Viking global network. The silver cup in which the Vale of York Hoard was buried predates the burial by a century and was probably made for use in a Frankish church. Inside were objects from as far apart as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe. Represented in the hoard are three belief systems (Islam, Christianity and the worship of Thor) and peoples who spoke at least seven languages.

Silver inlaid axehead from Denmark, c 900
Silver inlaid axehead from Denmark, c 900

What we call the Viking Age lasted from about 800 to 1050, a span of 250 years that was crucial for a vast area of northern Europe stretching from the north Atlantic in the west to the shores of the Baltic in the east. The Vikings left a lasting impression on a large number of nations, as this exhibition makes clear. It was the sea and the rivers that connected people and cultures across a vast area of the globe, and it was all made possible by the Viking ship, perhaps the outstanding achievement of the Viking Age.

- from The Vikings: Life and Legend

"Hedeby was the largest Nordic city during the Viking Age"

Hedeby

Hedeby

Hedeby (Danish pronunciation: [ˈheːð̩byːˀ], Old Norse Heiðabýr, German Haithabu or Haddeby) was an important trading settlement in the Danish-northern German borderland during the Viking Age. It flourished from the 8th to the 11th centuries.

The site is located towards the southern end of the Jutland Peninsula. It developed as a trading centre at the head of a narrow, navigable inlet known as the Schlei, which connects to the Baltic Sea. The location was favorable because there is a short portage of less than 15 km to the Treene River, which flows into the Eider with its North Sea estuary, making it a convenient place where goods and ships could be ported overland for an almost uninterrupted seaway between the Baltic and the North Sea and avoid a dangerous and time-consuming circumnavigation of Jutland, providing Hedeby with a role similar to later Lübeck.

Hedeby was the largest Nordic city during the Viking Age and used to be the oldest city in Denmark until the site became part of Germany.[1]

The city of Schleswig was later founded on the other side of the Schlei, and gave the duchy its name. Old records mention two bridges connecting the two towns. Hedeby was abandoned after its destruction in 1066.

- Wikipedia

Hedeby

Hedeby, (Danish), Norwegian Haddeby, ancient Haithabu, in medieval Danish history, trade centre at the southeastern base of the Jutland Peninsula on the Schlei estuary. It served as an early focus of national unification and as a crossroads for Western–Eastern European and European–Western Asian trade.

One of the earliest Scandinavian urban centres, Hedeby was established in the late 8th century. Its trade, which included slaves, furs, textiles, iron, and weapons, was complimented by a well-developed artisan and industrial establishment. In the early 9th century King Godfred of Denmark built the Danewirk, an earthwork barrier, along the base of the peninsula south of Hedeby to protect the thriving centre from Frankish incursions. Despite this and other precautions, the Danes lost Hedeby for most of the 10th century—first to the Swedes and then to the Franks. Even after King Harald Bluetooth regained Hedeby in 983, the town suffered Norwegian and Wendish Slav raids into the 11th century; by the middle of that century it was abandoned, its activity being transferred to neighbouring Schleswig (ancient Sliesthorp, or Sliaswic).

- Encyclopaedia Brittanica

Danevirke and Hedeby

In their combination of rampart system and settlement, port and cemetery, the Danevirke and Hedeby constitute for the Viking Age of Northern Europe a unique archaeological ensemble of the highest historical value and of great scientific complexity. The Danevirke is an outstanding testimony and a symbol with far-reaching effect for the early structures and territories of power in Northern Europe during the Viking period. Among the few early Scandinavian urban trading centres, Hedeby forms the most important interface for trade and communication between the large supra-regional areas of the North Atlantic, Europe and Western Asia.

The Danevirke and Hedeby complex is an important archaeological ensemble illustrative of the elaborate trading networks of Viking Age Europe and their influence on the subsequent history of Scandinavia as well as of the developing national states and of structures of power.

Hedeby has to be seen against the context of the other emporia of this period, from Staraya Ladoga to Dublin. The only sites that are comparable with Hedeby in terms of the degree of conservation and accessibility are Birka (Sweden) and, to a lesser extent, Dorestad (Netherlands). Most of the others, such as Ribe, Aarhus, Hamburg, York and Dublin, are beneath the existing towns and cities. The wealth and diversity of the material excavated at Hedeby indicates that it was one of the most important sites of this group. The Danevirke has no comparison in a Viking Age context and can only be compared with other defensive border structures such as Hadrian's Wall or the Chinese Wall, which were, however, connected with large developed empires and not with societies at the start of their territorial organisation. The extraordinarily good state of preservation of the find material and the structural features, not only of the rampart system but also of the port and the settlement of Hedeby, finds no parallels in the Scandinavian Viking Age.

-  from Viking Monuments and Sites, UNESCO

See also The Viking Age Graves from Hedeby

Early Viking Incursions

Norse contacts with Scotland certainly predate the first written records in the 8th century, although their nature and frequency are unknown.[32] Excavations at Norwick on the island of Unst in Shetland indicate that Scandinavian settlers had reached there, perhaps as early as the mid 7th century, consistent with dates produced for Viking levels at Old Scatness.[33]

- Wikipedia

Viking Raids: 793-850

The first known account of a Viking raid taking place in Anglo-Saxon England comes from 789, when three ships from Hordaland (in modern Norway) landed in the Isle of Portland on the southern coast of Wessex. They were approached by the royal reeve from Dorchester, whose job it was to identify all foreign merchants entering the kingdom, and they proceeded to kill him.[16] It is likely that other raids (the records for which have since been lost) occurred soon after, for in 792 King Offa of Mercia began to make arrangements for the defence of Kent from raids perpetrated by "pagan peoples".[16]

- Wikipedia

See 13 Centuries of the Nordic Peoples: 789-2009

Viking Empires


Viking Raids 800-1000 and the political division of Europe c. 900

Scandinavian settlement from the 8th to the 11th centuries
Scandinavian settlement from the 8th to the 11th centuries

"Vikings living in Trøndelag, a region in the middle part of Norway,
were among the first in Scandinavia to travel west
"

Mid-Norway Vikings among the first to sail to British Isles

Vikings living in Trøndelag, a region in the middle part of Norway, were among the first in Scandinavia to travel west. A new analysis of burial sites in Trøndelag from the year 800 and later undertaken by researchers at the NTNU University Museum is giving us a clearer image of who decided to stay in Norway, and who left to travel to the British Isles.

- from Mid-Norway Vikings among the first to sail to British Isles

Trøndelag

Trøndelag as a region is dominated by the Trondheimsfjord, an area rich in agricultural land and in a sheltered location, with excellent communications by both water and land. The fjord itself would have made the coastline easily accessible for communities based in the inner parts of Trøndelag, while several large valleys connect the fjord with central Sweden. The location of numerous monumental burial mounds, affluent graves, cult and court sites within the region, suggests that the Trondheimsfjord was an area of complex economic and social development in the Viking period, with well-established contacts both westward and to the east. During the high and later medieval periods, Trøndelag was significantly smaller than it is today, and the region was divided into eight fylkir (counties), comprising Inntrøndelag and Uttrøndelag (Figure 1). The northern area of modern Trøndelag was part of the county of Namdalen, while Fosen, the coastal area of southern Trøndelag, formed an element of Nordmøre county. However, this division is likely to have been formed well before the high medieval period, suggesting a well-established and organised power structure in the late Viking Age (Skjevik 1997, 185-7).

Ring brooch from a woman's grave at Snåsa, 10th century. Diameter 90mm.
Ring brooch from a woman's grave at Snåsa, 10th century. Diameter 90mm.
Kulturhistorisk museum, University of Oslo. Photo: Eirik Johnsen

"communities in Trøndelag appear to have had strong links with the British Isles
during the Viking Age
"

Snorre Sturlasons' Heimskringla, a collection of sagas about the Norse kings of Norway, refers to a number of strong and powerful chieftain centres in Trøndelag, especially from areas within the Trondheimsfjord. The Jarl of Lade, situated close to the modern city of Trondheim, was, according to the saga of Harald Fairhair, among the most powerful families in Norway during the early part of the Viking Age (Røskaft 2003, 105). Trondheim, or Nidaros to use its early name, was a royal foundation of the late Viking Age, on the site of a trading centre that had grown at the mouth of the river Nid (Solberg 2000, 320). Several other chieftains and local centres in Trondheimsfjord are also mentioned in the Heimskringla, such as Egge and Mære in Steinkjer, Melhus outside Trondheim and Værnes in Stjørdal (Røskaft 2003, 96-142). Also of great significance is that the martyred king and later patron saint of Norway, St Olaf, lost his life in AD 1030 at the battle of Stiklestad near Verdal in Inntrøndelag. Given the importance and wide-ranging contacts of this region, it may be no coincidence that communities in Trøndelag appear to have had strong links with the British Isles during the Viking Age.

- from Insular artefacts from Viking-age burials from mid-Norway. A review of contact between Trondelag and Britain and Ireland

 

"they were made in Trondheim"

The Lewis Chessmen

Perhaps the most famous icon of the Scandinavian era in Scotland is the Lewis chessmen, found in Uig, Lewis in 1831 (000-190-001-117-C; 000-100-001-633-C; 000-100-001-637-C). 93 pieces were found in total, representing large parts of four sets. The circumstances of deposition cannot now be known, but they are made of walrus ivory which may have originated oin Greenland. It has been sugggested that they were made in Trondheim in Norway. Perhaps they were a merchants hoard, placed in the sand for safe-keeping, or perhaps even the result of a ship-wreck….

- from The Viking in Scotland, SCRAN

 

Right: Lewis chess piece depicting the armament of a Norse warrior roughly contemporaneous to Somerled - Wikipedia

Se also Somerled and the MacDougalls of Argyll

Lewis Chessmen

"The identification of Finngaill as Norwegian and Dubgaill as Danish has had a long tradition, but it was first made long after the terms fell out of contemporary use."

Norwegians and Danes?

The identification of Finngaill as Norwegian and Dubgaill as Danish has had a long tradition, but it was first made long after the terms fell out of contemporary use.[1] According to Smyth, the oldest Irish source that equates the Dub- with Danes is the 12th-century Cogad Gáedel re Gallaib, who speaks of "Danish Black Gentiles" (Duibgeinti Danarda).[14] Downham points out that the last contemporary use of the terms may be Chronicon Scotorum sub anno 941.[15] According to Smyth, medieval Irish writers and later Gaelic antiquaries such as Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh and Geoffrey Keating "were clear on overall Norwegian origin of the Finn Gaill and the Danish origin of the Dub Gaill".[16] Smyth also states that "it is clear from references to Scandinavian activity of the ninth and tenth century within Ireland that the 'White Foreigners' had a predominantly Norwegian origin, and that their opposite number were Danes", without giving any further references for this conclusion.[2]

"large viking armies were not exclusively either Danish or Norwegian"

Smyth argued that Finn- and Dub- did not imply an ethnic distinction but rather "old" and "new", and also pointed out that "large viking armies were not exclusively either Danish or Norwegian".[17] He still did not question the identification as Norwegian/Danish. Downham has pointed out that by the time the first sources equating these terms with Norwegian/Danish were written down, changes in Scandinavia had made the Irish aware of a distinction between Norwegians and Danes,[1] a distinction the Irish (or for that matter the "Norwegian" or "Danes") would not have been aware of in the middle of the 9th century. Downham argues that a "new interpretation was interposed on the earlier terms 'Fair Foreigner' and 'Dark Foreigner'".[1]

"finngaill and dubgaill identified Viking groups under different leadership"

Downham, with reference to a suggestion made by Dumville, offers the alternative interpretation that finngaill and dubgaill identified Viking groups under different leadership. The dubgaill may identify Vikings under the leadership of the Uí Ímair, while the finngaill were those "old" Vikings present in Ireland before the middle of the 9th century.[1] The rivalry between the Uí Ímair and other groups persisted long after the Uí Ímair had gained control over Dublin, and their hegemony over the Viking settlements in Ireland was established when Amlaíb mac Gofraid defeated the Vikings of Limerick. After the death of Ámlaib, the label finngaill fell out of contemporary use in Irish chronicles.[18]

- Wikipedia

Hiberno-Norwegians and Anglo-Danes: anachronistic ethnicities and Viking-Age England by Clare Downham
Viking Camps in Ninth-century Ireland by Clare Downham
The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham

 

In the Days of Harald Long-hair...

Historia Norvegiae, in From Pictland to Alba, 789-1070
Historia Norvegiae, in From Pictland to Alba, 789-1070

The Raven Banner

Scholars conjecture that the raven flag was a symbol of Odin, who was often depicted accompanied by two ravens named Huginn and Muninn. Its intent may have been to strike fear in one's enemies by invoking the power of Odin. - Wikipedia

"for between three and four decades,
 the Uí Ímair were probably overkings of the Kingdom of Scotland itself
"

Uí Ímair

The Uí (h)Ímair [iː ˈiːvˠaɾʲ] ( listen), or Dynasty of Ivar, were a royal Norse dynasty members of which ruled much of the Irish Sea region, the Kingdom of Dublin, the western coast of Scotland, including the Hebrides and some part of Northern England, from the mid 9th century.

The dynasty lost control of York in the mid 10th century, but reigned over the other domains at variously disputed times, depending on which rulers may be counted among their descendants. This has proved a difficult question for scholars to determine, because reliable pedigrees do not survive. Additionally, for between three and four decades, the Uí Ímair were probably overkings of the Kingdom of Scotland itself,[1] distinct from the Kingdom of Strathclyde, of which they may also have been overkings, and later briefly the Irish province of Munster, dominated from Waterford, and later still, briefly the English kingdom of Mercia. In the west of Ireland, the Uí Ímair also supplied at least two kings of Limerick, from which they may have attempted to conquer Munster again.

- Wikipedia
See also Origins of the Uí Ímair and the Earls of Orkney

"Overall it seems evident that the Viking-kings of York
were largely members of the dynasty of Ivarr"
- Clare Downham

Viking coin, York, c. 940
Viking silver penny coin of Anlaf (Olaf) Guthfrithsson, Hiberno-Norse King of Northumbria, c. 940

Although this coin was made in England, it was made for a Viking ruler. From the mid-860s, much of northern and eastern England fell under the control of the Vikings. This area was later known as the Danelaw, and included the kingdoms of Northumbria and East Anglia, as well as large parts of the East Midlands, which had previously formed part of the kingdom of Mercia. Throughout the period of their control, Viking rulers issued their own coins. In each part of Viking England, Viking rulers seem to have begun issuing coins after converting to Christianity. Some of the Viking coins were closely copied from Anglo-Saxon designs, but others were more distinctive.

Some of the most remarkable coins are those of Olaf (Anlaf) Guthfrithsson who ruled in Northumbria and also parts of the East Midlands. He reconquered these areas in 939 after the death of the Anglo-Saxon king Athelstan (924-39), who had seized them in 927 following the death of Olaf’s uncle Sihtric.

Olaf’s most famous coins show a bird of prey, probably an eagle or a raven. Both birds were associated with the Norse god Odin, so these coins are sometimes seen as a symbol of Viking paganism. However, the eagle is also associated with St John the Evangelist, and the raven with St Oswald, so the religious message of the coins is uncertain. It could be a deliberately pagan symbol, or one which both pagans and Christians could accept. The design on the back is a simple cross, so more obviously Christian.

The inscription ANLAF CVNVNC ('King Olaf') is also interesting. ‘Anlaf’ is the Anglo-Saxon way of writing Olaf, but ‘cununc’ is a version of the Old Norse word for ‘king’. Most Viking coins had Latin inscriptions, like Anglo-Saxon coins, and the use of the Scandinavian language of Old Norse seems to be a clear indication of Viking independence.

- The British Museum

 

The Great Heathen Army of 865

The Great Heathen Army of 865

History of Northumbria: Viking era 866 AD - 1066 AD

 

"The Great Army comprised multiple warbands
drawn from different parts of Scandinavia"


From The winter Camp of the Viking Great Army, AD 872-3, Torksey, Lincolnshire

"Ragnar was the scourge of France and England in the 9th century"

Ragnar Lodbrok

Ragnar Lodbrok or Lothbrok (Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók, "Ragnar Shaggy-Breeches") was a semi-legendary[1][2] viking ruler, king, and hero from the Viking Age described in Old Norse poetry and several sagas. In this tradition, Ragnar was the scourge of France and England in the 9th century and the father of many renowned sons, including Ivar the Boneless, Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye, and Ubba. While these men are historical figures, it is uncertain whether Ragnar himself existed or really fathered them. Many of the tales about him appear to conflate the deeds of several historical Viking heroes and rulers.

- Wikipedia

"Viking commander of the Great Heathen Army named in contemporary English sources who also appears in the Icelandic sagas as a son of the legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok"

Ímar

Ímar (Old Norse: Ívarr; died c. 873) was a Viking [nb 1] leader in Ireland and Scotland in the mid-late ninth century who founded the Uí Ímair dynasty, and whose descendants would go on to dominate the Irish Sea region for several centuries. He was the son of the king of Lochlann, identified in the non-contemporary Fragmentary Annals of Ireland as Gofraid. The Fragmentary Annals name Auisle and Amlaíb Conung as his brothers. Another Viking leader, Halfdan Ragnarsson, is considered by some scholars to be another brother. The Irish Annals title Amlaíb, Ímar and Auisle "kings of the foreigners". Modern scholars use the title "kings of Dublin" after the Viking settlement which formed the base of their power. Some scholars consider Ímar to be identical to Ivar the Boneless, a Viking commander of the Great Heathen Army named in contemporary English sources who also appears in the Icelandic sagas as a son of the legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok.

- Wikipedia

"He is often considered identical to Ímar, the founder of the Uí Ímair dynasty, which dominated the Irish Sea region throughout the Viking Age"

Ivar the Boneless

Ivar the Boneless (Old Norse: Ívarr hinn Beinlausi; Old English: Hyngwar) was a Viking leader and a commander of the Great Heathen Army which invaded the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, starting in 865. According to the tradition recorded in the Norse sagas, he was one of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, and his brothers included Björn Ironside, Halfdan Ragnarsson, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba. He is often considered identical to Ímar, the founder of the Uí Ímair dynasty, which dominated the Irish Sea region throughout the Viking Age.

- Wikipedia
See Bones, Burials, and the Great Heathen Army in Repton, by Steve Bivans

Bjorn Ironside

A powerful Viking chieftain and naval commander, Björn and his brother Hastein conducted many (mostly successful) raids in France in a continuation of the tradition initiated by their (legendary) father Ragnar Lothbrok. In 860, Björn led a large Viking raid into the Mediterranean. After raiding down the Iberian coast and fighting their way through Gibraltar, Björn and Hastein pillaged the south of France, where his fleet over-wintered, before landing in Italy where they captured the coastal city of Pisa. They proceeded inland to the town of Luni, which they believed to be Rome at the time, but were unable to breach the town walls. To gain entry a tricky plan was devised: Hastein sent messengers to the bishop to say that, being deathly ill, he had a deathbed conversion and wished to receive Christian sacraments and/or to be buried on consecrated ground within their church. He was brought into the chapel with a small honor guard, then surprised the dismayed clerics by leaping from his stretcher. The Viking party then hacked its way to the town gates, which were promptly opened letting the rest of the army in. Flush with this victory and others around the Mediterranean (including in Sicily and North Africa) Björn returned to the Straits of Gibraltar only to find the Saracen navy from Al-Andalus waiting for him. In the desperate battle that followed, Björn lost 40 ships, largely to a form of Greek fire launched from Saracen catapults. The remainder of his fleet managed to return to Scandinavia, however, where he lived out his life as a rich man. - Wikipedia

"Viking leader and a commander of the Great Heathen Army...
He was one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrock"

Halfdan Ragnarsson

Halfdan Ragnarsson (Old Norse: Hálfdan; Old English: Halfdene or Healfdene; Old Irish: Albann; died 877) was a Viking leader and a commander of the Great Heathen Army which invaded the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, starting in 865. According to the tradition recorded in the Norse sagas he was one of the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, and his brothers included Björn Ironside, Ivar the Boneless, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye and Ubba. He was the first King of Jórvík and also claimed the Kingdom of Dublin. He died at the Battle of Strangford Lough in 877 trying to press his Irish claim.

Halfdan was one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army which invaded the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of East Anglia in 865.[2][3] According to the Norse sagas this invasion was organised by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, of whom Halfdan was one, to wreak revenge against Ælla of Northumbria. Ælla had supposedly had Ragnar executed in 865 by throwing him in a snake pit, but the historicity of this explanation is unknown.[4][5] The invaders are usually identified as Danes, although the tenth-century churchman Asser stated that the invaders came "de Danubia", which translates as "from the Danube", the fact that the Danube is located in what was known in Latin as Dacia suggests that Asser actually intended Dania, a Latin term for Denmark.[6]

- From Halfdan Ragnarsson, Wikipedia

Olaf Guthfrithson

Olaf Guthfrithson (Old Norse: Óláfr Guðrøðsson; Old English: Ánláf; Old Irish: Amlaíb mac Gofraid; died 941) was a Viking[nb 1] leader who ruled Dublin and Viking Northumbria in the 10th century. He was the son of Gofraid ua Ímair and great-grandson of Ímar, making him one of the Uí Ímair. Olaf succeeded his father as King of Dublin in 934 and succeeded in establishing dominance over the Vikings of Limerick when he captured their king, Amlaíb Cenncairech, in 937. That same year he allied with Constantine II of Scotland in an attempt to reclaim the Kingdom of Northumbria which his father had ruled briefly in 927. The forces of Olaf and Constantine were defeated by the English led by Æthelstan at the Battle of Brunanburh.

Olaf returned to Ireland in 938 but after Æthelstan's death the following year Olaf left for York where he was quickly able to establish himself as king, with his brother Blácaire mac Gofraid being left to rule in Dublin. Olaf and Æthelstan's successor Edmund met in 939 at Leicester where they came to an agreement regarding the division of England between them. This agreement proved short-lived, however, and within a few years Vikings had occupied the Five Boroughs of Derby, Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham and Stamford. Olaf died in 941 was succeeded in Northumbria by his cousin Olaf Cuaran. At the time of his death, the Irish annals title him "king of Danes" and "king of the Fair Foreigners and the Dark Foreigners".

- Wikipedia

Guthrum

Guthrum or Guðrum (died c. 890), christened Æthelstan on his conversion to Christianity in 878, was King of the Danish Vikings in the Danelaw. He is mainly known for his conflict with Alfred the Great. In 875 the Danish forces, then under Guthrum and Halfdan Ragnarsson, divided, Halfdan's contingent returning north to Northumbria, while Guthrum's forces went to East Anglia, quartering themselves at Cambridge for the year. By 876, Guthrum had acquired various parts of the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria and then turned his attention to acquiring Wessex, where his first confrontation with Alfred took place on the south coast. Guthrum sailed his army around Poole Harbour and linked up with another Viking army that was invading the area between the Frome and Piddle rivers which was ruled by Alfred.[1] According to the historian Asser, Guthrum won his initial battle with Alfred, and he captured the castellum as well as the ancient square earthworks known as the Wareham, where there was a convent of nuns.

Alfred successfully brokered a peace settlement, but by 877 this peace was broken as Guthrum led his army raiding further into Wessex, thus forcing Alfred to confront him in a series of skirmishes that Guthrum continued to win. At Exeter, which Guthrum had also captured, Alfred made a peace treaty, with the result that Guthrum left Wessex to winter in Gloucester.

- Wikipedia

"born ca. 805 in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway"

Eystein Glumra

Eystein Glumra (the Clatterer), also called Eystein Ivarsson (born ca. 805 in Nord-Trøndelag, Norway) was Jarl (Earl) of Oppland and Hedmark in Norway.[1][2] The Heimskringla Saga states that Eystein Glumra was the father of Rognvald Eysteinsson and Sigurd Eysteinsson. And, that he was grandfather of Guthorm Sigurdsson and Torf-Einarr. Although the Saga does mention a few Ivars, none are said to be Eystein's father.[3] The first earl in the Orkney Islands was called Sigurd, who was a son of Eystein Glumra, and brother of Ragnvald earl of More. After Sigurd, his son Guthorm was earl for one year. After him Torf-Einar, a son of Ragnvald, took the earldom, and was long earl, and was a man of great power. According to the Orkneyinga Saga, Eystein the noisy was the son of Ivar the Uplanders’ earl, and grandson of Halfdan the Old. He was also father of Rognvald The Wise.[4] Heiti, Gorr’s son, was father of Sveiði the sea-king, the father of Halfdan the old, the father of Ivar the Uplanders’ earl, the father of Eystein the noisy, the father of earl Rognvald the mighty and the wise in council.

"Orkneyinga Saga makes his grandson Hrolf identical to Rollo, conqueror of Normandy"

and hence ancestor of William the Conqueror and the resulting Royal Families of England, although the connection is viewed skeptically by scholars.

- Wikipedia

"Rognvald Eysteinsson was the jarl of Møre in Norway"

Rognvald Eysteinsson

Rognvald Eysteinsson (fl. 865) sometimes referred to with the bynames of "the Wise" or "the Powerful" was the jarl of Møre in Norway and a key figure in the founding of the Earldom of Orkney. Three quite different sources for the creation of the Norse earldom on Orkney and Shetland exist. The best known are those in the Norse Sagas but older evidence is found in the Historia Norvegiae and the Fragmentary Annals of Ireland. This last source refers to a "Ragnall son of Albdan" who was active in Orkney in 865. The Historia includes a brief reference to Rognvald, which events are also referred to in the saga material.

- Wikipedia

"Ketill Björnsson, nicknamed Flatnose (Old Norse: Flatnefr),
was a Norse King of the Isles of the 9th century
"

Ketill Flatnose

Ketill Björnsson, nicknamed Flatnose (Old Norse: Flatnefr), was a Norse King of the Isles of the 9th century.[1]

Primary sources

Ketill is a character in such works as the Laxdæla saga, Eyrbyggja saga and Saga of Erik the Red, and his genealogy is described in detail in the Landnámabók. The story of Ketill and his daughter Auðr (or Aud) was probably first recorded by the Icelander Ari Þorgilsson, who lived from 1067 to 1148.[2] Þorgilsson was born not long after the death of his great-grandmother Guðrún Ósvífrsdóttir, a prominent character in the Laxdæla saga whose husband, Thorkell Eyjolffsson, was descended from Auðr. Þorgilsson was thus a direct descendant of Ketill and so, when he wrote his story of Ketill, he was drawing on family history.[2] Nonetheless, these Old Norse sagas were written down long after the events they describe (like most Greco-Roman and medieval histories), and no contemporary record exists of his life, with the arguable exception of a single entry in the Annals of Ulster.

"In the Laxdaela saga he is recorded as being from Romsdal (Raumsdal),
a valley in the county of Møre og Romsdal, between Nordmøre and Sunnmøre
and from Sogn in the Landnámabók"

Saga biography

Ketill Björnsson was the son of Björn Grímsson. In the Laxdaela saga he is recorded as being from Romsdal (Raumsdal), a valley in the county of Møre og Romsdal, between Nordmøre and Sunnmøre[3] and from Sogn in the Landnámabók.[4]

After Harald Fairhair had won the decisive Battle of Hafrsfjord in the late 9th century, many fled from Norway.[6] According to the Orkneyinga saga, some of these Vikings began to raid Norway in summer from the Orkney and Shetland islands north of mainland Scotland. For this reason Harald set sail to uproot the attackers. He defeated them and also took possession of the Hebrides and the Isle of Man.[7] This story is retold in the Eyrbyggja saga, but here it is Ketill rather than Harald who led the expedition, and after the initial victory the former retained the islands as "personal domain" rather than bringing them under Harald's rule.[8] In the Laxdaela saga the same story is told, but here Ketill is one of the Vikings who have fled to the Isles to escape Harald's tyranny.[9] In the Landnámabók the initial conquest is led by Harald, but as soon as he returned to Norway the raiders regrouped. At this point Harald sent Ketill to win the islands back again.[10] Ketill did so but paid no tribute,[11] at which point Harald took possession of what was owed from possessions of Ketill in Norway and sent away Ketill's sons. Some sources refer to Ketill as "King of the Sudreys"[12] although there is little evidence that he himself claimed that title.

According to the Landnámabók, Kettil became ruler of a region already settled by Scandinavians.[13] He left no successors there, and there is little record of Norse activity in the west of Scotland in the first four decades of the 10th century.[12]

Most of Ketill's family eventually emigrated to Iceland. Ketill's wife was Yngvild Ketilsdóttir, daughter of Ketill Wether, a hersir from Ringerike. They had a number of children, including Bjǫrn Ketilsson, who lived at Bjarnarhofn; Helgi "Bjolan" Ketilsson, who lived at Esjuberg on Kjalarnes; Thorunn Ketilsdatter, wife of Helgi the Lean, the first settler in Eyjafjordur bay; and Jorunn Ketilsdatter. Ketill's daughter, Aud the Deep-Minded, married Olaf the White, King of Dublin. Their son, Thorstein the Red, briefly conquered much of northern Scotland during the 870s and 880s before he was killed in battle. Aud and many members of her clan settled in the Laxdael region of Iceland.[14][15]

- Wikipedia

Romsdale

Before Harald Fairhair, Romsdal was a petty kingdom. Ragnvald Eysteinsson ( Ragnvald Mørejarl) was jarl (earl) of Møre, approximately of today's Møre og Romsdal. He died at the Orkney Islands. He was son of King Eystein "Glumra (the Noisy)" Ivarsson of Oppland, and a contemporary of Harald Fairhair who he supported in the unification process and from whom he received his fiefdom. He is likely to have resided on or nearby the important township of Veøya, Romsdal's Viking Era hub for commerce and communication. The legend says Ragnvald was the one to cut the hair of Harald Fairhair after he became king over all of Norway.[9]

Ragnvald Eysteinsson was the father of several sons. With Ragnhild Rolfsdatter, he had the sons: Tore (Thorir Ragnvaldsson) who inherited the earldom after his father’s death and Hrolf Ganger (Hrólfr Ragnvaldsson). Although historians are quite divided on this issue, Hrolf Ganger might be identical with Rollo of Normandy and if so the great-great-great-grandfather of William I of England. Turf-Einar (Einarr Ragnvaldsson), a son by a concubine, was an ancestor of the Norse Earls of Orkney.

- Wikipedia

Veøya

The island was a strategic location for the coastal routes during the Viking Age. The southern branch of Romsdalsfjorden leads to the Romsdal valley (and the present-day town of Åndalsnes), where important trade routes led up the valley to Lesja. From there it followed the pilgrim trail over Dovre to Trøndelag, or down the Gudbrandsdal valley to Eastern Norway. The eastern branch led through the Langfjorden where they hauled their ships over the 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) wide, low-lying isthmus at Eidsvåg, in order to avoid the dreaded waters of Hustadvika, and then back to the shipping routes northwards to Nidaros (modern day Trondheim). To the west, past the inlet of the fjord, were the southbound routes to Bergen.

At this junction, Veøy was established as a kaupang (Old Norse for a market town), and Romsdal’s economic, administrative, and religious center. It had 300-500 permanent residents, and was an important commercial center, with a significant increase during the sailing season. The Old Veøy Church, dedicated to the Apostle Peter, is built in stone and it is the only survivor of three churches on Veøya in the Middle Ages. This church dates back to around the year 1200. It has a capacity of 400 people, and served the entire region, while the other churches served the local population.

Veøya is mentioned by Snorre Sturlason in connection with the battle of Sekken in 1162 where king Håkon Herdebrei was killed by Erling Skakke on 7 July 1162, during the Norwegian civil wars. Veøya, or nearby on the mainland, was probably the seat of Ragnvald Eysteinsson (Ragnvald Mørejarl), earl of Møre, whose son was Hrolf Ganger (Gange-Rolv).[1][2]

- Wikipedia

"Rollo won a reputation as a great leader of Viking rovers in Ireland and Scotland"

Rollo

Rollo (c. 846 – c. 932), known as Ganger-Hrólf (or as Göngu Hrólfr in the Old Norse language),[1][2][3] and baptised Robert, was a Viking who became the first ruler of Normandy, a region of France. Rollo came from a noble warrior family of Scandinavian origin. After making himself independent of the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair, he sailed off to Scotland, Ireland, England and Flanders on pirating expeditions, and took part in raids along France's Seine river.[4][5] Rollo won a reputation as a great leader of Viking rovers in Ireland and Scotland, and emerged as the outstanding personality among the Norsemen who had secured a permanent foothold on Frankish soil in the valley of the lower Seine.[5] Charles the Simple, the king of West Francia, ceded them lands between the mouth of the Seine and what is now the city of Rouen in exchange for Rollo agreeing to end his brigandage, and provide the Franks with his protection against further incursion by Norse war bands.[6]

"The descendants of Rollo and his men came to rule Norman England, the Kingdom of Sicily as well as the Principality of Antioch from the 10th to 12th century AD"

Rollo is first recorded as the leader of these Viking settlers in a charter of 918, and it appears that he continued to reign over the region of Normandy until at least 927. Before his death, he gave his son, William I Longsword, governance of the Duchy of Normandy that he had founded, and after William succeeded him the offspring of Rollo and his men became known as the Normans, under leadership of Rollo's progeny, the Dukes of Normandy.[6] After the Norman conquest of England and their conquest of southern Italy & Sicily over the following two centuries, the descendants of Rollo and his men came to rule Norman England (the House of Normandy), the Kingdom of Sicily (the Kings of Sicily) as well as the Principality of Antioch from the 10th to 12th century AD, leaving behind an enduring legacy in the historical developments of Europe and the Near East.[7][8][9]

Rollo was born in the latter half of the 9th century somewhere on the Atlantic side of Scandinavia. Details of his origins and parentage are obscured, though it is clear from his later status as a jarl that he belonged to a noble warrior family.[10] Later Norman writers, notably Dudo of Saint-Quentin, refer to Rollo as "Danish", a term then used for the inhabitants of Scandinavia (i.e. those who spoke the Danish tongue).[11][12] Dudo's 11th century work, "De moribus et actis primorum Normannorum ducum", additionally recounts a Danish nobleman at loggerheads with the king of Denmark, who had two sons, Gurim and Rollo; upon his death, Gurim was killed and Rollo was expelled. The historian D. C. Douglas calls this account "manifestly improbable in all its details", as the assertion Rollo originated in Denmark cannot be wholly trusted owing to an alliance between Robert II of Normandy and the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard at the time of Dudo's writings.[13]

"Rollo was born as Hrólfr Rognvaldsson in Møre, Western Norway,
in the late 9th century
"

Geoffrey Malaterra, an eleventh-century Benedictine monk and historian, wrote how: "Rollo sailed boldly from Norway with his fleet to the Christian coast."[14] The 12th century English historian William of Malmesbury stated that Rollo was "born of noble lineage among the Norwegians".[15] Rollo also is mentioned in "The Life of Gruffud ap Cynan", a 12th-century history, which refers to him as the youngest of two brothers to the first king of Dublin. The 13th century Icelandic sagas, Heimskringla and Orkneyinga Saga, remember him as Hrólf the Walker ("who was so big that no horse could carry him", hence his byname of Ganger-Hrólf[16]), but offer a contradictory account of his parentage. Both sources mention Rollo was born as Hrólfr Rognvaldsson in Møre, Western Norway, in the late 9th century as a son to the Norwegian jarl Rognvald Eysteinsson. Eysteinsson was known to be an enemy of the two brothers mentioned in The Life of Gruffudd ap Cynan. Richer of Reims, who lived in the 10th century, named Rollo's father as one Catillus, or Ketil.[17] However, the reliability of Richer's account has been dismissed by some scholars, and Ketil is regarded by the historian D. C. Douglas as a legendary figure.[18]

- Wikipedia
See also Viking Repton

"Viking leader who ruled Northumbria and the Isle of Man in the early 10th century"

Ragnall ua Ímair

Ragnall ua Ímair (Old Norse: Røgnvaldr, died 921) was a Viking [nb 1] leader who ruled Northumbria and the Isle of Man in the early 10th century. He was a grandson of Ímar and a member of the Uí Ímair. Ragnall was most probably among those Vikings expelled from Dublin in 902, whereafter he may have ruled territory in southern Scotland or the Isle of Man. In 917, he and his kinsman Sitric Cáech sailed separate fleets to Ireland where they won several battles against local kings. Sitric successfully recaptured Dublin and established himself as king, while Ragnall returned to England. He fought against Constantín mac Áeda, King of Scotland, in the Battle of Corbridge in 918, and although the battle was not decisive it did allow Ragnall to establish himself as king at York.

"Annals of Ulster describe him as 'king of the fair foreigners and the dark foreigners' "

Ragnall's rule was immediately challenged by a group of Christian Vikings opposed to his paganism. This group tried to organise an alliance with Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians but this attempt was cut short by her death in 918. His reign saw three issues of coinage, although this was perhaps done on the orders of Hrotheweard, Archbishop of York. In 920 Ragnall and his neighbouring northern kings came to an agreement with Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons, though it is a matter of dispute whether Ragnall recognised Edward as his overlord. Ragnall died the following year, whereupon the Annals of Ulster describe him as "king of the fair foreigners and the dark foreigners". He was succeeded as king by Sitric Cáech.

- Wikipedia

Sitric Cáech

Sitric Cáech, also known as Sitric Gále,[nb 1] (Old Norse: Sigtryggr, died 927) was a Viking [nb 2] leader who ruled Dublin and then Viking Northumbria in the early 10th century. He was a grandson of Ímar and a member of the Uí Ímair. Sitric was most probably among those Vikings expelled from Dublin in 902, whereafter he may have ruled territory in the eastern Danelaw in England. In 917, he and his kinsman Ragnall ua Ímair sailed separate fleets to Ireland where they won several battles against local kings. Sitric successfully recaptured Dublin and established himself as king, while Ragnall returned to England to become King of Northumbria. In 919, Sitric won a victory at the Battle of Islandbridge over a coalition of local Irish kings who aimed to expel the Uí Ímair from Ireland. Six Irish kings were killed in the battle, including Niall Glúndub, overking of the Northern Uí Néill and High King of Ireland.[nb 3]

In 920 Sitric left Dublin for Northumbria, with his kinsman Gofraid ua Ímair succeeding him as king. That same year he led a raid on Davenport, Cheshire, perhaps as an act of defiance against Edward the Elder, King of the Anglo-Saxons. In 921 Ragnall ua Ímair died, with Sitric succeeding him as King of Northumbria. Though there are no written accounts of conflict, numismatic evidence suggests there was a Viking reconquest of a large part of Mercia in the following few years. An agreement of some sort between the Vikings of Northumbria and the Anglo-Saxons was achieved in 926 when Sitric married a sister of Æthelstan, perhaps Edith of Polesworth. Sitric also converted to Christianity, though this did not last long and he soon reverted to paganism. He died in 927 and was succeeded by his kinsman Gofraid ua Ímair. Sitric's son Gofraid later reigned as King of Dublin, his son Aralt as King of Limerick, and his son Amlaíb Cuarán as king of both Dublin and Northumbria.

- Wikipedia

Amlaíb Cuarán

Amlaíb mac Sitric (c. 927 – 981; Old Norse: Óláfr Sigtryggsson), commonly called Amlaíb Cuarán, in Old Norse: Óláfr kváran, was a 10th-century Norse-Gael who was King of Northumbria and Dublin. His byname, cuarán, is usually translated as "sandal". His name appears in a variety of anglicized forms, including Olaf Cuaran and Olaf Sihtricson, particularly in relation to his short-lived rule in York.[1] He was the last of the Uí Ímair to play a major part in the politics of the British Isles.

Amlaíb was twice, perhaps three times, ruler of Northumbria and twice ruler of Dublin and its dependencies. His reign over these territories spanned some forty years. He was a renowned warrior and a ruthless pillager of churches, but ended his days in retirement at Iona Abbey. Born when the Uí Ímair ruled over large areas of the British Isles, by his death the kingdom of Dublin was a minor power in Irish politics. At the same time, Dublin became a major centre of trade in Atlantic Europe and mastery over the city and its wealth became the supreme prize for ambitious Irish kings.

In death Amlaíb was the prototype for the Middle English romance character Havelok the Dane. In life he was a patron of Irish poets and Scandinavian skalds who wrote verses praising their paymaster. Amlaíb was married at least twice, and had many children who married into Irish and Scandinavian royal families. His descendants were kings in the Isle of Man and the Hebrides until the 13th century.

- From Amlaíb Cuarán - Wikipedia

Iceland

In 870 A.D. Ingolf Arnarsson first settled in Iceland, and a period of intensive colonization followed which lasted from 874 A.D. to 930 A.D. The high nobles, including kings, jarls, and peers of lesser rank, brought with them their entire households, consisting of wives, concubines, housecarls, and slaves. Four hundred such chiefs are mentioned in the Landnamabok, the unique document describing in detail the settlement of Iceland and the partitionment of its land. Various estimates reckon the population at the year 950 A.D. between the figures of 20,000 and 50,000. The lower figure is probably more nearly correct than the higher. At any rate, the chances are that the servants and other undistinguished persons made up the majority, and that although the proportion of noblemen was high, it was not high enough to predominate in a numerical sense.

"the Norsemen who came from Norway came mostly from the coastal regions,
and especially from Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and points northward"

The Landnamabok names the homes of 1003 of these immigrants. Of them 846 came from Norway, 30 from Sweden, 1 from the Faroes, and 126 from the British Isles. Of those coming directly from Norway, the homes of 461 are known, as follows: Nordland, 51; Trøndelag and Møre, 95; Sogn og Fjordane, 128; Hordaland, 77; Rogaland 10 (3 from Jaeren); Agder, Telemark, Vestfold, 67; the eastern valleys, 33. Of 113 known homes in the British Isles, the list is: Ireland, 52, Scotland, 31, Hebrides, 26, and Orkneys, 4. Thus the Norsemen who came from Norway came mostly from the coastal regions, and especially from Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and points northward. Few were from the eastern valley region and fewer from the brachycephalic nucleus in Rogaland. Those from the British Isles were presumably Norse who had not occupied their new homes long enough to lose their Norwegian identity.

- from Iceland

"Early raiders may already have been settled in the Northern Isles rather than sailing directly from Norway"

The Book of Deer Project - Norse

The Viking raid on the island of Lindisfarne in 793 AD is traditionally regarded as the beginning of the Viking age in Britain , although it has been suggested that these early raiders may already have been settled in the Northern Isles rather than sailing directly from Norway. During the next three to four decades the Gaelic annals record a large number of Viking raids in the Hebrides and Ireland and a number of monasteries, including í ( Iona ), were attacked and looted and monks were killed. While activities of this nature figure prominently in popular accounts about the Vikings, it is clear that raiding was not the only concern of these Scandinavian peoples. Trade may also have played a major role in this process. For example, in Ireland after 841 AD, the major trading ports of Dublin , Wexford, Waterford , Cork and Limerick all originated as Viking naval bases ( longphoirt ). In theory, and at a slightly later period, a trader from Dublin could have sailed up the Irish sea , crossed the North sea and entered Scandinavian-controlled river systems in Russia to emerge eventually in the Black sea and sell his goods in Constantinople.

"By c.850 AD the Gaelic annals record the appearance of a new group of people
called the Gall-Ghaidheil
who seem to have been mainly resident in the Hebrides
and south-west Scotland
"

By c.850 AD the Gaelic annals record the appearance of a new group of people called the Gall-Ghaidheil (foreign Gaels) who seem to have been mainly resident in the Hebrides and south-west Scotland. It is likely that these people were of mixed Norse and Gaelic blood which indicates a degree of integration and settlement between the two peoples within a short period of time. Scandinavian bases and trading ports were also established on the east coast of Britain. In England, York was captured in 866 AD and it is possible that the devastation of the North-British fortress on Dumbarton rock in 870 AD was an attempt to establish a maritime link between York and Dublin via the Clyde-Forth headwaters. By the end of the ninth century, Norse control of the Northern Isles led to the creation of the earldom of Orkney and successive dynasts from this province attempted to extend their authority southwards into Caithness (which included Sutherland during this period) and Moray over a long period of time. It has been suggested that this Norse push southwards towards the Great Glen was motivated by economic considerations: namely, a desire to control the extensive timber resources found in Easter Ross for the maintenance, repair and building of shipping.

It is still not clear whether the North-East was ever affected to the same extent. We do know that a fortification near Dunottar, south of Stonehaven, was attacked by Vikings c. 900 AD and archaeological evidence suggests that the Pictish fort at Burghead, near Elgin, could have suffered a similar fate. Although the North-East does not appear to have any Scandinavian place-names, in contrast to other areas like Caithness and Galloway, the name of one of the mormaír (earls) of Buchan, Colbán, mentioned in the Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer appears to be derived from the Old Norse name Kolbeinn. At least one of his sons, Magnus, was also given a Norse name. Recently, it has been argued that many of the so-called “Pictish” ogam inscriptions, which have largely defied translation, are Scandinavian in origin and can be read using Old Norse. If this new theory is proved to be correct, and given that many of the inscriptions appear in the North-East, it is possible that some Scandinavians may indeed have settled in north-east Scotland.

- from The Book of Deer Project - Norse

The Book of Deer is one of Scotland’s most important manuscripts. It is a small (154mm x 107mm) Gospel Book, now housed in Cambridge University Library. Before c. 1100 it was apparently in the possession of the early Pictish monastery at Old Deer in north-east Aberdeenshire. This monastery has otherwise left no trace of its existence. A Cistercian Abbey was founded nearby in 1219. The Book of Deer came into the ownership of Cambridge University Library in 1715, when the library of the Bishop of Ely and Norwich was presented to the former by George I. Before that, the Book of Deer may have been in the possession of Dr Gale, High master of St Paul’s School (1672-97). The stages by which it moved from the North East of Scotland to the South of England are by no means clear. Even Cambridge University Library was unaware of its significance until it was discovered in 1860 by Henry Bradshaw, the librarian at that time.

"The first Viking raids in the west were on islands off the Irish coast in AD795"

The Vikings Arrive

The first Viking raids in the west were on islands off the Irish coast in AD795, two years after the famous raid on Lindisfarne (Northumberland). Semi-permanent settlement in Ireland began in the late 830s in fortified camps at Dublin and elsewhere on the major river systems and coastal havens. In England, Danes had reached York by 867. They over-wintered in Mercia (at Repton, Derbyshire), in 873–4, before heading north and east again. Repton is only 60km from Cheshire, yet our first “confirmed sighting” of Scandinavians on the Dee or Mersey occurs at the surprisingly late date of 893. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that a group of Danes occupied a “deserted city in Wirral which is called Chester”. These included remnants of a force under Hástein which had recently been defeated by Alfred on the banks of the river Severn at Buttington, Montgomeryshire. They were chased off into Wales the following year by the Mercians; this may have been the occasion for the refortification of the derelict Roman defences, although Chester was not recorded as an official fortified burh until 907.

We know rather more about another Viking incident. In 902 the Irish expelled the Vikings from their base at Dublin. This caused political upheavals on both sides of the Irish Sea, and Hiberno-Norse immigration into the Isle of Man and north-west England. Welsh Annals (Annales Cambriae) tell us that in 903 an individual with the Old Norse name Ingmunt (Ingimundr) seized a place on Môn (Anglesey) called Maes Ros Melion. A wholly unconnected Irish source called the Three Fragments of Annals also mentions Ingimund and his followers: they were ejected from Wales and followed the coast further east, where they requested land on which to settle from Æthelflede, the ruler of Mercia. This she granted.

Vikings and Hiberno-Norse

By 841 AD a Scandinavian settlement had been established at Dublin; this was abandoned in 902, re-established in 917, and developed thereafter. It was so established by the 11th century that it was regarded even amongst the surrounding native Gaelic population as a minor kingdom[12] ruled by Hiberno-Norse kings. The Norse Kingdom of Dublin stretched, at its greatest, from Drogheda to Arklow, and while mostly a thin strip of coastal land, from the Irish Sea westwards as far as Leixlip in the central part.

After the Battle of Clontarf, when High King Brian Boru curtailed the power of the Vikings in Ireland, the Norse-Irish Kingdom of Dublin continued, with its own bishop, part of the Westminster hierarchy rather than the Irish, though it gradually came under the influence of the Kings of Leinster. Diarmait Mac Murchada established himself there before his expulsion by the High King in 1166, a series of events which led to the area being invaded in the late 12th century, by the Cambro-Normans. This was to form part of the heartland of the area known as The Pale during the successive periods of rule by Anglo-Norman and the latter kings of England.

- Wikipedia

"Across the Mersey estuary, south-west Lancashire has an equally dense cluster of Scandinavian placenames, including a Thingwall assembly"

The historian FT Wainwright, writing in the 1940s, convincingly proposed the northern half of the Wirral peninsula as Ingimund’s probable settlement area. Across the Mersey estuary, south-west Lancashire has an equally dense cluster of Scandinavian placenames, including a Thingwall assembly place in West Derby (now part of Liverpool). But as that side of the Mersey was part of Northumbria at the time, it seems less probable that it could legitimately have been part of Æthelflede’s grant of land. Yet it certainly saw significant Viking settlement. Were Vikings already living on one, or both sides of the Mersey, perhaps welcoming Ingimund’s followers as kindred migrants from distant Ireland or Scandinavia? It is possible, but hard to substantiate. Placenames are only datable to their first written record, which for here is mostly Domesday Book (1086). Archaeological evidence does hint at settlement and trade in Wirral in the ninth century, but the vast majority of Viking material found there dates from later centuries.

Ingimund was not satisfied with his lot. Soon afterwards he and his followers attacked Chester, hoping to grab a share of its wealth and strategic importance. The Cestrians successfully fought back, as the Three Fragments tell us, by unleashing swarms of bees and pouring boiling beer on the attackers. Whatever the truth of these details (Cheshire people are not noted for wasting beer!), Ingimund retreated.

Yet the local Viking settlements remained as a thorn in the side of the English. There is a strong chance that the famous Battle of Brunanburh (937) took place in Wirral (although advocates of other possible locations on the Solway and Humber estuaries vigorously dispute this). In this dubiously-located but dramatic clash of arms, the English under Æthelstan defeated a coalition of Dublin-based Vikings, Scots and other northern forces. The Wirral location was proposed by the placename expert John Dodgson in an influential article in the Saga Book of the Viking Society (1957). Bromborough, in south-east Wirral, is the nearest placename match: Brun-burh (OE, stronghold of Bruna), and the strategic position of the two estuaries is a convincing backdrop. Some versions of the story portray the defeated Anlaf of Dublin fleeing across Dingesmere – perhaps one of the estuaries, or even the Irish Sea itself. Following this more serious Viking defeat, the English grip on the area strengthened. According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle there was another raid on Cheshire by a “northern naval force” in 980, but thereafter until the Norman Conquest the din of war diminishes in relation to the more humdrum sound of former enemies making a living together...

Placenames also indicate that many of the Norsemen came to Wirral from Ireland, and brought Irish people with them. Prominent Irish names include Liscard (Old Irish lios na carraige, hall at the rock) and Noctorum (cnocc-tírim, hill that’s dry). Irby is from the Old Norse Ira-byr, meaning settlement of the Irish or settlement of Norsemen coming from Ireland. This Irish influence also helps explain the name Dingesmere, the site of the Battle of Brunanburh described in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle entry for AD937. It was suggested in 2004 that it means the “Thing’s mere” – the wetland or marshland (Old Norse marr) associated with the Thing. Our genetic study based on men from old families appears to confirm this strong Viking legacy.

- from Looking for Vikings in North-West England

Settlement Under the Sand - new Viking discoveries in Orkney

At the Bay of Skaill, on Orkney’s West Mainland, a massive Norse longhouse lay lost to memory, beneath a deep blanket of windblown sand – until it was re-discovered and excavated by Oxford University archaeologists. The longhouse has strongly built stone walls which (protected by the overlying sand) still stand to their full height of 1.5m in places, upon which the now-vanished wooden rafters needed to support a capacious turf-covered roof would have rested. The finest masonry faces inwards in the domestic/dwelling area, and the walls were lined with side benches formed by upright stone slabs. The longhouse was constructed in at least three phases, beginning with a simple bow-sided structure with narrow side benches and a central hearth, which was later extended to the east and finally to the west. We have yet fully to solve the question of whether this building was constructed on a new site, or was a rebuild of an older settlement. Under the rectangular outbuilding we have found earlier, rounder-shaped stone structures, sealed under midden and later deposits. Radiocarbon dates from samples taken in 2010 are keenly awaited, to see if these are earlier Norse structures, or even Pictish or Iron Age ones, pre-dating the Viking arrival in Orkney.

- from Settlement Under the Sand - new Viking discoveries in Orkney

Cille Pheadair Norse Farmstead

The Norse farmstead at Cille Pheadair was recently destroyed during a particularly severe storm. Fortunately, the unique sequence of four stone-built longhouses had already been excavated. Occupied between the 10th and 13th centuries AD, the well-preserved floors in the dwellings provided a rare opportunity to glimpse the details of everyday life. It has been possible to identify where people had sat around the long central hearth and cooked, spun yarn, or sharpened tools. Christianity was clearly an important part of Norse family life, and when one of the earlier longhouses was abandoned, the occupants left a small bone pendant, carved into the shape of a cross, at the edge of the hearth. Other artefacts show that the people that lived in this small farmstead had access to commodities from a wide area. They wore copper alloy pins from Ireland, and some of their pottery had been made in the south-west of England. A thin strip of decorated gold was an unexpectedly opulent find.

Just a few miles to the north of Cille Pheadair, another Norse settlement revealed a different aspect of life in South Uist during the early Medieval period. Bornais had a long history, having been founded over the remains a wheelhouse, which dated from the early centuries of the 1st millennium AD. People continued to live at the site during the Pictish period, building a cellular house. A fragment of bone inscribed with ogham letters is tantalizing early evidence of literacy in the Uists. When the Norse put down roots in the area, around 1000 AD, the community at Bornais expanded, eventually occupying five farmsteads. It went on to become a settlement of some importance, and is one of the most significant sites of the period to have been excavated in Scotland, with over twenty houses and byres. Like Cille Pheadair, the artefacts from Bornais show that the inhabitants were part of an extensive economy. The bone collar of a flask, decorated with a carving on an animal in the Ringerike style, was probably manufactured in Scandinavia. This, and other items, can only have come to the island through a trade network that spanned the North Atlantic. The site has also produced the earliest evidence for an intensive herring fishery in Scotland.

- from Archaeology in South Uist - Overview by Kate Macdonald

Viking York and the Dublin Connection

Imports ranged from finished articles such as cloth, glass, pottery (Ireland appears to have been aceramic until the Anglo-Norman period), soapstone vessels and walrus pieces, to the unfinished materials like amber and lignite, which is especially prevalent, being imported in order to be made into a finished product. The wealth of the city is apparent when a few exotic items are examined, as well as written sources concerning the city. Some high quality fabrics have been recovered, including some with diamond twills that could be woven, silk from Byzantium or the Islamic world, patterned compound silks from Byzantium or Persia, and gold braids, possibly from central Asia.

- from Scandinavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region During the Viking Age, page 161

Think again about the pillaging Viking Warriors

Scientists have found that Viking men took significant numbers of women with them in their longboats when they sailed to places such as the Scottish mainland, Shetland, Orkney and Iceland – contradicting the stereotype of male-only raiding parties with an unhealthy appetite for rape and pillage. Researchers who analysed the genetic material – maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA extracted from 80 Viking skeletons unearthed in Norway – found that Norse women played a central role in the Viking settlements established in Britain and other parts of the North Atlantic. Until relatively recently, it was thought to be mainly Viking men who sailed in longboats from their homeland in Norway, Denmark and Sweden to raid distant coastal settlements overseas. However, the study which involved the reconstruction of 45 mitochondrial DNA sequences, showed the importance of the female Viking lineage in spreading the Norse people across the northern seas, said professor Erika Hagelberg of the University of Oslo.

The study, published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, compared the ancient mitochondrial DNA of the Viking skeletons, which date back about 1,000 years, to modern mitochondrial DNA of people living today in Norway, the British Isles, Iceland and other parts of western Europe. This gave a picture of how the maternal Norse lineage has spread throughout in this part of northern Europe, showing that Viking women as well as their men played a critical role, said professor Jan Bill, a Viking expert at the University of Oslo. “Both males and females took part in the colonisation of the North Atlantic. It’s not that they were importing a lot of female slaves that they picked up on the way from places like Ireland,” Professor Bill said.

- from Think again about the pillaging Viking Warriors

"In mainland Britain, abundant evidence exists for a past Viking presence"

The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England

In mainland Britain, abundant evidence exists for a past Viking presence in the Wirral Peninsula and West Lancashire, in the northwest of England. Scandinavian major place-names are common (Cavill et al. 2000; Harding 2002) (fig. 1), and these 2 regions possess the only definite examples of the place-name ‘‘Thingwall’’ (from Old Norse ‘‘pingvo¨ llr’’ meaning ‘‘Assembly Field’’) in England, indicating settlements of sufficient density and autonomy to warrant their own parliaments. Moreover, in the case of Wirral, the intensity and distribution of minor place-name elements attest to the persistence of a Scandinavian influenced dialect through the centuries that may reflect the intensity of the original settlement (Wainwright 1943; Cavill et al. 2000). This onomastic evidence is supported by archaeological discoveries such as jewelry, weaponry, or treasure hoards at Meols, Crosby, and Cuerdale (Graham-Campbell 1992; Harding 2002) or Hiberno-Norse ring-headed crosses (Bu’Lock 1958) and hogback tombstones (Collingwood 1928; Bailey et al. 2006), which reflect Scandinavian presence.

In one version of events, Vikings of Norwegian origin, under their leader Ingimund, arrived in the region in AD 902 after having been expelled from Dublin. Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, granted them land in north Wirral, where they settled (Wainwright 1942, 1948, 1975). More complex models have also been proposed, based on place-names analysis, including elements of migration from the Isle of Man as well as Dublin (Fellows-Jensen 1992).

Specific historical evidence for the migration of Vikings into West Lancashire is lacking, although place-names and archaeological evidence clearly demonstrate that this occurred.

- from Excavating Past Population Structures by Surname-Based Sampling: The Genetic Legacy of the Vikings in Northwest England

Wirral Peninsula - English and Norse

The Anglo-Saxons under Æthelfrith, king of Northumbria, laid waste to Chester around 616. Æthelfrith withdrew, leaving the area west and south of the Mersey to become part of Mercia, and Anglo-Saxon settlers took over Wirral except the northern tip. Many of Wirral's villages, such as Willaston, Eastham and Sutton, were established and named at this time.

Towards the end of the ninth century, the Norsemen or Vikings began raiding the area. They settled along the Dee side of the peninsula, and along the sea coast, giving their villages names such as Kirby, Frankby and Meols. They introduced their own local government system with a parliament at Thingwall. Ancient Irish annals record the population of Wirral by Norsemen led by Ingimund, having been expelled from Ireland around 902 and getting agreement from Aethelflaed or "Ethelfleda", Queen of the Mercian English to settle there peacefully. The boundary of the Norse colony is believed to have passed south of Neston and Raby, and along Dibbinsdale.[4] Evidence of the Norse presence in Wirral can still be seen from place name evidence – such as the common '-by' (meaning "village" in Scandinavian languages) – suffixes and names such as Tranmere, which comes from trani melr ("cranebird sandbank"). The finding of two hogback tombstones corroborates this.[8] Recent Y-DNA research has also revealed the genetic trail left by Vikings in Wirral, specifically relatively high rates of the Haplogroup R1a, associated in Britain with Norse (Slavic Vikings) ancestry.[9]

- Wikipedia

The dubh gall in southern Scotland: the politics of Northumbria, Dublin, and the Community of St Cuthbert in the Viking Age, c. 870-950 CE

The wide-ranging interests of the Scandinavians who controlled Dublin from 851, known as the dubh gall (and later the Uí Ímair), have been noted by some scholars. At various times they are thought to have controlled or exercised some form of over-lordship over the Kingdom of Northumbria, northern Wales, and southern Scotland, including the Kingdom of Strathclyde.

- From The dubh gall in southern Scotland: the politics of Northumbria, Dublin, and the Community of St Cuthbert in the Viking Age, c. 870-950 CE

Dominions of Cnut (1014-1035)

Cnut the Great and the North Sea Empire

The North Sea Empire or Anglo-Norse Empire is the name usually given to the kingdoms ruled by Cnut the Great as king of England, Denmark, Norway and parts of what is now Sweden between 1016 and 1035. It can also be called more specifically the Anglo-Scandinavian Empire. As one historian put it: "When the 11th century began its fourth decade, Canute was, with the single exception of the Emperor, the most imposing ruler in Latin Christendom. . . . [H]e was lord of four important realms and the overlord of other kingdoms. Though technically Canute was counted among the kings, his position among his fellow-monarchs was truly imperial. Apparently he held in his hands the destinies of two great regions: the British Isles and the Scandinavian peninsulas. His fleet all but controlled two important seas, the North and the Baltic. He had built an Empire.[1]"

Medieval Governance in Scotland and Norway

From Northern Neighbours: Scotland and Norway since 1800
From Northern Neighbours: Scotland and Norway since 1800
From Northern Neighbours: Scotland and Norway since 1800

 

The Gall-Gaedhil

Gall-Ghàidheil: The Norse-Gaels (Irish Gaelic: Gall-Ghaedheil or Gall-Ghaeil, Scottish Gaelic: Gall-Ghàidheil) were a people who dominated much of the Irish Sea region, including the Isle of Man, western Scotland and eastern Ireland for a part of the Middle Ages.

The Waugh Family Library

Scandinavian Britain by W.G. Collingwood, 1908
Scandinavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region During the Viking Age,
by Russell Goodrich, 2010
Scandinavians in Dumfriesshire and Galloway, by Gillian Fellows Jensen, 1991
Scandinavian Relations with Ireland during the Viking Period, A. Walsh, 1922
The Annals of Ireland
The Annals of Ulster
Vikings in Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin
Gaelic Place-Names: Gall, Alison Grant, Editor, Scottish Language Dictionaries
Tim Clarkson, Clan Galbraith
The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham
In Search of the Britons in the Early Historic Era (AD 400-1100)
Scandinavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region During the Viking Age, page 161
From Dal Riata to the Gall-Ghaidheil by Andrew Jennings and Arne Kruse
In Search of the Britons in the Early Historic Era (AD 400-1100), by Stephen T. Driscoll, 2014
The Origins and spread of Scots
Gall-Gaidhil and Galloway, Daphne Brooke, 1991
Somerled and the MacDougalls of Argyll, Clan MacDougall Societ of North America

"Scandinavian settlement of these coasts had begun around AD 800"

"Scandinavian settlement of these coasts had begun, according to Sellar, around AD 800. He pictures a rapid and easy absorbtion of the newcomers, and their conversion to Christianity. Already, then, by the mid-ninth century the term Gall-Gaidhil, with the meaning Scandinavian-Scot, would have been applicable, and since the life of the coasts was essentially sea-going, very likely 'Viking-Scot' as well. By the early eleventh century, the time of Suibne, Kintyre and Knapdale were part of this culture, based on mixed Scandinavian-Scottish settlement and maritime adventure. By the last quarter of the century Godfrey Crovan of Man had established power over Kintyre and the Isles. Later, the Norse lords of the Isles, owing allegiance to Norway, established Scandinavian power and cultural influence. To this extent, the inhabitants became, in Skene's phrase, 'Gael under foreign rule'." - from Gall-Gaidhil and Galloway, Daphne Brooke, 1991

Gallgael

From Scandinavian Britain by W.G. Collingwood, 1908
From Scandinavian Britain by W.G. Collingwood, 1908

The Gall-Gaidhil

Viking Empires, Angelo Forte, et al, University of Cambridge Press, 2005
Viking Empires, Angelo Forte, et al, University of Cambridge Press, 2005

See also Scandinavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region During the Viking Age


From Scandinavians in Dumfriesshire and Galloway, by Gillian Fellows Jensen, 1991

"It is also interesting to note that in Norse sources the inhabitants of Galloway
are called Vikinga-Skotar, a direct translation of Gall-Gaedhil"

From Scandinavian Relations with Ireland during the Viking Period, A. Walsh, 1922
From
Scandinavian Relations with Ireland during the Viking Period, A. Walsh, 1922

The ancient Three Fragments of Annals speak of them as Scuit
(i.e., and Irish form of  the Latin Scoti, a word which is always used with reference to the Irish before the tenth century)

"They were Scoti... and at one time they used to be called Northmen"

"A battle was given by Aedh, King of Ailech, the most valiant king of his time, to the fleet of the Gall-Gaeidhil, i. e. they were Scoti and foster-children of the Northmen, and at one time they used to be called Northmen.. They were defeated and slaughtered by Aedh, and many of their heads were carried off by [Aedh, son of] Niall with him, and the Irish were justified in committing this havoc, for these were accustomed to act like the Lachlanns."

- From The Annals of Ireland (13 MB)

Lochlann

All uses of the word "Lochlann" relate it to Nordic realms of Europe. While the traditional view has identified Laithlind with Norway, some have preferred to locate it in a Norse-dominated part of Scotland, perhaps the Hebrides or the Northern Isles.[1] Donnchadh Ó Corráin states that Laithlinn was the name of Viking Scotland, and that a substantial part of Scotland - the Northern and Western Isles and large areas of the coastal mainland from Caithness and Sutherland to Argyle - was conquered by the Vikings in the first quarter of the ninth century and a Viking kingdom was set up there earlier than the middle of the century.[2] In relation to the debate about Lochlann's location, it is noteworthy that the Port an Eilean Mhòir Viking ship burial discovered in the Ardnamurchan peninsula of western Scotland contained a whetstone from Norway and a bronze ringpin from Ireland.[3]

- Wikipedia
See Vikings Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

Lochlannac


- from The Farfarers: A New History of North America, Farley Mowat

"tribes deemed to be a growing threat to the Empire, which included the Scoti"

Scoti

An early use of the word can be found in the Nomina Provinciarum Omnium (Names of All the Provinces), which dates to about A.D. 312. This is a short list of the names and provinces of the Roman Empire. At the end of this list is a brief list of tribes deemed to be a growing threat to the Empire, which included the Scoti.[1] There is also a reference to the word in St Prosper's chronicle of A.D. 431 where he describes Pope Celestine sending St Palladius to Ireland to preach "ad Scotti in Christum" ("to the Irish who believed in Christ").[2]

Thereafter, periodic raids by Scoti are reported by several later 4th and early 5th century Latin writers, namely Pacatus,[3] Ammianus Marcellinus,[4] Claudian[5] and the Chronica Gallica of 452.[6] Two references to Scoti have recently been identified in Greek literature (as Σκόττοι), in the works of Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, writing in the 370s.[7] The fragmentary evidence suggests an intensification of Scoti raiding from the early 360s, culminating in the so-called "barbarian conspiracy" of 367–8, and continuing up to and beyond the end of Roman rule c.410. The location and frequency of attacks by Scoti remain unclear, as do the origin and identity of the Gaelic population-groups who participated in these raids.[8] By the 5th century, the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata had emerged from Ulster, overtaking parts of western Scotland. As this kingdom grew in size and influence, the name was applied to all its subjects – hence the modern terms Scot, Scottish and Scotland.[9]...

"this was not a general word for Gaels but a band of outcast raiders"

The etymology of Late Latin Scoti is unclear. It is not a Latin derivation, nor does it correspond to any known Goidelic (Gaelic) term the Gaels used to name themselves as a whole or a constituent population-group. The implication is that this Late Latin word rendered a Primitive Irish term for a social grouping, occupation or activity, and only later became an ethnonym.

Several derivations have been conjectured but none has gained general acceptance in mainstream scholarship. In the 19th century Aonghas MacCoinnich proposed that Scoti came from Gaelic Sgaothaich, meaning "crowd" or "horde".[10] Charles Oman favoured Gaelic Scuit, with the sense of a "man cut-off" or "broken man", suggesting this was not a general word for Gaels but a band of outcast raiders.[11]

More recently, Philip Freeman has speculated on the likelihood of a group of raiders adopting a name from an Indo-European root, *skot, citing the parallel in Greek skotos (σκότος), meaning "darkness, gloom".[12]

An origin has also been suggested in a word related to the English scot (as in tax) and Old Norse verb sköta; this referred to an activity in ceremonies whereby ownership of land was transferred by placing a parcel of earth in the lap of a new owner,[13] whence 11th century King Olaf, one of Sweden's first known rulers, may have been known as a scot king.[14]

The Gaels traced their ancestry to two different mythological daughters of two different Egyptian Pharaohs named Scota

- Wikipedia

Gall - Norsemen

There are "many attested usages of middle Irish ‘Gall’, meaning ‘Gaul,’ Scandinavian Invader, Northman, Foreigner, Hebredean, Norman’, especially when you compare how it is used as a prefix to designate a foreign / norse identity within the relevant period, eg:

gallda: foreign; (Norse/English), foreign connotations or ways
gallit: imported foreign treasure
gaillsech: foreign woman
gallbaile: foreign house/stead
gallbélre: foreign speech
gallbiall: foreign (Norse) axe
gallbrat: foreign booty/loot
gallcét: old Scandinavian long hundred
gallgruitne: Norse Curds
galliath: Foreign / Norse territory
gall góidel: a person of norse and Irish blood
/ identity / ethnicity

- from Tim Clarkson's Blog Clan Galbraith: Part 4 – Viking Britons (again)

Goidelic

The Goidelic or Gaelic languages (Irish: teangacha Gaelacha, Scottish Gaelic: cànanan Goidhealach, Manx: çhengaghyn Gaelgagh) form one of the two groups of Insular Celtic languages, the other being the Brittonic languages.[2] In the older classification, the Goidelic languages are part of the Q-Celtic group. Goidelic languages historically formed a dialect continuum stretching from Ireland through the Isle of Man to Scotland. There are three modern Goidelic languages: Irish (Gaeilge), Scottish Gaelic (Gàidhlig) and Manx (Gaelg), the last of which died out in the 20th century but has since been revived to some degree.[3]

- Wikipedia

Gaelic Place-Names: Gall

In addition to the dubh gall and the fionn gall, Gaelic-speakers recognised a distinct ethnic group they referred to as the Gall-Gaidheal or 'foreigner Gaels'. There has been much debate about the precise ethnicity of the Gall-Gaidheal, with various theories including that they were Gaelic-speakers from Ireland, English overlords in a Gaelic-speaking region of Scotland, Norman immigrants, Irish Protestants or Strathclyde Britons. However, the predominant view is that the name referred to a group of a mixed Gaelic-Viking group, who originated either in Ireland or the Western Seaboard of Scotland, and who eventually settled in the Galloway area. Indeed the modern Gaelic name for Galloway is Gall-Ghaidhealaibh 'among the foreign Gaels'.

- from Gaelic Place-Names: Gall, Alison Grant, Editor, Scottish Language Dictionaries

"The Gall-Gáidhil first appear in the 9th century as warriors in Ireland"

The Gall-Gáidhil

The Gall-Gáidhil first appear in the 9th century as warriors in Ireland, and later as raiders and settlers on the western seaboard of Scotland. In the chronicles of the time their origin is left unexplained but their name, which means ‘foreign Gaels’, indicates that they spoke Gaelic. Their recorded activities suggest that they had much in common with the Vikings. Indeed, they seem to have comprised several Gaelic-speaking groups who prowled the seaways between Scotland and Ireland in the period 850 to 1100, some of whom no doubt claimed Scandinavian ancestry. The first Gall-Gáidhil may have originated in Ireland, or in the Hebrides, or perhaps in both areas at the same time. They were, to some extent, distinguishable from the ‘true’ Vikings whose ancestors had come from Norway and Denmark, but the differences were probably quite blurred by c.1000. The name applied to the original Gall-Gáidhil may have identified them as native Gaels who had adopted a ‘Viking’ way of life, possibly as a result of intermarriage with Scandinavians. This would be the reverse of a situation that had already led many Scandinavian settlers to settle down as ‘Gaelic’ farmers within a few generations of the first Viking raids.

"In 1034 we hear of a Gall-Gáidhil king called Suibhne (‘Sweeney’)
who may have ruled this area as a single realm
"

Although the Gall-Gáidhil are usually associated with what is now Galloway – clearly one of their main areas of settlement – their colonies in southwest Scotland evidently stretched northward to Ayrshire, into lands bordering the kingdom of Strathclyde. Much of Ayrshire had been ruled by the Clyde Britons in the 8th century, and again in the 10th, but by c.1000 large parts of the modern county had fallen to the Gall-Gáidhil. By c.1030, when Strathclyde was weakening, Gall-Gáidhil lords probably controlled a continuous band of territory between the Solway Firth and the North Ayrshire coast. In 1034 we hear of a Gall-Gáidhil king called Suibhne (‘Sweeney’) who may have ruled this area as a single realm...

So, where does this leave the origins of Clan Galbraith?

The following questions popped into my head while musing on the Gall-Gáidhil:

1. Could the name of this mysterious seafaring folk offer a clue as to why the Galbraith ancestors were regarded as ‘foreign’ Britons?

2. What did the prefix Gall really mean when applied to a particular group of people in the 10th and 11th centuries?

To answer the second question we need to look at the old Irish chronicles of the period. The authors of these texts didn’t use our word ‘Viking’ but instead referred to a Scandinavian raider as Gall, ‘Foreigner’. Since this term was used without any ethnic qualification we can assume that it conveyed a sufficiently precise meaning by itself, especially in the context of the time. Every native of Ireland in the period c.800 to c.1100 would have understood the connotations and implications of Gall. To them it meant simply ‘Viking’.

The Gall-Gáidhil, then, were not merely ‘Foreign Gaels’ but ‘Viking Gaels’. They behaved like the original Scandinavian Vikings but spoke Gaelic rather than Old Norse. Some may have had Danish or Norwegian ancestry mingled with Irish or Hebridean blood but their primary cultural affiliation or preferred ‘ethnicity’ defined them as Gaels. We can be reasonably certain that Gall-Gáidhil was a nickname bestowed by their neighbours and not a label they adopted for themselves. More than this we cannot say, for history tells us little about who they were and where they came from. But there might be enough here to permit some speculative musing on the origins of Clan Galbraith.

Returning to the first of my two questions, I’ve devised a new theory about the meaning of the clan surname, based on the above discussion. If one possible translation of Gall-Gáidhil is ‘Viking Gael’, might not a possible translation of Gall Breathnach be ‘Viking Briton’?

- from Tim Clarkson, Clan Galbraith

Ed. Note: Perhaps the correct usage of "Gall" is in reference to the Norse. Hence Gall-Gáidhil is Norse-Gales and Galbraith (Gall Breathnach) is Norse-Britons.

"They were a single 'discreet and coherent' group whose boundaries crossed the sea"

From The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham
From The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham

From The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham
From The break up of Dál Riata and the rise of Gallgoídil by Clare Downham

"The obvious homeland of the Gall-Gáidhil
must have been the Hebrides and south-west Scotland"

Warriors of the Western Sea

Warriors of the Wsetern Sea
Warriors of the Western Sea
Warriors of the Western Sea
From Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1,000 by Alfred P. Smyth, 1984

"The battle-weary Viking could never have faced a hostile Irish community, but Iona was acceptable in its new role as head of the Gaelic-Norse Church... The strong Scandinavian ethos of Iona and Hebridean Christianity at this time is shown by the presence of a cross-shaft on Iona with a carving of a Viking ship"

The Church of the Gall Gháidhil

The Church of the Gall Gháidhil
The Church of the Gall Gháidhil
From Warlords and Holy Men: Scotland AD 80-1,000 by Alfred P. Smyth, 1984

The Carved Stones

From Iona: Its History, Antiquities, Etc. By the Rev. Archibald Macmillan
From Iona: Its History, Antiquities, Etc. By the Rev. Archibald Macmillan

Kilmory Church, Arran Island

Kilmory Church, Arran Island

"Viking Scotland, known as Lothlend, Laithlinn, Lochlainn and comprising the Northern and Western Isles and parts of the mainland, especially Caithness, Sutherland and Inverness, was settled by Norwegian Vikings in the early ninth century"

The Vikings in Scotland and Ireland in the Ninth Century

This study attempts to provide a new framework for ninth-century Irish and Scottish history. Viking Scotland, known as Lothlend, Laithlinn, Lochlainn and comprising the Northern and Western Isles and parts of the mainland, especially Caithness, Sutherland and Inverness, was settled by Norwegian Vikings in the early ninth century. By the mid-century it was ruled by an effective royal dynasty that was not connected to Norwegian Vestfold. In the second half of the century it made Dublin its headquarters, engaged in warfare with Irish kings, controlled most Viking activity in Ireland, and imposed its overlordship and its tribute on Pictland and Strathclyde. When expelled from Dublin in 902 it returned to Scotland and from there it conquered York and re-founded the kingdom of Dublin in 917.

A substantial part of Scotland—the Northern and Western Isles and large areas of the coastal mainland from Caithness and Sutherland to Argyle—was conquered by the Vikings in the first quarter of the ninth century and a Viking kingdom was set up there earlier than the middle of the century. The occupation of this part of Scotland corresponds chronologically to what I call the prelude to the Viking wars in Ireland (from c.795 to c.825). This involved raids on Ireland directly from south-western Norway and, very likely, some from settlements in Scotland in the later part of that period. The main thrust of the ninth-century Viking attack on Ireland (c.825 to c.850) was mounted from Scotland, Laithlinn was the name of Viking Scotland, and the dynasty that imposed itself on Dublin, and that later dominated York and threatened to dominate England, originated in Viking Scotland. This, it itself, is not a novel idea. It has been suggested in a somewhat vague way, amongst others, by R. H. M. Dolley, but he was thinking mainly of the tenth century. Professor Peter Sawyer largely concurs and he has explicitly rejected the notion (put forward, for example, by N. K. Chadwick) that the ninth-century attack on Ireland was planned and implemented from south-western Norway by the king of Lochlainn. Professor A. A. M. Duncan pushes the Scottish argument much further and surmises that the Olaf who came to Dublin in 853 was `the son of Hebridean chief', but he cites no evidence. That evidence is complex and will bear re-examination.

Three important annalistic entries record the activity of Viking royals in Ireland in 848, 849 and 853. All three have connections with a kingdom called Lothlend, Laithlind, Laithlinn, later Lochlainn. The first occurs in the Annals of Ulster:

U 848.5. Bellum re nOlcobur, ri Muman, & re Lorggan m. Cellaig co Laighniu for gennti ecc Sciaith Nechtain in quo ceciderunt Tomrair erell, tanise righ Laithlinne, & da cet dec imbi `A battle was won by Ólchobar king of Munster and Lorcán m. Cellaig with the Leinstermen against the pagans at Sciath Nechtain in which fell Tomrair (Þórir) the earl, heir-designate of the king of Laithlind and 1200 about him'.

This took place at a strategic place, Castledermot, Co Kildare, not far from Dublin where a Viking settlement had been established in 841-42. The Irish leaders were amongst the most powerful provincial kings in the country, the troops involved were numerous, and the slaughter was immense. Þórir the earl17 was evidently a very important person, even if the identity of the king whose heir-designate he was remains unclear (but see table 1). He was leading a large army. This was a battle of major significance, even if we take the annalist's estimate of the slain (as we ought) to be merely a conventional expression for a very large number.

- from Vikings Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin

"Suibne mac Cináeda rí Gall Goeidil"

rí Gall Goeidil
Suibne's title as it appears on folio 39r of Oxford Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson B 489 (the Annals of Ulster).[16]

Suibne mac Cináeda (died 1034),[2] also known as Suibne mac Cinaeda,[3] Suibne mac Cinaedh,[4] and Suibhne mac Cináeda,[5][note 1] was an eleventh-century ruler of the Gall Gaidheil, a population of mixed Scandinavian and Gaelic ethnicity...

"The thirteenth-century Orkneyinga saga refers to Galloway in Old Norse as Gaddgeðlar"

The Scottish place name Galloway, rendered in modern Gaelic Gall-Ghaidhealaibh,[17] is derived from the Gaelic i nGall Gaidhealaib ("amongst the Gall Gaidheil").[18] The thirteenth-century Orkneyinga saga refers to Galloway in Old Norse as Gaddgeðlar, a name clearly derived from Gall Gaidheil.[19] The region was certainly associated with the Gall Gaidheil earlier in the previous century.[20] Specifically, two members of the region's ruling family—Roland fitz Uhtred (died 1200) and Alan fitz Roland (died 1234)—are styled by the Annals of Ulster as "rí Gall Gaidhel" ("King of the Gall Gaidheil") like Suibne himself.[21] Although this title could suggest some sort of connection between Suibne and Galloway, there is no evidence of any familial link between him and the said later rulers.[22] In fact, the original territory of the Gall Gaidheil appears to have been much more expansive than that of Galloway. For example, there is evidence to suggest that the entire region south-west of Clydesdale and Teviotdale made up the lands of the Gall Gaidheil.[23] Furthermore, Félire Óengusso Céli Dé and the Martyrology of Tallaght reveal that Bute, an island of the Firth of Clyde, was encompassed within this wide-ranging Gall Gaidheil territory as well.[24]

- From Suibne mac Cináeda in Wikipedia

The Scandinavian Settlement of North-West England

The Norwegian situation relates to the northwest of England indirectly, but in an interesting way. Extensive campaigns against the islanders would probably create a flood of refugees. Snorri suggests as much:

Rognvald then promptly gave the lands to his brother Sigurd, apparently to return with the king and then to raid more extensively in Scotland, but to keep these lands in his family possession. But when he [Harald] arrived south, in Man, the population there had heard what depredations he had made in those lands, and all the people fled to Scotland, so that the land was altogether void of people, and all chattels had been removed, too. So that when King Harald and his men went on land, they found no booty.489

These settlers, Norwegian followers of the Earls fighting against Harald, would then head progressively further south, while those of Man, Snorri says, fled to “Scotland." Scotland need not be taken to mean the boundaries of the modern nation, since the border of the tenth century [486 Snorri Sturluson, Saga of Harald Fairhair, in Heimskringla, 76. 487 Laxdæla Saga, translated by Magnus Mangnusson and Hermann Pálsson (New York: Penguin Books, 1969), 48. 488 Snorri Sturluson, Saga of Harald Fairhair, 80-85. 489 Snorri Sturluson, Saga of Harald Fairhair, 77. 162] was highly fluid and in the ninth, probably non-existent.490

Very closely related to Norwegian settlers were other settlers termed Hiberno-Norse. These were persons of Norwegian (and sometimes Danish) extraction who had spent time living in other areas and commingling with the local Celtic peoples. For this group there is considerable evidence. A group traditionally associated with the settlement of northwest England is the Dublin Vikings, who sailed on after being expelled from that city in 902—a date that fits in well with the approximate beginning of the mass colonization of this region.

Snorri was reasonably accurate since his use of the term “Scotland” was consistent with a general rather than a specific region. But he was probably in reality referring to Cumberland, which is clearly visible from the Isle of Man, while in the modern sense, “Scotland” is not. Others who had sought shelter a little further to the north, in the regions of what is today southwest Scotland, namely Galloway and Dumfriesshire, are likewise not far away from Man or Cumberland. The first documented Norwegian residents in northwest England thus arrived there fleeing Harald. Rather than colonists in the strictest sense, these Norwegians are in a sense refugees from the wrath of the king of Norway...

In both Ireland and Scandinavia a certain portion of these settlers were known as the
Gall-Gaedhil or the Gaddgedlar, meaning something akin to the “Scottish Vikings.”

The evidence of the Hiberno-Norse as being the primary settlers of particularly the western part of this region is thus considerable. In sheer numbers, the Goedelic elements present in the place-names of the region greatly outnumber those of the Irish. Irish presence is to an extent notable, but it seems clear that the majority of the Scandinavian settlers to settle in northwestern England had spent time in the western Isles or in the northern part of Scotland. This Scottish background should be expected in Cumbria, for it is here rather than Ireland that the majority of the excess Norse settlers seem to have gone in the early tenth century. In both Ireland and Scandinavia a certain portion of these settlers were known as the Gall-Gaedhil or the Gaddgedlar, meaning something akin to the “Scottish Vikings.” Western Scotland had become a jumping off point for excess people of Scandinavian extraction seeking lands elsewhere in the British Isles. Many of the family sagas, as well as Landnamabók, suggest that whole districts of western Iceland were settled by secondary migration of settlers who had spent time in Scotland; some were one or more generations removed from their Norwegian homelands.

- from Scandinavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region During the Viking Age, page 161

Dál Riata

Map of Dál Riata at its height, c. 580–600. Pictish regions are marked in yellow
Map of Dál Riata at its height, c. 580–600. Pictish regions are marked in yellow

"Dál Riata was occupied from c. 793 to 806 by the Norse,
whom he identifies as the Hörðar
from Hordaland on the west coast of Norway"

From Dal Riata to the Gall Ghaidheil

Instead, there is no attempt to link the Gall-Ghàidheil to any known tribal group and they are given the generic title of Gàidheil, which suggests they could not be tied into the intricate pattern of tribal kingdoms. The Gàidheil settled in Alba offer an alternative. Dál Riata experienced a good deal of early Norse activity. Alex Woolf (2007, 64, 100), in his recent interpretation of the evidence, claims that Dál Riata was occupied from c. 793 to 806 by the Norse, whom he identifies as the Hörðar from Hordaland on the west coast of Norway. Actual Norse settlement in western Scotland may have been taking place from around 825, the last recorded date of an attack on Iona during the ninth century ( Jennings 1998, 41). However, the settlers probably came from Sogn, also on the Norwegian west coast (see below). The logic of this position is that a resident Norse population would tend to deter later raiders. The kingdom may have rallied briefly under its native kings, until Aed son of Boanta was killed in 839. Woolf suggests the Frankish chronicler, Prudentius of Troyes, under 847, recorded the conquest of the island portion of Dál Riata and the effective ending of its existence: ‘the Northmen also got control of the islands all around Ireland and stayed there without encountering any resistance from anyone’ (Nelson 1991, 65; here quoted after Woolf 2007, 100)...

Firstly, Ketill is clearly linked with Sogn in Norway. This is extremely interesting, because the archaeological evidence shows that this is the area of Norway whence the earliest raids originated (Wamers 1997, 12–13). Landnámabók, regarded as the most reliable of the sources, claims Ketill was the son of a great hersir ‘lord’ Björn Buna, son of the chieftain Wether-Grim of Sogn. Laxdœla saga, probably the least reliable source, which places him in Romsdal, still reports his father was Björn Buna. Romsdal touches the region of the north-west coast of Norway where the very earliest insular material (i.e. from the British Isles) is found in graves from c. 800 (Figure 1).3...

"At some point in the early ninth century a war-leader from the Sogn area in Norway established himself in the west of Scotland"

If we regard these legendary traditions about Ketill in the light of his identification with the Caittil Find of the 850s, we can present a reasonably coherent picture of events. At some point in the early ninth century a war-leader from the Sogn area in Norway, where the earliest insular material in Norse graves is found, established himself in the west of Scotland, conquering some or all of the Hebrides (the extent of his conquest may have been exaggerated). Perhaps this event was linked to the 847 annal entry, although it may have been a generation earlier, around 825 (Ketill’s daughter possibly married Áleifr hinn hvíti). This leader appears in a contemporary source as Caittil Find, leading a mixed ethnic force of Gall-Ghàidheil in Ireland in the 850s, a term created by the Irish to describe a new phenomenon, Gaels and Norse fighting alongside one another.

We would like to suggest the real possibility that Ketill actually took control of Dál Riata with its islands. Hence the veneration of Columba amongst his family, the tradition in Laxdœla saga that his grandson Þorsteinn became king over half of Scotland (perhaps a transferred tradition about Ketill himself), and a very peculiar correspondence between the Norse name for Argyll, Dalir‘Dales’, and the name of the area in Iceland settled by Ketill’s daughter Auðr djúpaúðga.

From Dal Riata to the Gall-Ghaidheil

A victory by Imar and Amlaibh over Caittil Find with his Gall-Gaidhel

A victory by Imar and Amlaibh over Caittil Find with his Gall-Gaidhel
From The Annals of Ulster

"They are described as 'Scots and foster-children of the Norsemen',
and sometimes they are actually called Norsemen
."

The Gall Gháidhil

The Gall Gháidhil, 'Foreign Gael,' whence the name Galloway, are mentioned for the first time in 852-3, when Aed, king of Ailech - near Derry, the seat of the northern kings - gave battle to their fleet. They are described as 'Scots and foster-children of the Norsemen, and sometimes they are actually called Norsemen.' Further, they were 'men who had renounced their baptism; they had the customs of the Norsemen, and though the real Northmen were bad to the churches, these were far worse.' (31) In 856 the Gall Gháidhil helped Maelsechlainn, king of Ireland, against the Norsemen. In the same year Aed of Ailech, who claimed the kingship of Ireland against Maelsechlainn, defeated the Gall Gháidhil in Tyrone. In 857 the Norsemen defeated Caittil Find, Kettil the White, with his Gall Gháidhil in Munster. In 858 Cerball, king of Ossory, who was on the side of Aed of Ailech, defeated the Gall Gháidhil in Tipperary. Here, then, we have the Gall Ghádhil coming to Ireland in ships and fighting - doubtless as mercenaries - under Caittil Find, a Norseman, on the side of the king of Ireland against his rival, who was helped by Norsemen. Nothing further is heard of them in connection with Ireland, but they appear in the Hebrides. Eigg, the scene of [173] Donnán's martyrdom, was in the territory of the Gall Gháidhil; so, too, was Bute, where Bláán was bishop in Cend-garad (Kingarth). (32) They were, of course, in Galloway: Aldasain, Ailsa Craig, is described in the Book of Leinster as between Gall Gedelu (acc.) and Kintyre. (33) They were also probably in Carrick and Kyle. From this it may be inferred that the Gael and their language were established in Galloway before the coming of the Norsemen, and also probably that these Gael were connected with the other Gall Gháidhil of the Inner Hebrides. (34)

- from GENERAL SURVEY OF DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY Original pagination [pp] from W.J. Watson, History of the Celtic Placenames of Scotland, 1926 (reprinted 1993 by BIRLINN, Edinburgh, ISBN 1 874744 06 8).

 

North-West Britain mid 11th entury
Hiberno-Norse regions and kingdoms outside Ireland

Na Renna

Na Renna, or the Kingdom of the Rhinns, was a Norse-Gaelic lordship which appears in the 11th century records. The Rhinns (Scottish Gaelic: Na Rannaibh) was a province in medieval Scotland, and comprised, along with Farines, the later Wigtownshire. The Martyrology of Óengus gives some idea of the kingdom's domain in the 11th century, as Dún Reichet (Dunragit) and Futerna (Whithorn) are said to lie in the kingdom, implying that it embraced the whole of later Wigtownshire.

- from Wikipedia

Cumbria, including Galloway

There appears to have been a peaceful settlement of Scandinavians in Cumberland and Westmorland between about 920 and 945 (when Edmund of Wessex handed the Cumbric kingdom over to the Scots). Higham points out that the distribution of place-names extends far outside the areas of artefacts, so "unless we are dealing with a grossly distorted pattern of artefact recovery" (1985: 45), this suggests Scandinavian settlers without a Scandinavian aristocracy. Around the head of the Solway (including the concentration of bý-names in eastern Dumfriesshire, see Map 7[24]), the place-name evidence suggests that Scandinavian speakers were on poorer sites. This region of Scandinavian influence appears to extend northwards into Lanarkshire, on the evidence of beck 'stream' names (see ASH: 67).[25] Galwegians were often mentioned in charters concerning Ayr and Lanark (Sharp, 1927: 108).

- from A History of Scots, Caroline Macafee

Kingdom of Galloway

Suibne mac Cináeda (d.1034) is the first recorded king of the Gall-ghàidhil, the people of Galloway, although it is not until about 1138 that the succession is properly recorded. The Dynasty of Fergus appears to have continued until 1234 and the Laws of Galloway remained in force until 1426. It is thought that these laws originally derived their authority from the kings of Galloway.

Contrary to some popular conceptions, there is no evidence that Galloway was ever part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde. Thus Galloway (west of the Nith at least) lay outside of the traditional area claimed by the Kingdom of Alba, Strathclyde's successor state in the area. Galloway, often defined as all of the area to the south and west of the Clyde and west of the River Annan, lay outside of traditional Scottish territory. Though it formed part of the northern mainland of Britain, Galloway was just as much a part of the Irish Sea; part of that "Hiberno-Norse" world of the Gall-Gaidhel lords of the Isle of Man, Dublin and the Hebrides. The ex-King of Dublin and Man, Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, had the title Rex Innarenn ("King of Rhinns") attributed to him on his death in 1065. The western sections of Galloway had been firmly aligned with the Isle of Man, and Norse and Gaelic-Norse settlement names from the 10th and 11th centuries are spread all along the coastal lands of south-western "Scotland" and north-western "England."

- from Lord of Galloway, Wikipedia

Galloway

Galloway is a region comprising the two counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, which together form the southwestern corner of Scotland. Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire have the alternative names "East Galloway" and "West Galloway" respectively. It is generally agreed that the name 'Galloway' derives from the name Gall-Gaidel, and indeed the modern and medieval words for Galloway in Gaelic are Gall-Ghàidhealaibh and Gallgaidelaib respectively, meaning "land of the foreign Gaels". The term is not recorded until the 11th century.

- Wikipedia

Galwalenses

From Viking Empires, Angelo Forte, Richard D. Oram and Frederik Pedersen
From Viking Empires, Angelo Forte, Richard D. Oram and Frederik Pedersen

In Search of the Britons

While there is every reason to accept that 870 marks a major historical watershed, there can be less certainty that the Gaelic kingdom of Alba dominated the Clyde Valley during the Viking Age. Indeed, recent scholarship has refined our understanding of the extent of the pre-Viking kingdom of Dumbarton and of the nature of the Viking Age kingdom of Strathclyde. The arguments for a revision have been drawn together by Dauvit Broun (2004). These challenge the traditional account of a rapid, terminal decline for the Britons and suggest that a British kingdom lasted in Strathclyde until late in the twelfth century. As part of his revision Broun also seeks to separate the replacement of British speech by Gaelic from the development of the kingdom of Alba, in favour of linking the spread of Gaelic in Strathclyde to the influence of the Gall-Ghàidheil (meaning ‘foreign Gaels’, presumably Norse Hebrideans)...

A key point to emerge from Broun’s analysis is that Strathclyde, despite the Viking defeat and the Norse influence seen in some of the subsequent sculpture, continued to be ruled by Britons and considered itself British (Broun 2004, 125–30). Moreover, there is no compelling case for regarding Strathclyde as a dependency or puppet of the Gaelic kingdom of Alba at this time. Instead of thinking of the main Gaelic influence coming from the east under the domination of Alba, Broun looks westward to the Irish Sea. In the Viking Age the Gall-Ghàidheil were more active on the Clyde coast than is generally appreciated. Although it is not possible to discern their political influence in detail the Gall-Ghàidheil did leave their mark in the stratum of Gaelic place names in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire...

"This is graphic proof of the presence of the Gall-Ghàidheil on the Clyde"

During the Viking Age the intensity and aggression of Norse warfare caused the demise or transformation of kingdoms across the British Isles. The kingdom of Dumbarton was amongst these. The collapse of the Britons’ emblematic stronghold seems to have fatally undermined the kingdom – Dumbarton is absent from the historical record for four centuries – but gauging the Norse contribution to the subsequent kingdom of Strathclyde is more difficult. Contemporary texts are few, making the archaeology central. Although we know very little of what replaced it, there are two strands of evidence which give an indication of the new world order. First is the Hunterston Brooch, found near Stevenson on the Clyde Coast, which is the most accomplished piece of metalwork surviving from Early Historic Scotland. From the perspective of understanding the west of Scotland in the tenth century, the interesting point is on the reverse, where a Gaelic personal name has been roughly incised in Norse runes (Alcock 2003, 321–2). This is graphic proof of the presence of the Gall-Ghàidheil on the Clyde. The second strand is a sudden burst of sculptural activity in the tenth and eleventh centuries.

- from In Search of the Britons in the Early Historic Era (AD 400-1100)

Lordship of the Isles

Over the five hundred years from 1000 to 1500 the place we now call Scotland only slowly established its northern and western boundaries. At the start of the period much of the north and west of the mainland, and the northern and western isles and the Isle of Man, were all in the hands of the Norse and, to a greater or lesser degree, owed allegiance to the King of Norway. The result was a ragged, diffuse and constantly varying boundary between the areas under the effective influence of Scottish Monarchs based in Dunfermline or, later, Edinburgh, on the one hand, and the areas under effective influence of the Norse on the other. This complex situation became still more complex with the arrival on the scene of Somerled, born of mixed Norse and Gaelic parentage in 1117. In 1140, Somerled married Ragnhild, daughter of Olaf the Red (Olaf I The Red Godredson), the Norse King of Man, whose territory included the Hebrides, and whose titles also included Ri Innse Gall, or "King of the Isles"...

Several points are worth making here. The first is that what Somerled had done was introduce a "third force" into the long-standing conflict between the Kings of Scotland and the Kings of Norway over the ownership of the Hebrides. While the title Ri Innse Gall dated back centuries before Olaf the Red, all its holders up to Godfrey the Black owed allegiance to the King of Norway. In contrast, Somerled's Kingdom of the Isles was not a subservient kingdom to the Kingdom of Norway, it was a separate kingdom, independent of both Norway and Scotland.

With the Norwegians removed from the scene, the story from here on becomes one of the efforts on the part of successive Kings of Scotland to bring the Hebrides under their effective control: and the efforts of the native Gaelic/Norse population, under the leadership of Clan Donald, to find ways of minimising Scottish control and, indeed, to extend their own control over parts of the mainland.

- from Lordship of the Isles on Undiscovered Scotland

Somerled and the MacDougalls of Argyll

The MacDougalls of Argyll are the senior lineal descendants of Somerled k. 1164. Sumarlidi, his Norse name, means “summer traveller” a by-word for a Viking in the sense of “sea raider”. The Gaels called him Somerle Mor MacGhillebhride – Somerled the Mighty, son of Gillebride. This patronymic name reveals his mixed Norse-Gael ancestry which means that his family were Gall-Gaedhil “foreign Gaels”.

Somerled’s son, Dugal MacSomairle (Gaelic “son of Somerled” pronounced MacSorley) was first mentioned in 1155 in the Chronicle of Man when local chiefs asked for Dugal to replace his uncle, a tyrannical King of the Isle of Man. In 1156 after an overnight sea battle, King Godred of Man divided his island kingdom with Somerled and Dugal. Thus Somerled became Norway’s ruler of the southern Hebrides and “King in the Isles” while ruling the adjacent mainland of Argyll for Scotland.

When Somerled felt threatened in 1164 he invaded Scotland and died in a battle against Walter fitz Alan, a Norman the King had appointed High Steward. The Annals, Chronicles, and Saga sources written in Gaelic or Latin or Norse respectively name Somerled’s surviving sons as:

Dugal (Norse Dufgall & Gaelic Dubgall MacSomairle)
Ranald (Norse Rognvaldr & Gaelic Ragnall MacSomairle & Latin Reginaldus)
Angus (Norse Engull & Gaelic Oengus MacSomairle )

Dugal, the eldest, inherited several islands and mainland Argyll which became his clan’s territory. Dugal ruled as the first chief of Clan MacDougall of Argyll until his death in 1207. His sons would be identified by the Gaelic patronymic MacDhùghaill i.e. “Mac Dougall”.

- from Somerled and the MacDougalls of Argyll

 

"there is no doubt that the Uí Ímair dynasty played a prominent role"

Kingdom of the Isles

The Kingdom of the Isles comprised the Hebrides, the islands of the Firth of Clyde and the Isle of Man from the 9th to the 13th centuries AD. The islands were known to the Norse as the Suðreyjar, or "Southern Isles" as distinct from the Norðreyjar or Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland. The historical record is incomplete, and the kingdom was not a continuous entity throughout the entire period. The islands concerned are sometimes referred to as the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles, although only some of the later rulers claimed that title. At times the rulers were independent of external control, although for much of the period they had overlords in Norway, Ireland, England, Scotland or Orkney. At times there also appear to have been competing claims for all or parts of the territory. The islands involved have a total land area of over 8,300 square kilometres (3,205 sq mi) and extend for more than 500 kilometres (310 mi) from north to south.

Location of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles at the end of the 11th century
Location of the Kingdom of Mann and the Isles at the end of the 11th century

Viking influence in the area commenced in the late 8th century, and whilst there is no doubt that the Uí Ímair dynasty played a prominent role in this early period, the records for the dates and details of the rulers are speculative until the mid-10th century. Hostility between the Kings of the Isles and the rulers of Ireland, and intervention by the crown of Norway (either directly or through their vassal the Earl of Orkney) were recurring themes.

- Wikipedia

 "It has been thought that the original colony was planted in 876 by Halfdan"

Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire

Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire
Map 7. Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire
From The Origins and spread of Scots

"All the islands from Mannan (Mann) to Arca (Orkneys), and all the bordering country from Dun Breatan (Dumbarton) to Cata (Caithness) in the north,
were in the possession of the Lochlannach"

The Norse and Galloway

From The Scotch-Irish: or, the Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and North America
From The Scotch-Irish: or, the Scot in North Britain, North Ireland, and North America

Lochlann

All uses of the word "Lochlann" relate it to Nordic realms of Europe. While the traditional view has identified Laithlind with Norway, some have preferred to locate it in a Norse-dominated part of Scotland, perhaps the Hebrides or the Northern Isles.[1] Donnchadh Ó Corráin states that Laithlinn was the name of Viking Scotland, and that a substantial part of Scotland - the Northern and Western Isles and large areas of the coastal mainland from Caithness and Sutherland to Argyle - was conquered by the Vikings in the first quarter of the ninth century and a Viking kingdom was set up there earlier than the middle of the century.[2] In relation to the debate about Lochlann's location, it is noteworthy that the Port an Eilean Mhòir Viking ship burial discovered in the Ardnamurchan peninsula of western Scotland contained a whetstone from Norway and a bronze ringpin from Ireland.[3]

- Wikipedia
See Vikings Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin
See also Gaelic and Norse in the Landscape, Place names in Caithness and Sutherland

Port an Eilean Mhòir ship burial

Within the boundary of the ship, archaeologists discovered the fragmentary remains of a man, including pieces of an arm bone and teeth.[8] He had been buried with grave goods including a shield, placed over his chest, and a sword and a spear lying by his side, besides an axe, a knife, a bronze ring-pin from Ireland, items of pottery, a whetstone from Norway and apparently a drinking horn, of which only a bronze fitting survives. Dozens of other iron fragments were discovered but have not yet been identified.[1]

- Wikipedia
- See also Ardnamurchan Viking boat burial discovery and Viking Chief Buried in His Boat Found in Scotland

Viking Boat Burial

Perhaps our most exciting find came in 2011. In our first season we had noticed a low lying mound close to the shore. A small test trench confirmed the presence of human-laid stones within it, but gave no sign of what was to come. The mound was respected by medieval agriculture so we presumed it predated that - perhaps it was a clearance cairn? When we returned in 2011 we discovered something very different. Some time in the 10th century AD, more than 1000 years ago, a group of Vikings had dragged a boat up to this low natural mound. They dug into it, forming a neat boat-shaped grave, into which they placed the craft. Inside they laid the body of a dead warrior, alongside a whole host of possessions. These included a spear, a shield, a whetstone, a sword, an axe, a drinking horn, flints for making fire, a pan with a 1m long handle, and a bronze ring pin from Ireland. There are many other pieces of metalwork yet to be identified. This was clearly a very high-status person, someone who saw themselves as a proper Viking warrior but also someone who was tied into local and international networks. The ring pin from Ireland and the whetstone from Norway show the international side of things, but he was also buried with a piece of pottery that was local to the Hebrides. Although the body only survived in the form of two teeth and a couple of scraps of bone we think it was probably a man because there are no known Viking female burials with swords.

There remains so much to find out about this wonderful site, the first complete boat burial excavated on the British mainland. Our post-excavation programme will tell us lots about what he was eating, where he came from, what his gear was made from and so on. We hope that further survey and excavations may tell us if there are more burials nearby, or if the Vikings lived in Swordle Bay.

- from Arnamurchan Transitions Project - Viking Boat Burial

See also Viking Boat Burial Data Structure Report

Viking Shipyard on Skye

Aerial surveys are being carried out over Skye to help archaeologists investigate a 12th Century Viking shipbuilding site. Boat timbers, a stone-built quay and a canal have already been uncovered at Loch na h-Airde on Skye's Rubh an Dunain peninsula. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) has launched the air surveys. Staff hope to pinpoint new sites for investigation. Working with marine archaeologists, RCAHMS also hope to find potential dive sites for searches for the remains of ships and other artefacts. Archaeologists now believe the loch was the focus for maritime activity for many centuries, from the Vikings to the MacAskill and Macleod clans of Skye.

- from BBC News - Aerial Surveys of Viking Shipyards on Skye

Viking-Era Ring Unearthed in Northern Ireland

The artifact was discovered in April 2012 while David Taylor and his brother-in-law Andrew Coulter were removing stones from a field on Coulter’s farm in the village of Kircubbin in Northern Ireland’s Country Down... Almost as rare as the ring itself is the fact that it was the only Viking artifact discovered at the Kircubbin site. Items such as these have almost always been found as part of a larger pile of treasures, such as a 1998 find of Viking jewelry and silver pieces valued at more than $1 million or the discovery of the Silverdale Hoard in 2011, a collection of over 200 pieces believed to be one of the largest Viking treasure troves ever found in the United Kingdom. That coupled with its likely Scottish origins led experts to speculate that the ring may have passed from Scottish or Viking control to Irish hands through trade, theft or as a spoil of war. The location of Andrew Coulter’s farm near the remains of a medieval church provided additional clues about the ring’s possible history. In an era with little in the way of home protection technology, it was common practice to bury valuables near sacred, and presumably secure, lands such as those owned by churches.

- from Viking-Era Ring Unearthed in Northern Ireland

See also The Vikings and Scotland - Impact and Influence

Gallowglass

The gallowglasses (also spelt galloglass, gallowglas or galloglas; from Irish: gall óglaigh meaning foreign warriors) were a class of elite mercenary warriors who were principally members of the Norse-Gaelic clans of Scotland between the mid 13th century and late 16th century. As Scots, they were Gaels and shared a common background and language with the Irish, but as they had intermarried with the 10th century Norse settlers of western Scotland, the Irish called them Gall Gaeil ("foreign Gaels").

Large numbers of gallowglass septs settled in Ireland after being dispossessed of their lands in Scotland for choosing the wrong sides in the Wars of Scottish Independence. The first and probably most famous of these were the MacSweeneys, settled by the O’Donnells in north Donegal. These were followed by MacDonnells, MacCabes and several other groups settled by powerful Irish nobles in different areas. The gallowglasses were attractive as a heavily armoured, trained aristocratic infantry to be relied upon as a strong defence for holding a position, unlike most Irish foot soldiers, who were lower class and less well armoured than the typical Irish noble who fought as cavalry. In time there came to be many native Irish gallowglasses as the term came to mean a type of warrior rather than an ethnic designation.

They were a significant part of Irish infantry before the advent of gunpowder, and depended upon seasonal service with Irish chieftains. A military leader would often choose a gallowglass to serve as his personal aide and bodyguard because, as a foreigner, the gallowglass would be less subject to local feuds and influences.

- Wikipedia
See also The Gallowglass

 

Scandinavian Dialects

The different traditional Scandinavian varieties. Note that Norn became extinct somewhere along the beginning of the 19th century.
The different traditional Scandinavian varieties. Note that Norn became extinct somewhere around the beginning of the 19th century.
From aveneca.com

"Old Norse also had an influence on English dialects and Lowland Scots,
which contain many Old Norse loanwords
"

Old West Norse Dialect during the Viking Age
Old West Norse Dialect during the Viking Age
From Wikipedia

The modern descendants of the Old West Norse dialect are the West Scandinavian languages of Icelandic, Faroese, Norwegian and the extinct Norn language of the Orkney and the Shetland Islands; the descendants of the Old East Norse dialect are the East Scandinavian languages of Danish and Swedish. Norwegian is descended from Old West Norse, but over the centuries it has been heavily influenced by East Norse, particularly during the Denmark - Norway union.

Among these, Icelandic and the closely related Faroese have changed the least from Old Norse in the last thousand years, although with Danish rule of the Faroe Islands, Faroese has also been influenced by Danish. Old Norse also had an influence on English dialects and Lowland Scots, which contain many Old Norse loanwords. It also influenced the development of the Norman language, and through it and to a smaller extent, that of modern French.

Various other languages, which are not closely related, have been heavily influenced by Norse, particularly the Norman dialects, Scottish Gaelic and Waterford Irish. Russian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Finnish and Estonian also have a number of Norse loanwords; the words Rus and Russia, according to one theory, may be named after the Rus' people, a Norse tribe; see Rus (name), probably from present-day east-central Sweden. The current Finnish and Estonian words for Sweden are Ruotsi and Rootsi, respectively.

- Wikipedia

The Place-name evidence

"Norse names abound all over southern, central, northern Scotland and the islands"

What You See Is Not Necessarily What You Get: A Caveat for Scandinavian Place-name Evidence

 

Norse names abound all over southern, central, northern Scotland and the islands. They have been suppressed through ignorance and/or perhaps for perceived political advantage from succeeding dynasties. The ignorance I can deal with; the political spinning mentality I am afraid is dead wood, beyond help. The ignorance I refer to is the result of an education like mine, and millions more, which was based on ‘accepted wisdoms’ which no history teacher or officially sanctioned publication would dare to question. It has been a self perpetuating delusion with no one questioning the emperor’s lack of apparel- and unfortunately I have unwittingly played my part in this delusion. I must mention several people who have helped me to see the emperor - not a pretty sight - starkers (from Norse sterk, A/Saxon is stearc).

Robert Louis Stevenson in his last letter to his brother referred to the Anglo Saxon heresy of the official histories, which said Anglo-Saxons had settled here and left their language. It set me on a path which led to Dorothy Dunnett and her great work, ‘King Hereafter’, wherein she showed, using painstakingly assembled genealogies, how the Earl Thorfinn "Thorfinn", Viking ruler of the Orkneys and ten other earldoms in Scotland was better known in his day as the Scots king MacBeth. I laughed at first, but soon came to realise, as did the Scots Historiographer Royal of the time, that it just had to be true. More than 90% of Scotland was under the sway of Thorfinn, and his mother was Bethoc, making him MacBeth, i.e. son of Bethoc. We had a Norse king. The more Norse names I uncovered, the more relaxed I became with my preposterous findings - everywhere in Scotland.

- from Viking Placenames of East Lothian By Iain M. M. Johnstone

Scandinavian origins of place names in Britain

Scandinavian place names can be found in various places in Scotland. But rather than attributing them to one point of origin, we have to distinguish between four areas of Scandinavian influence and a number of people involved in coining those names at different times. Often the Scandinavian settlers are referred to as ‘Vikings’, but to regard them as one coherent group is wrong.

The strongest and longest lasting Scandinavian impact on the place names of Scotland took place in the Northern Isles, that is, Shetland and Orkney. Settlers from Norway arrived around AD800. The Scandinavian overlordship and settlement lasted many centuries and consequently, the vast majority of place names in this area are of Scandinavian origin...

In the Western Isles, what is referred to as Old Norse (ON) was spoken for several centuries, and many islands, settlements and large geographic features, such as the highest mountains and largest inlets and bays, still have Scandinavian names. The Norse language did not last so long down the west coast mainland of Scotland (from the Clyde northwards), but there too it has left considerable traces in the place names. The collapse of the Norwegian overlordship in 1266 led to a resurgence of Gaelic and resulted in the widespread gaelicisation of place names (that is, the Gaelic pronunciation and later spelling of Norse names), as well as some replacement of Norse names by Gaelic ones. The strength of Gaelic varied and increased in the Hebrides towards the south. Also, many Scandinavian words were borrowed into Gaelic as loanwords and were then used to create place names by Gaelic speakers. Examples are Gaelic geodha, ‘gully, chasm’, which was borrowed from ON gjá, and Gaelic sgarbh, which is derived from ON skarfr, ‘cormorant’ as in Geodha nan Sgarbh (NB0116). Such a place name cannot be called Norse as it was coined by Gaelic speakers.

The third area of Scandinavian influence, the south-west of Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway), has close linguistic links not only with the north of England but also with the Isle of Man and with Ireland. In this area place names of Scandinavian origin have been influenced by a number of linguistic layers and therefore are not always easily recognisable.

The fourth area, the south-east of Scotland, has place name elements that are clearly linked with Scandinavian names of the north of England. Therefore the place name elements may be traced back to Danish, rather than to Norwegian.

As the Scandinavian influence on Scottish place names took place during several unrelated settlement movements, we are dealing with not just one but several Scandinavian languages. The Scandinavian settlers of the Northern and the Western Isles spoke West Scandinavian or West Norse, often referred to simply as Norse or Old Norse (ON), from which both Norwegian and Icelandic are derived.

Whereas the place names of the south-west indicate that the Scandinavian settlers who arrived from Ireland, who seem to have been mainly West Norse speakers, may already have been acquainted with Gaelic, the names of south-east Scotland point to East Scandinavian (Danish) influence. In Shetland and Orkney, Norn, a language that developed from ON, was spoken until the 18th century.

- from Introduction to Scandinavian origins of place names in Britain

"To this day the name of almost every island on the west coast of Scotland
is either pure Norse, or Norse distorted
..."

The Norse in Scotland

One thing is certain: there are great similarities between Norse accentuation and that of the Highland area. This has been noted by Dr. Waltman, of Lund, in a contribution to the Swedish "Nordiska Studier" entitled " Nordiska aksentformer i Galiska." : "Not only Ireland, Bretland, or Wales came to know the Vikings," says the same author; "they had made a great part of Scotland their own." He quotes the following words from Dasent, in the introduction to the "Nj"lssaga." "To this day the name of almost every island on the west coast of Scotland is either pure Norse, or Norse distorted so as to make it possible for Celtic lips to utter it. The groups of Orkney and Shetland are notoriously Norse, but Lewis and the Uists, and Skye and Mull are no less Norse; and not only the names of the islands themselves, but those of reefs and rocks and lakes and headlands bear witness to the same relation, and show that, while the original inhabitants were not expelled, but held in bondage as thralls, the Norsemen must have dwelt, and dwelt thickly, too, as conquerors and lords." Norse influence may also be traced in charms, fairy-tales, and popular beliefs, and in many quaint customs still to be found in Scotland.

- from History of the Norwegian People by Knut Gjerset (32 MB pdf)

"the Scandinavian settlement of western and central Cumberland
was basically the work of Norwegians"

Scandinavian Settlement in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire: The Place name Evidence

In conclusion I would argue that the Scandinavian settlement of western and central Cumberland was basically the work of Norwegians, many of whom had spent some considerable time in the Scandinavian colonies in Scotland and the Isles, but that the great sweep on names in -by reflects influence from the Danelaw and that many of the by-names were probably coined by settlers of Danish origin. Since the Scandinavian settlers, whatever their nationality, are not likely to have contented themselves with second-best land, leaving the most fertile land in the hands of the English, we must reckon with the presence of Scandinavian settlers in vills with English names and not only in vills whose names are wholly or partially of Scandinavian origin. On the other hand, the density of Scandinavian place-names in the inner Lake District makes it likely that in the Viking period several marginal areas were exploited for permanent settlement for the first time, as an expanding population greatly increased pressure on the land.

- from Scandinavian Settlement in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire: The Place name Evidence by Gillian Fellows-Jensen

"At the village of Thursby, near Carlisle,
there formerly stood a temple containing an image of Thor"

The Norsemen in Cumberland and Westmoreland

From The Norsemen in Cumberland and Westmoreland
From The Norsemen in Cumberland and Westmoreland
From The Norsemen in Cumberland and Westmoreland
From The Norsemen in Cumberland and Westmoreland, Robert Ferguson, 1856

Kirk-Patrick Fleming

The Patrician churches that lay in coastal areas within the bounds of Strathclyde may have also arisen through Gaelic-Sacdinavian enthusiasm for Patrick's cult. One factor in favor of this interpretation is the existence of Kirkpatrick place-names in these areas. These place-names are inversion compounds that feature the Norse generic kirkja and the specific Patrick in the genitive. Ekwall suggested that inversion compounds were coined during the era of Scandinavian settlement, but Brooke demonstrated that they continued to be coined during the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, it is possible that some, if not all, of the kirk-names can be attributed to Gaelic-Scandinavian influence. Kirkpatrick (-Fleming), Dumfriesshire, may be a candidate, since its place-name first appears in 1179, shortly after detailed written records start to become available for this region. The expansion of Strathclyde into this area no doubt also promoted the popuarity of Patrick's cult...

- from Saints' Cults in the Celtic World By Steve Boardman, John Reuben Davies, Eila Williamson

Wirral & West Lancashire

From Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project By Stephen Harding, Mark Jobling, Turi King
From Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project By Stephen Harding, Mark Jobling, Turi King

Thingwall

Thingwall is a village on the Wirral Peninsula, England. The village is situated to the south west of Birkenhead and north east of Heswall. It is part of the Pensby & Thingwall Ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral and is situated within the parliamentary constituency of Wirral West. At the 2001 Census, Thingwall had 3,140 inhabitants (1,450 males, 1,680 females). From the Old Norse þing vollr, meaning 'assembly field',[2] the name indicates that it was once the site of a Germanic thing (or þing). Similar place names in the British Isles include Tynwald, Dingwall, and Tingwall; see also Thingvellir in Iceland and Tingvoll in Norway.

- Wikipedia

Patterns of Norse and Danish Settlement in Northern England in the Eleventh Century


Patterns of Norse and Danish Settlement in Northern England in the Eleventh Century
(Data derived from place-names. Map reproduced from G. M. Hodgson, Hodgson Saga, Martlet Books, 2005, 2008.
Historical atlases confirm a similar pattern of Norse and Danish settlement.)
From Hodgson-clan.net

 

Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire

Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire
Map 7. Places names of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish character in Dumfriesshire
From The Origins and spread of Scots

Galloway

Galloway is a region comprising the two counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigtown, which together form the southwestern corner of Scotland. Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire have the alternative names "East Galloway" and "West Galloway" respectively. It is generally agreed that the name 'Galloway' derives from the name Gall-Gaidel, and indeed the modern and medieval words for Galloway in Gaelic are Gall-Ghàidhealaibh and Gallgaidelaib respectively, meaning "land of the foreign Gaels". The term is not recorded until the 11th century.

- Wikipedia

Viking settlement in Galloway

Evidence for Viking settlement in Galloway is limited to two clusters of Norse settlement names in the Machars...

Evidence for Viking settlement in Galloway is limited to two clusters of Norse settlement names in the Machars
and the coastal fringe of the Stewartry as the map
above illustrates. - from Alistair Livingston

 

 "It has been thought that the original colony was planted in 876 by Halfdan"

Dumfriesshire and Galloway

A sister colony can be traced on the north shore of the Solway, occupying the district between the Esk and the Dee, with centre at Tinwald (Thingvellir) near Dumfries, but extending into Kirkcudbrightshire on the one hand, into Peeblesshire on the other, and reaching inland as far as the main watershed between east and west ; Liddesdale, Liddel’s-dale, was the Hlid-dalr of the settlers, but the outlying parts of this area no doubt owe their names in -beck, -gill, -rig, -fell, -by and -thwaite to secondary settlement later than the tenth century. It has been thought that the original colony was planted in 876 by Halfdan, which is possible; but as the whole was afterwards within the kingdom of the Strathclyde Cymru, and open to the same influences as Cumberland, no sharp distinction can be drawn between the two districts; Danish origins must have been overlaid by subsequent Norse immigration. We find Cumberland names repeated in Brydekirk, Lowther-hill and -ton, Newbigging, Croglin, Dalton, Rockcliffe, Eskdale, Eaglesfield, Whinfell, Aiket, Canonbie, etc.; and similar forms in Criffell, Arkland (compare Arklid), Kelton, Stanhope, Rutnwell (Raud-vellir), Lockerbie, Smallholm (smali, small cattle, sheep and goats, compare Smallthwaite), Tundergarth, Middlebie, Middleton, Burnswark (borrans-virki, from the Gaelic loan-word boireand), Closeburn (Kil-Osbjörn), Langholm, Broomholm, etc.

- from Dumfriesshire and Galloway in Scandinavian Britain, William Gershom Collingwood

Dumfriesshire

Viking Northmen
Viking Northmen

Viking Northmen
From Cambridge County Geographies - Dumfriesshire

The Norse Viking Settlement of Southwest Scotland

Back in the 70s I lived in Dumfries and worked on a small group of upland Viking-period farms near Moniaive (at Craiglearan farm, close to the medieval road that crossed from the valley of the Nith into Ayrshire). As part of my dissertation research on “The Norse Viking Settlement of Southwest Scotland” (unpublished), I did an exhaustive analysis of the placenames of southwest Scotland, focusing on the settlement patterns implied by the names belonging to each ethno-linguistic group (Brythonic / Old Welsh, Gaelic / Old Irish, Old English, Old Norse, Old Danish, and Hiberno-Norse).

From my research I was able to validate my hypothesis that each group tended to settle on lands that could most easily support their customary and distinctive (economic) way of life.

Unfortunately, the work was done just before automated database collection and analysis could be done, so all the work was done manually. Ugh. It was a huge effort, although the results were interesting and significant.

I also believe that the results indicate that the Hiberno-Norse, coming into the region in the late 800’s / early 900’s, not only sought out lands where they could pursue a mixed economy (subsistence farming and animal husbandry), typically in relatively unoccupied upland areas (the better lands were well settled east of the Nith by English speakers [and some Danish speakers] and to the west of the Nith by Gaelic speakers), but also appear to have gotten along relatively well with the existing ethnic groups already long established in the region.

Unlike other parts of the UK, in this region there does not appear to have been a wholesale replacement of existing populations by Hiberno-Norse or pure Norse speakers, probably because their numbers were also relatively small. However, it does appear that they those groups took over general political control of the region (mainly based on the existence of a Thing at Tinwald, north of Dumfries, where the old Roman road forded the Nith at a late Pleistocene terminal moraine and because of their proximity to more solidly Norse populations on Man and on the other side of the Solway).

Tinwald is easily accessible from all directions (also being the farthest navigable point up the Nith inland from the Solway) and was a logical place for a Thing to be located. The Thing hill used to be (and may still be) mis-marked on Ordnance Survey maps as a “mote hill”, which it is not.

"I excavated several Viking-period farms at Craiglearan and found examples of large buildings with out-curving side walls on each of the five (??) farmsteads;"

each farmstead’s infield was defined by a megalithic dry stone wall (with some of the stones being massive) and I presume they were all occupied more-or-less simultaneously (as kind of a small distributed hamlet).

The only Carbon 14 date we managed to get from Craiglearan Site 2 (which was most extensively excavated) was from AD 975 +/ – 25 years. Unfortunately, because these were poor farmers and probably used items mainly made out of wood – which hasn’t survived – Other than the structures themselves, small artifacts were virtually non-existent (a broken whetstone and what appeared to be the type of iron nail / washer used in clinker ship construction). One of the large buildings with out-curving side walls appears to have been a barn and / or a byre, with a well-laid centrally paved path, small drainage gutters on both sides of the central path, and large flat stones laid on edge periodically along the path to serve as stall divides for animals. A porch was later added to the down-wind end, with a transverse door opening, to preclude wind blowing right through the length of the structure when a doors was opened at the windward end.

I believe the farms were occupied into and thru the climatic optimum, after which the growing season became too short and the climate too wet / cold to allow viable farming at that altitude, and evidenced by the addition of drains to the buildings, causing the eventual abandonment of the upland farmsteads probably in the late 1100’s / early 1200’s (when the farms began moving farther down the glen, close to where the current farmstead is located; the approximate site of a predecessor to the current farm house [built in the 1880’s] is noted on the earliest map of the area, plotted in the late 1400’s / early 1500’s (I forget the exact date – sorry).

In any event, based on the placenames, there appear to have been Gaelic, Hiberno-Norse, Old Norse, Old English and Old Danish speakers living side-by-side in the region after the 800’s. West of the Nith, there were mainly Gaelic and Hiberno-Norse, whereas there seems to have been a real hodge-podge of Norse, English and Danish speakers east of the Nith, all the way over to near Carlisle.

- Craig Mayer, author of The Norse Viking Settlement of Southwest Scotland
See also Craiglearan Farm and Miscellaneous Thoughts About the Vikings by Craig Mayer

Lockerbie

The earliest clues of the town’s ancient settlement is the name itself. Lockerbie is derived from Old Norse for Loki’s Village. Whether this was a name the Vikings gave to a town they founded or whether they merely renamed an old Celtic settlement is unclear. Certainly the Viking connection suggests that Lockerbie has been settled for over a thousand years to when the Vikings dominated this area. Later the Celtic kingdom of Rheged emerged in this area. Strongly influenced by Scandinavian culture over time it was renamed as the Kingdom of Galloway. Lockerbie was most likely a significant settlement in this kingdom, which survived up until the area’s incorporation into Scotland.

- from Accommodation Scotland

Ed Note: The place names of Tinwald, Canonbie, Middlebie, Tundergarth, Applegarth, Broomholme and Langholme are all of Nordic origin.

 

Scandinavian Place-names

From Denmark and Scotlan: The Cultural and Environmental Resources of Small Nations, Gillian Fellows-Jensen, 1999
From Denmark and Scotland: The Cultural and Environmental Resources of Small Nations, Gillian Fellows-Jensen, 1999

Viking legacy in the names

The name Middelby was recorded in about 1280, middel was the Old English/Danish Norse form of middle. It has been written that Middlebie took its name, signifying the "middle dwelling" or "middle station" from the Roman Camp of Birrens south of the village, and midway between Netherbie in Cumberland and Overbie in Eskdalemuir. However there are nine places ending -bie or -by in the Dumfries area and it is a frequent suffix in the north of England. James B. Johnston tells us that this indicates that Danish Vikings were in this area. These name endings derive from the Old Norse by-r and Icelandic boe-r meaning a dwelling, hamlet or town. Middlebie lies within Annandale, the suffix -dale derives from the Norse dail meaning a field or meadow. The main rivers running through the parish are the Mein Water and the Kirtle Water which reach the sea via the Solway Firth, firth being the Norse word for estuary. The -beck of Waterbeck is Icelandic/Danish for a brook, and rigg from the same language is a ridge of land. Satur derives from the Norse word saetor meaning summer pasture.

- from Middlebie Parish History Group Website

Norse Thing Sites

"Thingwall - the Norse meeting place or parliament"

Thingwall
Thingwall
From Viking DNA: The Wirral and West Lancashire Project By Stephen Harding, Mark Jobling, Turi King

Thing

A thing (Old Norse, Old English and Icelandic: þing; German, Dutch ding; modern Scandinavian languages: ting) was the governing assembly in Germanic societies and introduced into some Celtic societies, made up of the free people of the community and presided by lawspeakers, meeting in a place called a thingstead. Today, the term lives on in the official names of national legislatures and political and judicial institutions in the Nordic countries, in the Manx form tyn, as a term for the three legislative bodies on the Isle of Man, and in the English term husting.

- Wikipedia

See also Law as a Defining Characteristic of Norse Society in Saga Conflicts and Assembly Sites throughout the Scandinavian North Atlantic

Local Things in Sogn og Fjordane

Things – from the Old Norse word þing, meaning assembly - were an early system of justice and administration.

The Gulating Law mentions two levels of things below Gulatinget: fylkesting (county things) and fjordungsting (there were four fjordungstings in one county thing). These things were open to all free men, although we do not have any historical records relating to how they may have functioned. Local things had different functions and names, such as våpenting (weapon thing), manntalsting, kongeting (the king’s thing) and skipreideting. There seems to have been a regular spring thing, but the thing could also be summoned when anyone had reason to do so and on five nights notice. Autumn things are also known.

It is likely that the local things met in a fixed place, although in certain cases they met at a specific location, such as a murder site, or in the location being discussed in the case of rental agreements. The locations of many of these thing sites are still unknown. There are at least 40 place names in Sogn og Fjordane which contain the element ting, and these may have been created over a long period of time. The name Tinghaug (thing mound) is quite common, and indicates an outdoor thing site.

- from thingsites.com

History of Dublin

The Thingmote was a raised mound, 40-foot (12 m) high and 240-foot (73 m) in circumference, where the Norsemen assembled and made their laws. It stood on the south of the river, adjacent to Dublin Castle, until 1685.[4] Viking Dublin had a large slave market. Thralls were captured and sold, not only by the Norse but also by warring Irish chiefs.b

- from History of Dublin, Wikipedia

The Tinewald in the Isle of Man
The Tinewald in the Isle of Man

Tynwald Hill, Isle of Man

Tynwald Hill at St John's is the traditional ancient meeting place of the Manx parliamentary assembly, dating back at least to the late first millennium AD. The hill itself is an artificial mound, stepped in profile, approximately 25m in diameter at the base, and 3.6m high. Its earliest phase dates to later prehistory, when the first indications of communal assemblies can be glimpsed. Later the development of a royal centre focused in the nearby upper Neb valley allowed the site to increase in importance, and by the early 2nd millennium AD Tynwald Hill was in use as a national meeting place. The site continues to be active today and in 1979 it celebrated its millennium as a continuous parliament. The Tynwald Court now meets in the Island’s modern capital, Douglas, on the third Tuesday of each month, but once a year on July 5th an open air ceremony is still held at Tynwald Hill. This day is a national holiday for the island, and the laws passed during the year are proclaimed in both Manx Gaelic and English. The site of Tynwald Hill is thus one of the most important ancient monuments in the Island, representing not just a symbol of the rich heritage of the Manx people, but also a contemporary focus where the future life and culture of the community is forged.

- from ThingSites.com

Tynwald: a Manx cult-site and institution of pre-Scandinavian origin?

The Scandinavian presence in Man lasted from the early/mid 10th to the mid-13th centuries, during which time Man, along with (some of) the Hebrides, formed the ‘Kingdom of the Isles’, with its seat in Man. The Kingdom of the Isles, nominally under the suzerainty of the King of Norway, was ceded to Scotland by Norway in the Treaty of Perth of 1266 for 4000 marks. [11] The Kings of Man [12] for the most part were bound in treaty or service of some sort to another head of state (the identity of whom varied [13]), making clear that they were an independent force in the area, offering their fleets for hire either for attack or protection, according to requirements. [14] Paragraph number 6

- from Tynwald: a Manx cult-site and institution of pre-Scandinavian origin?

"Hiberno-Norse influences in the Kingdom of Strathclyde
are increasingly being postulated"

Doomster Hill

From Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200
From Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200

 


Doomster Hill, Govan

RCAHMS Site Record for Doomster Hill

The Doomster Hill was a massive artificial mound that dominated the Govan landscape until its destruction in the mid-nineteenth century. The above illustration from 1757 shows it with a tiered or ‘stepped’ profile, a shape characteristic of sites used as assembly-places in the Viking period. It seems likely that it acquired this profile on the orders of the kings of Strathclyde, perhaps around AD 900 when the kingdom had close political contact with powerful Viking warlords in Dublin who had a man-made mound of similar shape. The Old Norse word for assembly is thing (pronounced ‘ting’) so it may not be too wide of the mark to speak of Govan’s ancient mound as a ‘thing site’. We can imagine it being used by the kings of Strathclyde as a venue for ceremonies and as a focus for public gatherings. It would have been part of an early medieval ‘ritual landscape’ which included not only a royal burial-ground and church (on a site now occupied by Govan Old) but also a processional pathway linking church and hill.

- from Heart of the Kingdom

"This huge artificial mound by the river was the thing site for the kingdom of Strathclyde"

Doomster Hill

Doomster Hill has long-vanished from the Govan landscape. This huge artificial mound by the river was the thing site for the kingdom of Strathclyde for 200 years from around the year 1000AD. In the 11th century Strathclyde was absorbed into the kingdom of Scotland and the assembly place lost its royal significance, however it continued to serve as a local meeting place until 1600. Locals called it Doomster Hill or simply The Hillock, the name Doomster Hill coming from Dempster - the lawman (as still survives in the Isle of Man). Eventually the thing site fell into disuse and became a place associated with folklore and legend. It is said that children pressing their ears to the grassy slopes could hear fairies moving inside the hill. In 1840, a water reservoir for local dye-works was put on top of the hill, and around 10 years later the hill was completely demolished and levelled to make way for one of Govan's world-famous shipyards. The decline in heavy industry in the late 20th century resulted in the shipyard itself being completely demolished and today the original thing site lies under the Riverside Housing Estate. Although no trace of the hill survives, its size and shape can be discerned from old sketches made before its destruction in the 19th century. Its tiered or ‘stepped’ design is similar to Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man, and recent excavations strongly suggest that a ceremonial route (radiocarbon dated to the 8th or 9th century) directly linked Doomster Hill to the early medieval church, just as a ceremonial route links Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man to the Royal Chapel of St John’s. The former thing site is now being commemorated - firstly by a modern meeting of 100 locals in March 2012 and now a permanent reminder of the links to Govan's Viking past through the new artworks.

- from thingsites.com

Mote of Urr, Kirkudbrightshire

Mote of Urr, Kirkudbrightshire
Mote of Urr, Kirkudbrightshire

RCAHMS Site Record for Mote of Urr | RCAHMS Site Record for Tinwald

See The myth of the motte and bailey castle in Scotland, Simon Forder, 2014

Tinwald, Dumfriesshire

TINWALD (Tnw): (88, 11 B): Tynwald, 1335-6 CDS. ON. “field where the assembly meets”. The presence of such a name indicates a large Norse population in the immediate vicinity, and the persistence of Norse customs and speech for a considerable period. Cf Tingwall (PN Sh, 125), Dingwall, Ross (PNS, 156), Tynwald (PN IoM, 416), Thingwall (PN La, 112), Thingwall, Ch (DEPN, 444).

from Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties, May G. Williamson, University of Edinburgh, 1942

See also Invisible Vikings

"Tinwald (Thing Völlr) 'field of the meeting'
- a short way N.E. of Dumfries
(on the Roman Road from Lochmaben)
seems to have been,
as its name suggests, the centre of local Norse control"

Tinwald, Dumfriesshire

In 840 Alcluyd (the Pict and Scots kingdom) fell after a siege of four months by Danes and Norse. Five years later Halfden with his Danes traversed the country into Northumbria and is recorded to have wasted the Strathclyde Welsh, or Strathclydians, or as in a third place, and for the Cumbri. This was an enterprise of Danes from Ireland and does not seem to have been more than a foray of exceptional destructiveness... Permanent settlement was the work of the Norse-bearing elements of Irish culture. Tinwald (Thing Völlr) 'field of the meeting' - a short way N.E. of Dumfries (on the Roman Road from Lochmaben) seems to have been, as its name suggests, the centre of local Norse control - the first serious settlement would be in Cumberland ..."

- from "The Royal Commission of Ancient Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland," Edinburgh, 1920, Historical Introduction XVIII, Early History II, Page XX, see back page XXIII (as per David Jardine).

Danelaw - Archaeology - Thinghowe

Thynghowe was an important Danelaw meeting place, today located in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire. The word "howe" often indicates a prehistoric burial mound. Howe is derived from the Old Norse word Haugr meaning mound.[31] The site's rediscovery was made by Lynda Mallett, Stuart Reddish and John Wood. The site had vanished from modern maps and was essentially lost to history until the local history enthusiasts made their discoveries. Experts think the rediscovered site, which lies amidst the old oaks of an area known as the Birklands in Sherwood Forest, may also yield clues as to the boundary of the ancient Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. English Heritage recently inspected the site and believes it is a national rarity. Thynghowe[32] was a place where people came to resolve disputes and settle issues. It is a Norse word, although the site may be older still, perhaps even from the Bronze Age.

 

Viking Hoards

The Ballaquayle Hoard

The Ballaquayle Hoard, Isle of Man
The Ballaquayle Hoard, Isle of Man

The Kirk Michael Hoard

The Vikings raided and traded all over the world. Their currency was coinage, silver and gold and jewellery - they often wore their wealth. This hoard was buried in the Isle of Man around 1065 AD. It contains silver coins - English, Irish, Norman and Manx - currency rings and jewellery. It illustrates that a small island in the middle of one of the main Viking trading routes acted as a "clearing house" for deals in goods and wealth. The items were buried for safekeeping, by a Viking never to return. Whether the wealth of the hoard was the result of trade in grain, wool or slaves is unknown, but it was a universal currency - coins and precious metal. The Isle of Man was a vital offshore finance centre a thousand years ago and the hard cash earned by the Vikings enabled them to settle and trade in much of the known world.

- from BBC

The Cuerdale Hoard

The Cuerdale Hoard
The Cuerdale Hoard

The Cuerdale Hoard

The Cuerdale Hoard is a hoard of more than 8,600 items, including silver coins, English and Carolingian jewellery, hacksilver and ingots. It was discovered on 15 May 1840 on the southern bank of a bend of the River Ribble, in an area called Cuerdale in South Ribble near to the city of Preston, Lancashire, England. The Cuerdale Hoard is the largest Viking silver hoard ever found outside Russia,[1] and exceeds in number of pieces and weight any hoard found in Scandinavia or any other western areas settled by the Vikings. The coins in the hoard are from three sources, represented in the proportions 5:1:1. Viking kingdoms of eastern England are represented in the largest portion; the other two portions are of Alfred's Wessex and of coins from foreign sources, which include Byzantine, Scandinavian, Islamic, Papal, North Italian and Carolingian mintings, many of which last are from Aquitaine, perhaps, Richard Hall suggests, acquired there in Viking raids of 898.

- From Wikipedia

See also British Museum - The Cuerdale Hoard and BBC - The Cuerdale Hoard

 

The Silverdale Hoard

Silverdale Hoard
Silverdale Hoard

The Silverdale Hoard

This spectacular collection of Viking silver was discovered in mid September 2011. It is the third largest collection of Viking silver found to date (1) and was unearthed by a keen metal detectorist near to the village of Silverdale in North Lancashire. It had been buried for more than 1,000 years. Most of the pieces were contained in a lead 'pouch'. The survival of this container is, in itself, a rare occurrence that adds significance to the find... The Silverdale Hoard comprises silver items including arm-rings, coins, ingots and chopped up pieces of silver known as 'hacksilver'. Alongside the lead pouch are a couple of fragments of lead and iron and one silver plated, base metal coin - a contemporary fake! The hoard is believed to have been deposited at approximately the same time as the Cuerdale Hoard, circa 905 AD.

- from The Silverdale Viking Silver Hoard

Barrow-in-Furness Viking Hoard

This is the largest Viking hoard ever to have been found in the Furness area, and has been described as a "missing link" because it is the first significant archaeological evidence of Norse inhabitation in the area even though many local place names, such as Barrow, Yarlside, Roa and Ormsgill, are Old Norse in origin.

- from Wikipedia

See also Now Cumbria comes up with Viking silver

The Huxley Hoard

The Huxley Hoard at the Museum of Liverpool
The Huxley Hoard at the Museum of Liverpool

The Huxley Hoard

The Huxley Hoard is a collection of Viking silver that was buried for safekeeping, but was never retrieved. The 21 bracelets and one ingot were discovered near Huxley in Cheshire in 2004. The hoard is owned jointly by Chester Grosvenor Museum, Cheshire Museums Service and National Museums Liverpool.

- from Museum of Liverpool

The Huxley Hoard

The Huxley Hoard is a hoard of Viking jewellery from around 900-910 found buried near Huxley, Cheshire. It consists of 21 silver bracelets, one silver ingot, and 39 lead fragments, weighing around 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lb) in total. The bracelets might have been produced by Norse settlers in Dublin and possibly buried for safekeeping by Viking refugees settling in Cheshire and the Wirral in the early 900's. It was discovered by Steve Reynoldson in November 2004[1] after he found fragments of lead 30 centimetres (12 in) underground using a metal detector.[2] The bracelets were folded flat, sixteen decorated by punched patterns, six with crosses stamped in their centre, and another six with centre cross and one at each end. Two have lattice patterns, one an hourglass stamp around the edge, one chevrons with central and end crosses, and one (found as a twisted bar) a zig-zag pattern; the remaining four are plain. The lead fragments suggest the hoard could have been buried either in a lead sheet or a lead-lined wood box.

- from Wikipedia

The Bryn Maelgwyn Hoard

Viking Wales

For an unbiased contemporary picture of Viking Wales, we have to turn to archaeology. The distribution of known hoards of Viking silver in Wales is coastal in character. Two hoards have been found in the immediate vicinity of the site of St Deiniol's monastery at Bangor, one deposited about 925, and a small group of coins deposited c. 970. The later Bryn Maelgwyn hoard of coins near Llandudno was deposited in the mid-1020s, and may be Viking booty rather than local savings. A remarkable hoard of five complete Viking silver arm-rings of Hiberno-Norse type, now in the collections of the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, was found in the 19th century on the south-eastern side of Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey. This group and the Cuerdale (Lancs.) hoard (c. 905) have both been associated by researchers with events surrounding the expulsion of Ingimund from Dublin.

- from Uncovering evidence for Vikings

 

The Dumfriesshire (or Galloway) Hoard

"this was a Viking area where they settled and traded,
and the people who lived there were culturally and linguistically Norse
"


A large silver alloy Carolingian lidded vessel. Photograph: Treasure Trove Unit/PA
- from Viking treasure trove discovered in Scotland, The Guardian, Oct 15, 2014

Galloway Viking treasure pot's contents revealed after more than 1,000 years - BBC, March 24, 2016

Viking treasure trove discovered in Scotland

One of the largest discoveries of Viking treasure in Scotland has been unearthed in Dumfries and Galloway. More than 100 objects, including solid gold jewellery, arm bands and silver ingots, were discovered by a metal-detecting enthusiast on church land in September. The artefacts, thought to have been buried between the mid-ninth and 10th century, include an early Christian cross made of solid silver, with unusual enamelled decorations... Describing the find as “historically significant”, Stuart Campbell, head of Scotland’s treasure trove unit, said one of the most exciting objects was an intact Carolingian (western European) pot with its lid still in place, a rare vessel likely to have been an heirloom held by the family that buried the hoard. Campbell described the examination of the pot, which has yet to be emptied, as “an excavation in microcosm”. He added: “What makes this find so significant is the range of material from different countries and cultures. This was material that was buried for safekeeping, almost like a safety deposit box that was never claimed.” Campbell said that a find like this could also influence the way Scots viewed their historic relationship with the Vikings. “We have the idea of Vikings as foreigners who carried out raids on Scotland, but this was a Viking area where they settled and traded, and the people who lived there were culturally and linguistically Norse.”

- from Viking treasure trove discovered in Scotland, The Guardian, Oct 15, 2014
See also Metal detector Viking find a reminder of how migration and trade shaped British Isles, Oct 20, 2014

Runic Inscription on artefact from the Dumfriesshire Hoard
Runic Inscription on artefact from the Dumfriesshire Hoard
Photo courtesy Treasure Trove in Scotland

"thought to date from the ninth or tenth centuries"

Gold Bird Pin
Gold Bird Pin
- from Spectacular Viking treasure hoard found on Church land

A portion of the Galloway Hoard
Photo courtesy National Museums Scotland
From BBC - National Museums of Scotland set to secure Galloway Viking hoard

Spectacular Viking treasure hoard found on Church land

Among the objects within the hoard is an early Christian cross thought to date from the ninth or tenth centuries. The solid silver cross has enamelled decorations which experts consider to be highly unusual... Further digging revealed a second level hoard of even higher quality, including possibly the largest silver Carolingian pot ever discovered, with its lid still in place. The pot is likely to have been made around 100 years before it was buried in the ground as part of the hoard in the ninth or tenth century.

- from Spectacular Viking treasure hoard found on Church land

Viking haul unearthed in Galloway biggest since 1891

Ayrshire man, 47-year-old, Derek McLennan is a keen metal detector enthusiast who made the initial epic discovery last month which then led to the unearthing of gold and silver jewellery, pottery and highly unique pieces – more than 100 in total – on land owned by the Church of Scotland near Castle Douglas. The exact location is not being made public for obvious reasons, but this is Derek’s second haul after he found a field full of coins in Twynholm earlier this year.

- from The Galloway Gazette

Viking-age silver and gold hoards of Scandinavian character from Scotland

From The Viking-age silver and gold hoards of Scandinavian character from Scotland
From The Viking-age silver and gold hoards of Scandinavian character from Scotland

See also:
SCRAN - The Vikings in Scotland
BBC - Viking Dig Reports
Ireland's Early Viking Silver Hoards

Viking-age Hoards in Ireland


Viking Age Hoards in Ireland
From Viking Age gold and silver from Irish crannogs and other watery places

Viking Hoards around the Irish Sea


Map of Viking-Age hoards (and single finds) from northwest England. Dumfries and Galloway is the territory at the top, hosting the compass. Red lines = Roman roads. Blue lines = Rivers (© Jane Kershaw)

Viking Burials

Viking Burials
Viking Burials
From Vikingage.org

 

Cumbria and The Viking Coast

Cumbria
Cumbria
From Tom Clarkson, The Men of the North: The Britons of Southern Scotland

Cumbria and Cumberland

Cumbria and Cumberland are names derived from Old English Cumber, a term used in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria to describe the native Britons. The latter, of course, were a Celtic people who had once inhabited the whole island of Britain. A large number of Britons in the far North were known as ‘Picts’ from the late 3rd century AD, if not before. Most of the rest, living south of a line drawn between modern Edinburgh and Glasgow, were (more or less) ruled by Rome until the early 5th century. After c.410, the population of what had once been Roman Britain was gradually conquered or assimilated by the Anglo-Saxons or ‘English’ whose ancestors had come from Germany. The so-called ‘Anglo-Saxon Conquest’ was drawn out over five hundred years but led eventually to the creation of England. By c.900, at the height of the Viking Age, only two regions of Britain still remained under native ‘British’ control. One of these was Wales, at that time a patchwork of small kingdoms. The other was a single realm located in what are now southwest Scotland and northwest England, with borders reaching from Loch Lomond in the north to Penrith in the south. To the Anglo-Saxons of neighbouring Northumbria this kingdom was ‘Cumber-land’ or ‘Cumbra-land’, a land inhabited by Britons. In Latinised form the name was ‘Cumbria’.

Cumbria: the kingdom of the Clyde Britons, c.950

The core or heartland of the old Cumbrian kingdom was Clydesdale, the valley of the River Clyde. Other key districts were Lennox – the vale of the River Leven running south from Loch Lomond – and an area of fertile farmland around Carlisle. The importance of Clydesdale led to the entire kingdom being known by an alternative name: Strathclyde, the ‘strath’ or valley of the Clyde. In strict geographical terms this did not really apply south of the river’s source but it was most likely used by the Britons of 10th-century Wales to denote the kingdom as a whole. They regarded the extensive domain of the Clyde kings as the last bastion of their northern fellow-countrymen, even if they were not always on friendly terms with it. From Wales the name ‘Strathclyde’ seems to have passed into contemporary English usage. The West Saxons, who had close dealings with Wales, were already using the name when the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was being compiled. In the Chronicle we find both Cumberland and Straecled being used interchangably. The Welsh called the kingdom Strat Clut or Ystrad Clud in their own language, both forms no doubt being similar to whatever name was used by the Clyde Britons themselves.

The kingdom of Cumberland or Cumbria, then, was a sort of ‘Greater Strathclyde’. It became one of the major powers of the 10th century but, in spite of its southward expansion, it had a fairly brief history. Cumbric-speaking kings had ruled on the Clyde since the 5th century but the lands around the Solway Firth – including Carlisle – had fallen under Northumbrian rule by c.750. Not until the late 9th century, after Viking warlords broke the power of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, did the Clyde Britons see an opportunity to expand southward. By c.900 they had taken back large swathes of territory once ruled by their fellow-countrymen. The rapid reconquest, undoubtedly achieved by military force, saw the replacement of English-speaking lords by a Cumbric-speaking aristocracy. This was the true beginning of the ‘Cumbrian’ kingdom, a sort of mini-empire ruled from a core domain in the Clyde Valley. In the lands around Carlisle, and down as far as Penrith, many place-names coined in English were replaced by Cumbric ones. When, in 927, the West Saxon king Athelstan arranged a high-level meeting to discuss important political issues, he chose a site near Penrith as the venue. Here, on the south bank of the River Eamont, Athelstan met several powerful northern rulers. Among them was Owain of Strathclyde, ‘king of the Cumbrians’, whose southern border ran along the Eamont. A later namesake of this Owain, perhaps his great-grandson, fought with the Scots against the English at the great battle of Carham-on-Tweed in 1018. By then, the kingdom of Strathclyde or Cumbria was entering its twilight years. Under increasing pressure from English and Scottish kings, and from groups of ‘Gall Gaidhil’ (Gaelic-speaking Vikings) in Galloway and Ayrshire, the realm began to shrink back to its Clydesdale heartlands. It finally fell to the Scots, its former allies, sometime between 1030 and 1070. In the late 1060s, northern English scribes still regarded the area around Carlisle as part of ‘Cumberland’, but acknowledged that it now answered to a Scottish king. Other pockets of former ‘Cumbrian’ territory south of the Solway Firth were seized by English lords. In 1092, when Norman forces came north during the reign of William Rufus, son of William the Conqueror, they seized Carlisle and made it part of the kingdom of England. The lands around the city, from the Scottish border to the River Eamont, subsequently became the new English county of Cumberland.

- Tom Clarkson, The Men of the North: The Britons of Southern Scotland

Northern Irish Sea c. 800 - c. 1100

New Settlements with Norse Place-Names
New Settlements with Norse Place-Names

"the Vikings of Cumbria were Norwegians who came via Ireland,
Scotland and the Isle of Man
"

Vikings in Cumbria

The first Norse settlers are thought to have arrived around AD 925. Unlike the invaders of Eastern England, the Vikings of Cumbria were Norwegians who came via Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Fifty years earlier the Danes led by Halfdan had entered Cumbria through the Stainmore Pass and ransacked the area, reducing Carlisle to such a state that it remained in ruins for the next two hundred years, and annexed Cumbria to the Danelaw.

For a time, the Vikings probably just raided the coasts of the county before returning to Ireland and the Isle of Man. But they soon came to settle, and seem to have preferred the uplands of the central region, no doubt because the Angles had not penetrated so far and land was easier to come by. Their influence is still evident in the many place names, particularly in the central lakes, which include Norse elements such as dale, fell, howe and thwaite.

- Wikipedia

See also History of Northumbria: Viking era 866 AD - 1066 AD

Cumbria

Cumbria is notable for having the largest number of hogbacks and for their tallness and narowness compared to other northern stones;[163] for having a special type of circle-head to the crosses;[164] for having the most 'hammer-head'- shaped crosses;[165] for using a 'running Stafford knot' design and a type of spiral-scroll work;[166] for having a local 'Beckermet school' of stones perhaps influenced by, or influencing, cross designs to be found on the Isle of Man;[167] and for its links with the stone sculpture to be found in south-west Galloway (Galloway being a Northumbrian province during this period).[168]

"Thing mounds throughout the county"

The influence of the Vikings remained strong until the Middle Ages, particularly in the central region. A Norse-English creole was spoken until at least the 12th century and evidence of the introduction of the Viking political system is shown by several possible Thing mounds throughout the county, the most significant of which is at Fellfoot in Langdale.

As an example of Viking relics, a hoard of Viking coins and silver objects was discovered in the Eden valley at Penrith.[169] Also in the Eden valley were finds at Hesket and at Ormside, which has been mentioned above as the site of a possible Viking grave-good. The other areas of Viking finds include Carlisle (west of the Cathedral), pagan graves at Cumwhitton and finds in the Lune valley and on the west coast (for example, Aspatria and St. Michael's Church, Workington).

- Wikipedia

Brooch found at Cumwhitton
Brooch found at Cumwhitton

The Norse Burial Ground at Cumwhitton

A number of exceptionally rare Viking burials, probably dating from the early 10th century, have recently been discovered on farmland at Cumwhitton, Cumbria. Excavations carried out by Oxford Archaeology North found six richly furnished graves, containing swords, spears, jewellery and the remains of spurs and a possible horse harness. Other than a small fragment of skull no human bone had survived in the acid soil conditions, but the objects found in the graves suggest that four men and two women had been buried here.

To date, all the Viking burials that have been identified in the North West are high status individuals who probably represent the first generation of settlers who died as pagans but whose heirs rapidly converted to Christianity. The fact that the Cumwhitton burials were all aligned roughly east/west could be indicative of individuals with leanings towards Christianity who were buried in a richly-furnished pagan-style, perhaps as an example of ‘cultural conservatism’ designed to establish the presence in the landscape of recently established Norse-dominated territories.

- from The Norse Burial Ground at Cumwhitton
See also Shadows in the Sand: Excavation of a Viking-age Cemetery at Cumwhitton, Cumbria and The Viking-Age Cemetery at Cumwhitton

The Viking Coast

The Vikings first appeared in Cumbria's Eden valley in 876 AD when the Danish leader, Halfdan, and his troops destroyed much of Carlisle. However, many Norwegian Vikings, often coming from Ireland and the Isle of Man, settled along the west coast on Cumbria. It is possible that Seascale was their first settlement in the county.

Many of the Viking crosses and carvings are now inside churches and and are well preserved. St John's church in Beckermet has a wonderful collection of carvings. Nearby, the lower ends of two 10th century crosses stand to the south of St Bridget's church. Between this church and the coast where the railway runs, there is a mound on which a small nunnery possibly stood. This dated back to 7th century.

Inland from Beckermet / Braystones and St Bees is the village of Haile and inside the church are four grave slabs dating from the late 10th / early 11th century. Part of a Viking cross shaft is built into the rendered church wall as is a Roman altar.

The church at St Bees is best known for its Norman architecture but this was the site of a Benedictine nunnery, founded in 650 AD and destroyed by the Danes in the 9th century. Only a little later, the Norse settled in the village they called Kirkeby Beghoc and this became the modern St Bees. There is a fragment of a cross shaft standing in a window in the south aisle of the church and another standing to the north of the church.

At St John's church at Waberthwaite, not too far from Ravenglass, there are the remains of two Anglo-Viking cross shafts, one dating from about 950 AD. The other is older and more worn, probably dating from about 900 AD. At nearby Muncaster, there is a cross shaft dating to the late 10th century and is typically Norse in character.

Also inland from the Cumbrian Coast line is Gosforth but it is worth the journey as some of the best Viking treasures are in this village. There is an ornate cross shaft in the churchyard dating back to the 10th century. This is the oldest and tallest Viking cross in England (as opposed to Anglian crosses). Inside St Mary's church, there are two "hogsback" tombs, dating to about the year 1000 AD, and these are in excellent condition. Another good example can be found inside St Peter's church in Heysham in North Lancashire.

There may have been four Viking crosses on the site of St Mary's church in Gosforth and remnants can be found built into walls and cut down as a sundial. At the north end of the aisle there is the Fishing Stone, probably once part of a much bigger frieze that helped to explain the christian message to the local people.

- from The Viking Coast

 

Pagan Norsemen

Later, in the pre-Viking and Viking age, there is material evidence which seems to indicate a growing sophistication in Norse religion, such as artifacts portraying the gripdjur (gripping-beast) motifs, interlacing art and jewelry, Mjolnir pendants and numerous weapons and bracteates with runic characters scratched or cast into them. The runes seem to have evolved from the earlier helleristninger, since they initially seemed to have a wholly ideographic usage. Runes later evolved into a script which was perhaps derived from a combination of Proto-Germanic language and Etruscan or Gothic writing. However, this origin has not been proven, and many runic origin theories have been advocated.

Many other ideographic and iconographic motifs which may portray the religious beliefs of the Pre-Viking and Viking Norse are depicted on runestones, which were usually erected as markers or memorial stones. These memorial stones usually were not placed in proximity to a body, and many times there is an epitaph written in runes to memorialize a deceased relative. This practice continued well into the process of Christianization.

- from Wikipedia

The Norsemen in Scotland

In Scotland, as well as in Man and the Hebrides, remnants have been found of decorated Viking stone crosses with runic inscriptions. "Most interesting of all is a stone with Scandinavian art-work, found by Mr. Collingwood in the chapel of St. Oran, and now deposited in the cathedral of Iona, an isle which is the burial-place of eight Norse kings. This Iona cross-shaft of the Viking Age has the usual Scandinavian dragon, with irregular interlacing, as also a galley with its crew, a smith with his hammer, anvil, and pincers " and so greatly resembles the Manx crosses that it may have been the tombstone of one of the Norse kings of Man," says Dr. Henderson. Sword-hilts and rare brooches and other ornaments of Norse origin have been unearthed in many Viking burial-places. These articles are so exquisitely designed, and wrought with such consummate skill that they prove the makers to have been adepts in the goldsmith's and jeweler's art. A sword-hilt of the Viking time found in Eigg is especially fine. Dr. J. Anderson says of it: "I know no finer or more elaborate piece of art workmanship of the kind either in this country or in Norway." !

- from History of the Norwegian People by Knut Gjerset (32 MB pdf)

Braddan Runestones, Isle of Man

Braddan Runestone, Isle of Man
Braddan Runestones, Isle of Man
From The Runic and Other Monumental Remains of the Isle of Man, Rev. J.G. Cuming, 1857 (51 MB)

Manx Runestones

The Manx runestones were made by the Norse population on the Isle of Man during the Viking Age, mostly in the 10th century. Despite its small size, the Isle of Man stands out with many Viking Age runestones, in 1983 numbering as many as 26 surviving stones, which can be compared to 33 in all of Norway.[1] So many of them may appear on the Isle of Man because of the merging of the immigrant Norse runestone tradition with the local Celtic tradition of raising high crosses.[1] In addition, the church contributed by not condemning the runes as pagan, but instead it encouraged the recording of people for Christian purposes. Sixteen of the stones bear the common formula, "N ... put up this cross in memory of M", but among the other ten there is also a stone raised for the benefit of the runestone raiser.

- from Manx Runestones, Wikipedia

Norse Sword and Grave Goods

Workmen extending the graveyard found this Norse (Viking) iron sword, copper alloy pin and blue glass bead in St Cuthbert's Cemetery in Kirkcudbright in 1888.There was no report of a skeleton, but the finds are typical of the objects usually found buried in the graves of male pagan Norsemen. The site of a probably 8th century Northumbrian minster church dedicated to St Cuthbert lies within the original cemetery, so this pagan burial must have been close by. This important church gave its name to the later burgh and present day town - Kirkcudbright - the Kirk or Church of St Cuthbert. The finds are indicative of the Scandinavian settlement of Galloway in the 10th and 11th centuries. Norse settlement is also indicated by local Scandinavian placenames such as Borgue and Rerrick. Historians have suggested that Norse settlement was encouraged by the ruling Northumbrians in order to bolster the defences of Galloway against the British Kingdom of Strathclyde and Gaelic sea raiders.

In the collection of The Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.

- from Dumfries and Galloway Council

The Ruthwell Cross

Runic inscriptions on the Ruthwell Cross
Runic inscriptions on the Ruthwell Cross
From the British Museum

 "it was probably carved somewhere between 660-700 AD"

The Ruthwell Cross, Dumfriesshire

Half a mile to the north of Ruthwell village in the Scottish borders, near Annan, is Ruthwell parish church and housed within is The Ruthwell Cross, a quite spectacular Anglo-Saxon (Northumbrian) cross dating from the late 7th to early 8th century, and which also has Norse carvings, some Germanic influence, and a runic inscription. It is considered by historians to be one of the most important of the early Christian, Dark-Age crosses in Europe... This truly is a masterpiece of Early English Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship with Scandinavian and, possibly Germanic influence, that can only be equalled by a few of the Celtic high crosses in Ireland. When the Ruthwell Cross was first set up it would have been painted in some quite vivid colours – what a sight it must have been for the early Christians of northern Britain. There is some uncertainty about the age of the cross, but it was probably carved somewhere between 660-700 AD.

- from The Journal of Antiquities

See The Ruthwell Cross

Kirk-Patrick Fleming

The Patrician churches that lay in coastal areas within the bounds of Strathclyde may have also arisen through Gaelic-Sacdinavian enthusiasm for Patrick's cult. One factor in favor of this interpretation is the existence of Kirkpatrick place-names in these areas. These place-names are inversion compounds that feature the Norse generic kirkja and the specific Patrick in the genitive. Ekwall suggested that inversion compounds were coined during the era of Scandinavian settlement, but Brooke demonstrated that they continued to be coined during the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, it is possible that some, if not all, of the kirk-names can be attributed to Gaelic-Scandinavian influence. Kirkpatrick (-Fleming), Dumfriesshire, may be a candidate, since its place-name first appears in 1179, shortly after detailed written records start to become available for this region. The expansion of Strathclyde into this area no doubt also promoted the popuarity of Patrick's cult...

- from Saints' Cults in the Celtic World By Steve Boardman, John Reuben Davies, Eila Williamson

See also The Distribution of pre-Norman sculpture in South-West Scotland: provenance, ornament and regional groups

The Gosforth Cross

The Gosforth Cross – Tenth-century stone cross, standing at nearly 5m tall. Photo credit: Archaeology in Europe
The Gosforth Cross – Tenth-century stone cross, standing at nearly 5m tall. Photo credit: Archaeology in Europe

The famous tenth century Gosforth Cross is situated in St. Mary's churchyard. The red sandstone cross, which is tall and slender, stands at a height of 4.4 metres (14 feet) with a round shaft which gradually becomes square higher up. The cross is adorned with elaborate and well preserved carvings representing characters and scenes from Norse mythology including Thor, Loki and Heimdallr. The lower rounded part of the cross is thought to represent Yggdrasil, the Viking World Tree, a great ash tree, which according to Norse beliefs was located at the centre of the universe. One of its carvings has evoked alternative interpretations and is said to either represent the rebirth of Balder, son of Odin and theViking god of light, or the crucifixion of Christ. Two early Norse crosses once stood in the churchyard, the other was broken up and turned into a sundial in the 1700's.

Gosford Hogbacks
Gosforth Hogbacks

St Mary's Church itself dates to around 1100 but has been renovated several times, most recently in 1896-9. Within the church are two rare Viking Hogback stones, discovered in the foundations of the church's north wall during the renovations in 1896. known as the Saint's Stone and the Warrior's Stone. One is thought to be the grave of a Viking warrior and the other that of an early Saint. The grave covers that are now located in the church porch are believed to date from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and some of the symbolism in their carvings indicate they may have belonged to Templar knights.

- from Gosforth

See also:
Hogbacks: Christian and pagan imagery on Viking Age monuments
The Tenth-Century Hogback Stones of Northern England in their Political and Social Contaxt

The Gosforth Cross

The non-Christian elements of the cross are associated with Ragnarök scenes from Scandinavian mythology. Ragnarök is a destruction myth from the Scandinavian mythological canon which tells the story of the end of the world following the end of the Golden Age of harmony. After the end of the Golden Age, the world fell into trouble and greed, the end result of which will be the end of the world itself (a future event). The scenes of Ragnarök on the Gosforth Cross include a scene above the crucifixion of Viðarr avenging the death of his father, Odin. Also featured are Heimdallr, holding the horn which will wake the gods, the devil-god Loki and his wife Sigyn.

That both Christ and Viðarr are featured on the east side is significant to note, as it allows the audience to draw parallels between the two religions. There are many points of overlap between Norse pagan and Christian figures and stories, and so the careful use of certain themes or figures would have been intentional, in order to create a link between the two religions.

To conclude

It is important to note that because of a lack of sequential narrative in the imagery presented on the Gosforth Cross, a high level of recognition of stories and iconography would be required for the audience to appreciate any meaning. Abrams has suggested that even when Christianity was (very quickly) formally adopted by the incoming Scandinavian groups, some form of paganism lingered within the community for some time (Abrams 2000: 136). The fact that Christianity took much longer to be adopted informally than formally may suggest the need for the juxtaposition of Christian and Norse iconography on works such as the Gosforth Cross, which was made decades after Scandinavian settlement. This type of cross may have been needed to ease the path to full conversion and assimilation.

I would argue that the agency of these objects gave them the capacity to project very powerful messages to their viewers. In a future post, I will write about the way that their placement was meaningful, and a major part of their biography. I hope that in this post, and the one before it, I’ve been able to showcase the way that object agency and archaeological theory can be used to ‘read’ the objects.

- from Religious Syncretism in Anglo-Scandinavian Stone Sculpture

See also: Stones of Cumbria

Hogbacks

Hogbacks
From Denmark and Scotland: The Cultural and Environmental Resources of Small Nations, Gillian Fellows-Jensen, 1999

Hogback Monuments in Scotland

From Hogback Monuments in Scotland
From Hogback Monuments in Scotland

Heysham Hogback

Heysham Hogback

“The distribution of Norse-Irish place names
corresponds remarkably closely to the scatter of hogbacks”

Lang observed (1984 p92) that “The distribution of Norse-Irish place names corresponds remarkably closely to the scatter of hogbacks.” Among these Norse-Irish settlers were the Gaill-Gaedhel, who are described by Smyth (1979 p265) as “half-pagan, half-Christian in religion; and ethnically . . . half-Norse, half-Celtic.” A contemporary description tells us, “They were a people who had renounced their Baptism, and they were usually called Northmen, for they had the customs of the Northmen, and had been fostered by them . . .” 25 But on the other hand, the Norse-Irish who named Aspatria (‘Ash-Patrick’) are likely to have been Christian.

- from Understanding the Heysham Hogback

Nordic Animal Art

From Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200
From Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200
From Celtic-Norse Relationships in the Irish Sea in the Middle Ages 800-1200

Nordic Religions in the Viking Age

From Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, Thomas DuBois, 1999
From Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, Thomas DuBois, 1999

Textual as well as archaeological evidence indicates the spread of this Cross tradition from the British Isles north into Iceland and western Norway. Landnamabok includes an account of the Orkney migrant Einarr Porgeirsson, who marked his new territory in Iceland with three divine symbols - an ax (symbolizing Thor), and eagle (symbolizing Odin), and a cross. High crosses of stone appear in coastal Norway in the tenth and eleventh centuries, sharing rune type with the crosses of Man.

Pagan Picture Stone, Alskog, Tjangvide, Gotland, Sweden, probably eighth century
Pagan Picture Stone, Alskog, Tjangvide, Gotland, Sweden, probably eighth century
From Nordic Religions in the Viking Age, Thomas DuBois, 1999

The Late Viking Age Artistic Styles


From Black Pool, Hiberno-Norse identity in Viking Age and Early Medieval Ireland

Urnes Stave Church, Sogn og Fjordane

Carvings on wall plank of the north wall
Carvings on wall plank of the north wall

Urnes Stave Church (Norwegian: Urnes stavkyrkje) is a 12th-century stave church at Ornes, along the Lustrafjorden in the municipality of Luster in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. It sits on the eastern side of the fjord, directly across the fjord from the village of Solvorn and about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of the village of Hafslo... The church was built around 1130 or shortly thereafter, and still stands in its original location; it is believed to be the oldest of its kind. It provides a link between Christian architecture and the architecture and artforms of the Viking Age with typical animal-ornamentation, the so-called "Urnes style" of animal-art.

- from Wikipedia

Urnes Stave Church

The wooden church of Urnes (the stavkirke) stands in the natural setting of Sogn og Fjordane. It was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is an outstanding example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture. It brings together traces of Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque spatial structures.

- UNESCO World Heritage Site

 

The Norman Invasion

Bayeux Tapestry
The Bayeux Tapestry

Norman Invasion

When the Normans conquered England in 1066, Carlisle was under Scottish rule and does not appear in the Domesday Book, but in 1092 William Rufus (son of William the Conqueror) came north and ‘drove out Dolfin' from Carlisle. Dolfin was probably a vassal of the king of Scotland.

William immediately began to strengthen the defences of his newly acquired city, first building a timber castle on the site of the Roman fort (later rebuilt in stone). The king also parcelled out lands around Carlisle to his lords to reward them for their loyalty. Harraby, Upperby, Botcherby, Etterby, Tarraby, Rickerby and Aglionby are all named after Norman lords, who each added the Danish suffix ‘by' to their name. The Priory of St Mary was established by Henry I for Augustinian canons, with Blackfriar's (Dominican) and Greyfriar's (Franciscan) monasteries located in other parts of the city centre. The Tithe Barn was built in the 15th century to store the tithes (one-tenth of every farmer's crop) for use by the prior and his staff.

- from discovercarlisle.co.uk

Dolfin of Carlisle

In 1092, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle MS E, a Dolfin was expelled from Carlisle by William Rufus, king of England:[3] William followed up by constructing a castle in the city, and importing settlers from elsewhere in England:[4]

[s.a. 1092] In this year king William with a great army went north to Carlisle and restored the town and built the castle; and drove out Dolfin, who ruled the land there before. And he garrisoned the castle with his vassals; and thereafter came south hither and sent thither a great multitude of [churlish] folk with women and cattle, there to dwell and till the land.[5]

- Wikipedia

"The flint tools from each side of the North Sea are almost identical"

"The flint tools from each side of the North Sea are almost identical"

Howburn Farm and Scotland's First People

Dating for the objects found at Howburn Farm has been accomplished through both typology and technology; the way in which they were made with particular technological features, such as spurred (en éperon) faceted striking platforms, is very distinctive. The type and technology are directly comparable with similar finds of flint artefacts from north-west Europe during the period from 13,000 to 11,000 BC. Preliminary analysis suggests the particular flint tool-kit found at Howburn has parallels with examples from the Late Hamburgian (around 12,000 BC) sites in northern Germany and southern Denmark. Such sites have been known for a long time in Germany, after initially being found in the Ahrensburg Valley near Hamburg, from which the culture takes its name. On the Continent, organic finds such as reindeer antler, animal bone and charcoal have been found and dated with the flint tools, but at Howburn, no organic material remained. Nevertheless, the flint tools from each side of the North Sea are almost identical.

"The people of the Hamburgian Culture devised a distinct culture of flint tool-making"

The people of the Hamburgian Culture devised a distinct culture of flint tool-making which was used to hunt and process their prey. Projectile points had a special shaped tang and processing the carcasses was done using long blade scrapers and knives, while hides, bone and antler were worked by tools such as burins and piercers. It is these tool types that have been found in profusion from the two scatters in the field at Howburn. Given the variety of flint types and colours and the quantity of tools recovered, it is evident that the camp site was visited at different occasions, perhaps quite widely separated in time.

During the whole of the Late Upper Palaeolithic, Britain was a peninsula of the European mainland, with the area of the North Sea still dry land (See Doggerlandin CA 207).

"Herds of reindeer and wild horses roamed the area of this extended North European Plain
 on seasonal migrations, followed by the Late Upper Palaeolithic hunters
"

The map shows the suggested routes adopted by the reindeer and hunters who settled at Howburn.
The map shows the suggested routes adopted by the reindeer and hunters who settled at Howburn.
Actual reindeer and antler finds are also indicated.

The hunters would also have used tools made of bone, antler, and wood; however, due to the notoriously acidic soils, normally only flint artefacts survive in Scotland unless there are exceptional local conditions for preservation. Since there is no natural occurrence of flint in the Howburn vicinity, this raw material must have been brought to the site from a considerable distance, perhaps from outcrops that now lie beneath the North Sea. The hunters at Howburn also used chert, but, intriguingly, they ignored the locally available cherts, preferring, instead, to bring their chert tools with them from some distance away.

- from Howburn Farm - Excavating Scotland's First People

"these people followed reindeer herds on their yearly cycle, from Scotland,
through north-east England, and possibly onto the then dry parts of the North Sea,
the ‘Doggerland’, and back
"

The presence of Havelte points, and the application of the en eperon technique, both indicate a date at the end of the Hamburgian period, between c. 12,300-11,900 BP. Usually, this period is associated with Late Glacial nomadic reindeer-hunters, which would explain the raw material composition of the assemblage. Most probably, these people followed reindeer herds on their yearly cycle, from Scotland, through north-east England, and possibly onto the then dry parts of the North Sea, the ‘Doggerland’, and back, and flint, as well as various forms of chert may have been picked up along the way. However, a deeper understanding of these groups, their material culture, technology, economy and ideology relies on the discovery of further Upper Palaeolithic sites in northern Britain. For now, the settlers from Howburn Farm should first and foremost be celebrated as some of the earliest pioneer settlers in recently deglaciated northern Britain.

- from An Upper Paleolithic assemblage from Howburn Farm, South Lanarkshire

"the latest radiocarbon date for reindeer is c. 8300 BP"

Missing Mammals from Mesolithic Middens

During the Late glacial and very early Holocene (c .13,000–9200 BP), when humans are likely to have recolonized Scotland (Morrison & Bonsall 1989), the landscape was dominated by treeless tundras and open grasslands (Huntley 1993), which were populated by mainly Arctic species, including reindeer, mountain hare (Lepus timidus), and possibly Arctic fox (Alopexlagopus), or open-ground species such as the wild horse (Equus ferus) (Kitchener 1998). As the woodland cover of Scotland developed over the next few thousand years (Tipping 1994), the fauna changed to reflect this. The wild horse probably became extinct in Britain during the Mesolithic (Clutton-Brock 1991; Yalden 1999, 78)and the latest radiocarbon date for reindeer is c . 8300 BP from the Creag nan Uamh caves, Sutherland (Murray et al. 1993). Of these early mammals, only the mountain hare has survived until today as a relict species on high ground.

- from Missing Mammals from Mesolithic Middens: a comparison of the fossil and archaeological records from Scotland, Clice Bansall, 2004

Allt Nan Uamh
Alternative Names Creag Nan Uamh; Inchnadamph Caves; 'Reindeer Cave'; 'Bone Caves', Uamh An Claonaite

There are four caves in a limestone cliff, about 200 ft. above Allt nan Uamh - a tributary of the Loanan, near Inchnadamph. In 1889, Dr J Horne and Dr B N Peach explored the third cave from the west and found bones of a rich Arctic fauna with traces of human habitation (Proc Roy Soc Edinburgh 1927) Further excavations were made in 1926 by J E Cree, caves 1 and 2 from the west being dug and a trial trench dug in the 1889 cave. Finds included animal bones, human skeletons - one a definite burial, an iron blade a bone pin and an awl, a reindeer horn implement, cut and scratched antler and charcoal. Proc Roy Soc Edinburgh 1917; J G Callander, H E Cree and J Ritchie 1927.

"Radiocarbon dating of the human skeletal remains found...
suggests the caves were a burial place in the Neolithic period"

Excavations in the 1920's at the Creag nan Uamh bone caves, near Inchnadamph, aroused considerable interest in the possibility of evidence for a Palaeolithic presence in north-west Scotland. Four objects found during those excavations, including the one on which the principal claim for a Palaeolithic date was based, are published here for the first time. Two are probable Viking Age / early medieval artefacts of unusual type, one is undated but is possibly also of the same period, and the fourth, while almost certainly of Pleistocene age, is regarded as an unmodified natural object. Collectively these items serve to discount previous claims for Palaeolithic human presence. Radiocarbon dating of the human skeletal remains found, however, suggests the caves were a burial place in the Neolithic period.

- from RCAHMS Site Record for Allt Nan Uamh
See also Bringing out the Bone Cave's dead

Early History, Pre-Roman

Archaeological excavations at Cramond have uncovered evidence of habitation dating to around 8500 BC, making it the (previously) earliest known site of human settlement in Scotland. The inhabitants of the Mesolithic camp-site were nomadic hunter-gatherers who moved around their territories according to the season of the year.[4] Although no bones survived the acid soil, waste pits and stakeholes that would have supported shelters or windbreaks were excavated. Numerous discarded hazelnut shells were found in the pits and used to carbon-date the site, the waste product of the inhabitants' staple food. It is thought the site was chosen for its location near the junction of the River Forth and the River Almond, where the rich oyster and mussel beds proved a reliable natural resource. Many microlith stone tools manufactured at the site were found, and pre-date finds of similar style in England.

- from Wkipedia

"structures built up to 5,000 years ago have survived,
even though they were submerged under the waves by rising sea levels
"

History uncovered beneath the waves of Orkney

THE remains of a Neolithic stone circle that could rival the most impressive in Britain may have been found off the coast of Orkney. Archaeologists surveying the seabed near the island chain’s famous Ring of Brodgar believe they could have discovered an earlier version just 500 metres offshore from the major tourist attraction. Preliminary findings from an investigation seeking previously hidden historical sites in the area have raised hopes that prehistoric structures built up to 5,000 years ago have survived, even though they were submerged under the waves by rising sea levels. Marine surveys – using remote sensing and seismic profiling techniques – have revealed “anomalies” which could be man-made structures around 12 feet under water...

The islands are already one of the best sites for archaeological remains. The best-known structures, including homes, ceremonial centres and burial chambers, are designated as World Heritage Sites. But not so well known, and an area that has been rarely studied to date, is the landscape occupied by Orkney’s first inhabitants 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. At the time of these Mesolithic hunter-gatherers Orkney was a single landmass, sea levels were up to 45 metres lower than today and many of the areas that were settled are now under water.

- from History uncovered beneath the waves of Orkney

 

Historical Scotland

The Gundestrup Cauldron
The Gundestrup Cauldron

The Gundestrup Cauldron

The Gundestrup cauldron is a richly decorated silver vessel, thought to date between 200 BC and 300 AD, placing it within the late La Tène period or early Roman Iron Age.[1][2] The cauldron is the largest known example of European Iron Age silver work (diameter: 69 cm, height: 42 cm). It was found in 1891 in a peat bog near the hamlet of Gundestrup in the Aars parish of Himmerland, Denmark (56°49′N 9°33′E).[3][4][5] It is now housed at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen (with a replica in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.)[6] Despite the fact that the vessel was found in Denmark, there has been a debate between a Gaulish origin and Thracian origin on account of the workmanship, metallurgy, and imagery.

- from Wikipedia

Gundestrup Cauldron (A Thracian connection?)

If the Cauldron was made elsewhere than Denmark, then how did it make its way north to Jutland ? To explain its discovery in Denmark, several options are brought up. Klindt Jensen assumes that the cauldron was a Celtic object imported into Denmark. Olmsted suggests that it was a war booty because the Romans employed Germanic cavalry in Gaul. Bergquist and Taylor propose that it was made in southeast Europe by a Thracian silver smith, possibly commissioned by Celts (Scordisci)and transported by Cimbri who invaded the Middle lower Danube in 120 BC and looted the Scordisci. They make conjecture that since the cauldron takes the 4th century BC Thracian style and lacks the Roman tradition, it was made between fourth and first century BC.

- from Gudestrup Cauldron, University of North Carolina

The Celtic Empire 700-100 B.C.
The Celtic Empire 700-100 B.C.

Celtic Languages

By the 4th century BC people across Britain spoke ‘Celtic’ languages. These are commonly known as ‘Q-Celtic’ or ‘Goidelic’ languages and ‘P-Celtic’ or ‘Brythonic’ languages: Q-Celtic Goidelic languages included Manx, Scots and Irish Gaelic. The Dál Riatan Gaels spoke a Q-Celtic Goidelic language; P-Celtic Brythonic languages included Welsh, Cumbric, Cornish and Breton. These were the languages of the Picts and the Britons.

- from Scotland's History, Celtic languages, Education Scotland

Brittonic Languages

The modern Brittonic languages are generally considered to all derive from a common ancestral language termed Brittonic, British, Common Brittonic, Old Brittonic or Proto-Brittonic, which is thought to have developed from Proto-Celtic or early Insular Celtic by the 6th century BC.

- from Brittonic Languages, History and origins, Wikipedia

Iron Age 'Celts'

‘Celtic’ is broadly defined by language, and by the art, artefacts and human remains of Iron Age peoples. ‘Celtic Scotland’ saw the native population of the Later Bronze Age adopt new technologies and aspects of culture from the peoples that they traded with. The Iron Age in Scotland began c 700 BC and continued to around AD 500.

Native craftspeople mastered iron smelting and decorated their metal work with exquisite designs; they loved intricate decoration and ornament. Celtic decoration often included complex woven patterns of ‘knotworks’. The people of the Iron Age tribes wore colourful dyed and patterned clothes; warriors wore golden torcs round their necks and fought from war chariots drawn by horses.

Warrior bands were skilled horsemen and hunters; fierce fighters and charioteers who were famed for their feasting, boasting and storytelling. Their battles echoed with the sound of the war horn; the Carnyx. Iron objects, including cauldrons and swords, were thrown into water - in lochs, rivers and bogs - as ‘votive’ offerings to pre-Christian gods and goddesses.

The Romans listed the Celtic tribes of the north. These included the Caledonii, the Votadini, the Selgovae, the Damnoni, the Novantae, the Vacomagi and the Venicones.

- from Iron Age Celts, Scotland's History, Education Scotland

"people of the designs"

The Tribes of Ancient Scotland

Notwithstanding record that the British isles were known by its inhabitants as Albion, before the conquest period the Romans knew of the British isles as "Pretani" and the inhabitants as "Pretannikai". By the time of Julius Caesar`s forays in Britain the "P" had been replaced with a "B" to give the more familiar sounding "Britannia". It is recorded that Pretani means "people of the designs", and it will be a recurring theme for tattooing to be a notable influence on the Romans when naming later peoples.

"the name given to the remaining free indigenous population in Britain"

The language spoken by these tribes was old British, correctly known as "Brythonic" or commonly now as "Old Welsh". It is of note that for long the inhabitants of Wales and southern Scotland refused to recognise the name "Wales" (ed. "walh"), it being the name given to the remaining free indigenous population in Britain in the post Roman period by the Germanic (ultimately English) invaders and means "Land of Romanised foreigners". On the contrary they knew themselves as the "Brythonaid" - the "British"...

In post Roman Scotland the Brythonic language was to be submerged as the language of the common people under the languages of the conquering elites: Gaelic speaking Scots from Ulster in the north west, old English by Anglian invaders in the south east though Brythonic survived well into the 11th C AD in the militarily powerhouse that was the British Kingdom of Strathclyde.

- from Roman Scotland, The Tribes of Ancient Scotland

Ptolemy's map, 140 A.D. showing the location of the Selgovae
Ptolemy's map, 140 A.D. showing the location of the Selgovae

"the Selgovae were The Hunters"

Selgovae

A British tribe in southern Scotland. This tribe, whose name is thought to mean ‘hunters’, is referred to by the Greek geographer Ptolemy. His information places them in the southern uplands of Scotland centred in the upper Tweed basin, sandwiched between the Votadini to the east and the Novantes to the west.

- from answers.com

Selgovae

As a tribe dwelling beyond Hadrian's wall little is known about the Selgovae. In his Geography, Ptolemy places the Selgovae in the Southern uplands of Scotland, though the precise extent of their territory is unknown. However, many modern scholars place them in the Tweed Basin, a site adjacent to the Votadini. Roman records tell us that the Selgovae were conquered in 79–80 CE, at the same time as the Votadini. As a result it is not entirely clear whether the Selgovae and Votadini were truly separate peoples or not. If the Selgovae can be considered a separate tribe then their main settlement was probably at Elidon Seat. The tribe's name can be derived from the reconstructed proto-Celtic *selgƒ- (hunt). Thus the Selgovae were 'The Hunters'.

- from The Brythonic Tribes of Roman Britain

Selgovae

The prehistoric populations of Dumfriesshire left hill forts in the north, stone circles, camps, tumuli and cairns, and sculpted stones. The Celtic British inhabitants of the region were called Selgovae by the Romans, who built many forts in Annandale. There are traces of Roman roads, and at Birrens there is a well-preserved Roman camp. Many Roman artifacts have been found.

- from Encyclopaedia Brittanica

RCAHMS Site Record for Birrens

Peoples of Northern Britain c 150 AD
Peoples of Northern Britain c 150 AD

"the Selgovae were among the British peoples
who had strongly resisted Roman occupation
"

The Territory of the Selgovae

The territory of the Selgovae was substantially planted with Roman forts at this time, at Broomholm, Birrens, Ward Law, Milton, Drumlanrig, Dalswinton, and at Glenlochar on the eastern bank of the River Dee, which was perhaps the boundary between the Selgovae and the neighboring Novantae. This suggests (but does not confirm) that the Selgovae were among the British peoples who had strongly resisted Roman occupation. This is in contrast to the neighboring Novantae, where there were no signs of Roman occupation save the fortlet at Gatehouse of Fleet, in the southeast of their territory.

Following the reorganisation of northern Roman Britain and the construction of Hadrian's Wall (c. 122), the only Roman forts in Selgovae territory were at Birrens and Netherby. However, with the construction of the Antonine Wall and the re-occupation of territory north of Hadrian's Wall (c. 142), Selgovae territory was again heavily planted with Roman forts, at Netherby, Broomholm, Birrens, Burnswark, Raeburnfoot, Shieldhill, Milton, Drumlanrig, Dalswinton, Carzield, Lantonside, and Glenlochar. There were no Roman forts planted in the territory of the neighboring Novantae.

When Rome largely abandoned its occupation of territory north of Hadrian's Wall under the reorganisation of Marcus Aurelius (c. 175), they nevertheless retained forts at Birrens and Netherby, though there would never again be a large-scale military occupation of Selgovae territory. Rome had permanently abandoned Selgovae territory by 370.

Cultural affinity

"The ethnic and cultural affinity of the Selgovae is assumed to have been Brittonic,
and there is no evidence to dispute the suggestion
that they were an integral part of the tribal Brigantes.
"

Archaeological evidence is scant, but it includes a Roman-era figure and inscription found at Birrens that was dedicated to 'Brigantia', similar to dedications found in known Brigantian territory in Cumbria and Yorkshire. Tacitus says that the Brigantes were a large tribe, and their territory was more extensive than is commonly shown on maps of Roman Britain, which approximately restricts them to northwestern England south of Hadrian's Wall. Artifacts associated with the Brigantes have been found across the region just north of Hadrian's Wall, both in England and in Scottish Dumfriesshire and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright. They are also known to have been present in southern Ireland.

"The Brigantes were troublesome to Roman rule"

The Brigantes were troublesome to Roman rule, strongly resisting initial Roman occupation and frequently rising in efforts to throw off Roman rule. The Roman response was overwhelming force and the subsequent heavy plantation of forts of occupation. The heavy plantation of forts in Selgovae territory is similar to the Roman occupation of the Brigantes and unlike Roman treatment of other neighboring peoples such as the Novantae and Votadini, who were never known to be at war with the Romans, and who were not heavily occupied.

Much later history, better recorded, shows that the territory of the Selgovae was continually associated with Cumbria (homeland of the Brigantes) and Alt Clud (homeland of the Damnonii), both of which are known to have been Britonnic in culture and language.

- From Wikipedia

History (Eildon Hill Fort)

Excavations have found evidence that the hill fort was occupied by 1000 BC, in the Bronze age. The ramparts seem to have been built and rebuilt in three phases. At its peak the population of the hill could have been 3000 to 6000, the largest known in Scotland from this period. Evidence has not been found of a significant population in the immediate pre-Roman period. It was once widely believed that this Trimontium might be the Trimontium of the Selgovae that had been mentioned by the Roman geographer Ptolemy, but the source of the information was later discredited.

In the 1st century the Roman army built the massive fort of Trimontium, named after the three peaks, at the foot of the hill on the bank of the River Tweed. In association with it they constructed a signal tower with a tiled roof in an 11 m (36 ft) diameter enclosure built on the summit of the hill fort, which presumably had been abandoned. However, finds including Roman coins and pottery have suggested that some of the house platforms were again in use in the 2nd to 4th century.

According to Nuttall, the 1,385 feet (422 m) high "triple-crested eminence" overlooks Teviotdale to the South.

- from Eildon Hill, Wikipedia

See also The Trimontium Trust - Fort

King Arthur is supposedly buried in the Eildon Hills, which overlook the town.
- from Melrose, Scottish Borders, Wikipedia

"One of the greatest monuments to the power - and limitations - of the Roman Empire,
Hadrian's Wall ran for 73 miles across open country"

Roman Empire during the time of Hadrian A.D. 117
Roman Empire during the time of Hadrian A.D. 117

Why was it built?

At the time of Julius Caesar's first small invasion of the south coast of Britain in 55 BC, the British Isles, like much of mainland Europe was inhabited by many Celtic tribes loosely united by a similar language and culture but nevertheless each distinct. He returned the next year and encountered the 4000 war chariots of the Catevellauni in a land "protected by forests and marshes, and filled with a great number of men and cattle." He defeated the Catevellauni and then withdrew, though not before establishing treaties and alliances. Thus began the Roman occupation of Britain.

Nearly 100 years later, in 43 AD, the Emperor Claudius sent Aulus Plautius and about 24,000 soldiers to Britain, this time to establish control under a military presence. Although subjugation of southern Britain proceeded fairly smoothly by a combination of military might and clever diplomacy, and by 79 AD what is now England and Wales were firmly under control, the far North remained a problem. However, the Emperor Vespasian decided that what is now Scotland should also be incorporated into the Roman Empire. Under his instructions the governor of Britian, Julius Agricola, subdued the Southern Scottish tribal clans, the Selgovae, Novantae and Votadini by 81 AD. Further to the North lived loose associations of clans known collectively as the Caledonians. Agricola tried to provoke them into battle by marching an army into the Highlands eventually forcing a battle with the Caledonian leader Calgacus in present day Aberdeenshire at a place called Mons Graupius. 30,000 Caledonians were killed, but the Roman victory was a hollow one, for the next day the surviving clansmen melted away into the hills, and were to remain fiercely resistant and independent.

"Hadrian ordered a wall to be built to separate Romans from Barbarians"

By the time Hadrian became Emperor in 117 AD the Roman Empire had ceased to expand. Hadrian was concerned to consolidate his boundaries. He visited Britain in 122 AD, and ordered a wall to be built between the Solway Firth in the West and the River Tyne in the east "to separate Romans from Barbarians".

- from Hadrian's Wall, About Scotland

Hadrian's and Antonine Wall
Hadrian's and Antonine Wall

Post Roman Celtic Kingdoms - Caer-Guendoleu (Selgovae / Salway)

The name Salway evolved from that of the Celtic tribe, the Selgovae, who had settled the territory between the Cheviot Hills and Dumfries. Their capital was on North Eildon hill near Melrose, and the Romans later built the fort of Trimontium, at Newstead, nearby. This area crystallised as the kingdom of Caer-Guendoleu (named after the king who was most closely associated with the area, Gwenddolew, which has survived as modern Carwinley). This tribal domain may have been one of the 'four kingdoms of ancient Scotland' which apparently became establish in the second century.

By the end of the fourth century the bulk of the Selgovae northern and central territory seems to have been taken over by Alt Clut, and the remnants were part of Coel Hen's Kingdom of North Britain. As an independent territory, the Post-Roman kingdom centered on Caer-Guendoleu seems first to have been ruled by the son of Einion ap Mor, who was himself the first king of Ebrauc. Upon his death, his territory was divided between his sons, with Eliffer gaining Ebrauc itself, and Ceidio gaining the region north of the Salway (modern Solway). The new ruler's title reflected a remnant of Coel Hen's grander one.

When Ceidio's son was killed in battle in 573, close relatives in the powerful kingdom of North Rheged absorbed the territory, with Urien's two brothers ruling it, probably as a sub-kingdom. Once North Rheged had been crushed, its remnants, including whatever remained of Caer-Guendoleu, seem to have been taken over and held into the eleventh century by Alt Clut, although the situation regarding this is extremely sketchy.

- from Celtic Kingdoms of the British Isles, The History Files

Anglo-Saxon "Homelands"


Anglo-Saxon "homelands" in Britain
from Children's British History Encyclopedia

Settlements of Angles, Saxons and Jutes in Britain in about 600 A.D,
Settlements of Angles, Saxons and Jutes in Britain in about 600 A.D,

"The Ænglisc-speaking Anglo-Saxons used the term Waelisc
when referring to the Celtic Britons
"

Etymology of Wales

The English words "Wales" and "Welsh" derive from the same Germanic root (singular Walh, plural Walha), meaning a "foreigner", or "stranger", who had been "Romanised". The Ænglisc-speaking Anglo-Saxons used the term Waelisc when referring to the Celtic Britons, and Wēalas when referring to their lands.[3] The modern names for some Continental European lands (e.g., Wallonia and Wallachia) and peoples (e.g., the Vlachs via a borrowing into Old Church Slavonic) have a similar etymology.[4][5][6][7]

Historically in Britain, the words were not restricted to modern Wales or to the Welsh but were used to refer to anything that the Anglo-Saxons associated with the Britons, including other non-Germanic territories in Britain (e.g., Cornwall) and Germanic territories particularly associated with Celtic Britons (e.g., Walworth in County Durham and Walton in West Yorkshire),[8] as well as items associated with non-Germanic Europeans (e.g., the walnut). - from Wales, Wikipedia

Britons - Strathclyde

The Strathclyde Britons spoke a P-Celtic Brythonic language. The name ‘Strathclyde’ comes from the Brythonic ‘Ystrad Clud’ meaning ‘Valley of the Clyde’. Clud, Clota or Clutida was the native goddess of the river Clyde.

- from Scotland's History, Britons - Strathclyde, Education Scotland

Yr Hen Ogledd

Yr Hen Ogledd (Welsh pronunciation: [ər ˌheːn ˈɔɡlɛð]; The Old North) is a Welsh term used by scholars to refer to those parts of what is now northern England and southern Scotland in the years between 500 and the Viking invasions of c. 800, with particular interest in the Brythonic-speaking peoples who lived there.

The term is derived from heroic poetry as told by bards for the enjoyment and benefit of the Welsh kings of that era. From the relatively southern Welsh perspective, these are stories of the Gwŷr y Gogledd (Men of the North), with their relationships to the great men of the past given by genealogies such as Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd (Descent of the Men of the North) and the Harleian genealogies. "The North" became "the Old North" in recognition of the passage of time since the literary works were contemporary, hence "the Old North" and "Men of the Old North".

In attempting to construct a reasonably accurate history of the areas that now make up southern Scotland and northern England, scholars have adopted the term Hen Ogledd or "Old North" from the Welsh heroic poetry to refer to the Brythonic kingdoms, such as Rheged. As used by historians, the term is meant to apply to an area of scholarly research, and is not intended to give undue weight to the poetry and genealogy that first produced the term.

- from Wikipedia

Harleian Geneaologies

The Harleian genealogies are a collection of Old Welsh genealogies preserved in British Library, Harleian MS 3859. Part of the Harleian Collection, the manuscript, which also contains the Annales Cambriae (Recension A) and a version of the Historia Brittonum, has been dated to c. 1100, although a date of c.1200 is also possible.[1] Since the genealogies begin with the paternal and maternal pedigrees of Owain ap Hywel Dda (d. 988), the material was probably compiled during his reign.[1] The collection also traces the lineages of less prominent rulers of Wales and the Hen Ogledd or Old North. Some of the genealogies re-appear in the genealogies of Jesus College MS. 20.

- Wikipedia

Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd

Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd (English: The Descent of the Men of the North) is a brief Middle Welsh tract which claims to give the pedigrees of twenty 6th-century rulers of the Hen Ogledd ("Old North"), the Brythonic-speaking parts of southern Scotland and northern England. It is attested in a number of manuscripts, the earliest being NLW, Peniarth MS 45, which has been dated to the late 13th century. The text may have been composed in the 12th century.[1] The historicity of much of the information is spurious or in doubt. Although certain parts are in agreement with the earlier Harleian genealogies, the text represents a substantial revision seeking to integrate the branches of many rulers and heroes who are prominent in other traditions, such as the Rheged prince Llywarch Hen.[2]

- Wikipedia

"The Gaels gave Scotland its name from 'Scoti', a racially derogatory term
used by the Romans to describe the Gaelic-speaking 'pirates'
who raided Britannia in the 3rd and 4th centuries
"

Kingdom of the Gaels

The Gaels gave Scotland its name from 'Scoti', a racially derogatory term used by the Romans to describe the Gaelic-speaking 'pirates' who raided Britannia in the 3rd and 4th centuries. They called themselves 'Goidi l', modernised today as Gaels, and later called Scotland 'Alba'.

For centuries historians have debated the Gaels' origin. The earliest historical source we have comes from around the 10th century and held that the Gaels came from Ireland in around 500 AD, under King Fergus Mor, and conquered Argyll from the Picts. Recently archaeologists have challenged this idea. If the Gaels did invade from Ireland then new objects and differing types of building style could be expected to appear. What archaeologists point to is the continuity in building styles of crannogs and forts found in Argyll and Ireland, suggesting the Gaels had lived in Argyll for many centuries before Fergus Mor and shared a common Gaelic culture with Ireland.

At the heart of the Gaelic kingdom – Dál Riata – was a formidable hill fort. The rocky outcrop of Dunadd, Argyll, was far more than a defensive fortress however. Dunadd was the location where Gaelic kings were inaugurated in a ceremony that symbollically married them to the land. In its heyday Dunadd would have been an impressive sight, a single rock outcrop set in the flat bottom of the Kilmartin Valley. On its upper slopes Dunadd was surrounded by stone ramparts, the remains of which can still be seen, and entry was through a natural cleft in the rock sealed by wooden gates. Beyond the gate were houses and workshops for smelting iron and gold.

"An important trading centre, many goods flowed through it: gold from Ireland, wine from southern Europe, even rare minerals from the far east used by scribes to colour manuscripts..."

In the early 8th century, the Gaels were confronted with the rising power of the Picts. In 736 AD the Picts stormed Dunadd. Their leader, Unust, may have been of Gaelic parentage, but in 741 AD the annals record his 'smiting of Dál Riata'. After his conquest Dál Riata became a back water with its kings subservient to the Picts. It was from this background of decline that Kenneth MacAlpin emerged. In the mid 9th century he conquered the Pictish kingship and restored the Gaels' fortunes as they moved east to take over Pictland. Kenneth's triumph was Dunadd's end as ultimately the Kingdom Dál Riata vanished from history and the lands of Argyll fell under Norse control. However, along with Pictland, Dál Riata became the essential ingredient in the new Kingdom of Alba.

- from BBC, Scotland's History, The Kingdom of the Gaels
See also British Archaeology, Citadel of the first Scots

 

Viking Raids and Settlements

Viking Raids and Settlements 550-1100 AD
Viking Raids and Settlements 550-1100 AD

A brief history of the Vikings in Britain

In 793 came the first recorded Viking raid, where ‘on the Ides of June the harrying of the heathen destroyed God's church on Lindisfarne, bringing ruin and slaughter' (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) These ruthless pirates continued to make regular raids around the coasts of England, looting treasure and other goods, and capturing people as slaves. Monasteries were often targeted, for their precious silver or gold chalices, plates, bowls and crucifixes. Gradually, the Viking raiders began to stay, first in winter camps, then settling in land they had seized, mainly in the east and north of England...

"Scandinavian adventurers, merchants and mercenaries were,
of course, active before and after this period
"

The Vikings' homeland was Scandinavia: modern Norway, Sweden and Denmark. From here they travelled great distances, mainly by sea and river - as far as North America to the west, Russia to the east, Lapland to the north and North Africa and Iraq to the south. We know about them through archaeology, poetry, sagas and proverbs, treaties, and the writings of people in Europe and Asia whom they encountered. They were skilled craftsmen and boat-builders, adventurous explorers and wide-ranging traders. What we call the Viking Age lasted from approximately 800 to 1150 AD, although Scandinavian adventurers, merchants and mercenaries were, of course, active before and after this period. Their expansion during the Viking Age took the form of warfare, exploration, settlement and trade. During this period, around 200,000 people left Scandinavia to settle in other lands, mainly Newfoundland (Canada), Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, England, Scotland, the islands around Britain, France (where they became the Normans), Sicily. They traded extensively with the Muslim world and fought as mercenaries for the Byzantine emperors of Constantinople (Istanbul). However, by the end of the 11th century the great days of Viking expansion were over...

- from A brief history of the Vikings in Britain
See UNESCO's Viking Age Sites in Northern Europe

The Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, c. 800

The Danelaw

The Danelaw, 878
The Danelaw, 878

The Danelaw (also known as the Danelagh; Old English: Dena lagu;[1] Danish: Danelagen), as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes held sway[2] and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. Danelaw contrasts West Saxon law and Mercian law.

Modern historians have extended the term to a geographical designation. The areas that constituted the Danelaw lie in northern and eastern England.

The Danelaw originated from the Viking expansion of the ninth century AD, although the term was not used to describe a geographic area until the 11th century AD. With the increase in population and productivity in Scandinavia, Viking warriors, having sought treasure and glory in the nearby British Isles, "proceeded to plough and support themselves", in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 876.[3]

Danelaw can describe the set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the West-Saxon king, Alfred the Great, and the Danish warlord, Guthrum, written following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Edington in 878. In 886 the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum was formalised, defining the boundaries of their kingdoms, with provisions for peaceful relations between the English and the Vikings. The language spoken in England was also affected by this clash of cultures with the emergence of Anglo-Norse dialects.[4]

- Wikipedia

Dark Age Scotland

In AD 839 the Vikings wiped out the Pictish royal family. Competitors emerged for the kingship, and, after a long civil war, Kenneth MacAlpine (Cináed mac Ailpín), King of the Gaels of Dál Riata, became undisputed King of the Picts in AD 849. He brought with him the relics of St Columba from the Island of Iona to Dunkeld - the saint and his preachings were a powerful symbol of authority to accompany a Gaelic king to his new kingdom. Pictland hadn't quite been conquered, but rather the foundations had been set for a new Gaelic Kingdom, which included the Picts.

It wasn't long before the Vikings were back, this time to conquer Britain. In AD 867 they seized the Anglian Kingdom of Northumbria; three years later they stormed the Britons’ fortress of Dumbarton and conquered much of England. The Picts and Gaels were encircled.

Then in AD 900 Constantine mac Aed (Constantín mac Áed) became King of the Picts. Within four years he had defeated the Vikings at Strathcarron, however, it wasn’t the sword but diplomacy that was Constantine’s strength. He married off his daughters into the Viking warbands, bringing them into alliance, and reformed his kingdom along Gaelic lines - renaming it Alba. Alba was the prototype for the Scottish nation, and the true founding father of the nation was Constantine II, grandson of Kenneth MacAlpine...

In AD 934 Æthelstan, the Anglo-Saxon King of England, set about subduing the north of Britain to his will. With a vast army he besieged Constantine at Dunnottar, but to no avail - the rock fortress was too strong. Æthelstan retreated whilst Constantine gathered his allies - Britons, Angles and Vikings - in order to invade England. Constantine was defeated at the bloody Battle of Brunanburh, but his diplomacy had left Æthelstan’s ambitions shattered.

Constantine’s lasting achievement was to bring Alba safely through Viking and Anglo-Saxon onslaughts and to weld the Picts and Gaels into one Gaelic-speaking nation.

- from BBC, Birth of a Nation - Dark Age Scotland

"when they were expelled from Dublin in 902 C.E. the Vikings there returned to Scotland"

Lochlann

All uses of the word "Lochlann" relate it to Nordic realms of Europe. While the traditional view has identified Laithlind with Norway, some have preferred to locate it in a Norse-dominated part of Scotland, perhaps the Hebrides or the Northern Isles.[1] Donnchadh Ó Corráin states that Laithlinn was the name of Viking Scotland, and that a substantial part of Scotland - the Northern and Western Isles and large areas of the coastal mainland from Caithness and Sutherland to Argyle - was conquered by the Vikings in the first quarter of the ninth century and a Viking kingdom was set up there earlier than the middle of the century.[2] In relation to the debate about Lochlann's location, it is noteworthy that the Port an Eilean Mhòir Viking ship burial discovered in the Ardnamurchan peninsula of western Scotland contained a whetstone from Norway and a bronze ringpin from Ireland.[3]

- Wikipedia
See Vikings Ireland and Scotland in the Ninth Century, by Donnchadh Ó Corráin
See also Gaelic and Norse in the Landscape, Place names in Caithness and Sutherland

Port an Eilean Mhòir ship burial

Within the boundary of the ship, archaeologists discovered the fragmentary remains of a man, including pieces of an arm bone and teeth.[8] He had been buried with grave goods including a shield, placed over his chest, and a sword and a spear lying by his side, besides an axe, a knife, a bronze ring-pin from Ireland, items of pottery, a whetstone from Norway and apparently a drinking horn, of which only a bronze fitting survives. Dozens of other iron fragments were discovered but have not yet been identified.[1]

- Wikipedia
- See also Ardnamurchan Viking boat burial discovery

The Vikings in Scotland

In the main, Viking Scotland comprised the Northern and Western Isles, Caithness, Sutherland and Inverness. Known severally as Lothlend, Laithlinn or Lochlainn (depending on which source you read), this area was comprehensively settled by Norse Vikings by the early ninth century. By mid-century it had created its own royal dynasty no longer directly connected to the Vestfold in Norway, and by the end of the ninth century this dynasty had made Dublin its main headquarters, from where it waged war on the indigenous Irish kings. Tribute was also collected from Picts and Scots on the mainland of Scotland, and when they were expelled from Dublin in 902 C.E. the Vikings there returned to Scotland. Following various engagements and battles, York was conquered and the kingdom of Dublin re-founded in 917 C.E. It has been postulated elsewhere that Olaf the White, Norse king of Dublin in the mid-ninth century, was in fact of Hebridean birth or ancestry. Dublin (and other places in Ireland) were now being used as bases to loot and plunder both Irish and English monasteries and their hinterlands, but not the Hebrides. From this it may be inferred that the Scottish islands and Highland coastal regions were by now areas not seen as targets, but so settled by the Norse and their ensuing generations that they were now capable of providing the raiding parties themselves. Summer raids were regularly mounted from here to Ireland, England and the north-west coasts of the continent.

- from The Vikings in Scotland

Viking Invasion of Britain, 793-1066

The worst of the Viking depredations were undoubtedly during the ninth century, and Alfred the Great is the central character during this crisis. At the beginning of his reign, the Saxon kingdom had nearly collapsed due to the destruction and dislocations of Danish raiders. Yet within a single generation, he had won a critical victory over the Danes and persuaded a number of them to become Christian and settle down peaceably along side the Saxons. These Danes, who often inhabited coastal regions, provided a buffer against further attacks, and helped restore some tranquility to the Saxon kingdom. Depredations continued during the tenth century, and there were several important battles including Brunanburh and Maldon, but by this time the Danes were no longer merely lawless marauders, but agents of somewhat more unified Viking Kingdoms, sent forth as armies to do battle for their kings rather than simply to loot and plunder. By the eleventh century, there was a long established Danish region in Northern England, and largely due to misrule by the Saxon King, a Danish King assumed the crown of England. The years of Danish rule lasted only twenty years, and then the throne was returned to the Saxons, but the reign of the Saxons was not destined to last much longer. In 1066 the last Danish invasion of England occurred, and almost immediately afterward, the Saxon kingdom fell permanently into the hands of the Normans, who were themselves, of Viking blood.

- from Heritage History

"an alliance of British, Scots and Norse, under Olaf Guthfrithson,
invaded England by ship
"

Battle of Brunanburh
late 937

Athelstan, having created a united kingdom of England by completing the re-conquest from the Danes, attempted to extend his authority over the northernmost territories of Britain. In response an alliance of British, Scots and Norse, under Olaf Guthfrithson, invaded England by ship via the Humber. In late 937 Athelstan responded, meeting the invaders in battle at Brunanburh. The joint Mercian and West Saxon army broke, pursued and destroyed the allied forces. The site of the battle has not been established and a number of alternatives have been suggested. One of these lies in southern Scotland, close to the hillfort at Burnswark, south east of Lockerbie.

- from UK Battlefields Resource Centre

Battle of Brunanburh AD 937

The Battle of Brunanburh was one of the most defining battles in the history of the British Isles and, as described by BBC Broadcaster Neil Oliver in History of Scotland it determined whether Britain would become one imperial power or stay as separate identities. Although the Northern Alliance of Scots, Strathclyde British and Norsemen from Ireland lost the battle against a combined Anglo-Saxon army from Mercia and Wessex - with heavy losses on both sides - the strong resistance proved decisive in what was to follow.

The Battle of Brunanburh is recorded as a contemporary (or near contemporary) poem in the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, and almost certainly took place on Wirral. Compelling arguments had earlier been made for other locations, notably in Lancashire, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Northants and SW Scotland. However the weight of scholarly opinion is now heavily on Wirral – the debate now seems to be where on Wirral – and how did they get there. And internationally respected author Bernard Cornwell appears to have little doubt the battle took place on Wirral as is clear from his new novel The Empty Throne:

The Wirral peninsula and Chester had not long earlier witnessed another major battle between “the armies of the Norsemen and the Danes” and the Mercian English – AD907. Chester was also the place where the Anglo Saxons had one of their earlier crushing and most significant victories against the British - AD613. Brunanburh was the old name until about 1732 for Bromborough. The poem also gives the location of the coastal point of escape as Dingesmere – which has now been satisfactorily explained as the “Things – mere or – marr”, the wetland or marshland associated with the Thing – the Viking parliament, at Thingwall on Wirral

- from Battle of Brunanburh AD937

"It can be argued that the dynast of Ivarr contunued to play a role in English affairs even after their major defeat at the battle of Brunanburh"
- Clare Downham, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland, 2007

Cimbri Genetic Heritage

The Danelaw was settled by Danish Vikings beginning circa 880 AD, and since the main staging area for the invasions of England was Limfjord within former Cimbri territory, doubtless some unknown percentage of these invaders would have carried the YChromosome DNA markers of the Cimbri. If it can be determined that the Jutes from westen Jutland, and the Angles from the eastern aspect of the base of the Jutland Peninsula were also descendants of the Cimbri, then the migrations to England circa 449 AD would also have carried Cimbri genetic heritage to this location.

- from The Cimbri - A Chronology

Cimbri

Cimbri, a Germanic tribe whose military incursion into Roman Italy was thrust back in 101 bc. Forced out of what is now Denmark by overpopulation and the encroaching sea, the Cimbri pushed southward, eventually swelling in numbers by the addition of their allies the Teutoni and other tribes. They scored victories over the Romans in 113, 109, and 107. Following a particularly devastating Roman defeat in 105 at Arausio (Orange, Fr.), command of the Romans was assumed by Gaius Marius. In 102 Marius destroyed the Teutoni at Aquae Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence), and in 101 he combined forces with Quintus Lutatius Catulus to annihilate, at Campi Raudii near Vercellae (Vercelli), the entire Cimbri army.

- from Encyclopaedia Britannica

Norse Sword and Grave Goods

Workmen extending the graveyard found this Norse (Viking) iron sword, copper alloy pin and blue glass bead in St Cuthbert's Cemetery in Kirkcudbright in 1888.There was no report of a skeleton, but the finds are typical of the objects usually found buried in the graves of male pagan Norsemen. The site of a probably 8th century Northumbrian minster church dedicated to St Cuthbert lies within the original cemetery, so this pagan burial must have been close by. This important church gave its name to the later burgh and present day town - Kirkcudbright - the Kirk or Church of St Cuthbert. The finds are indicative of the Scandinavian settlement of Galloway in the 10th and 11th centuries. Norse settlement is also indicated by local Scandinavian place names such as Borgue and Rerrick. Historians have suggested that Norse settlement was encouraged by the ruling Northumbrians in order to bolster the defences of Galloway against the British Kingdom of Strathclyde and Gaelic sea raiders. (In the collection of The Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.)

- from Dumfries and Galloway Council

Scandinavian Scotland

In Dumfries and Galloway the place name evidence is complex and of mixed Gaelic, Norse and Danish influence, the last most likely stemming from contact with the extensive Danish holdings in northern England.[117] One feature of the area is the number of names with a "kirk" prefix followed by a saint's name such as Kirkoswald. Interpretation of this is not certain but it is also indicative of a mixed Gaelic/Norse population.[118]

- from Scandinavian Scotland, Wikipedia

Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties

Nevertheless a large number of names with Norse terminals contain English elements. Norse must very rapidly have given place to English in Dumfriesshire, and although the name Tinwald, “assembly field”, shows that Norse customs were for a period imposed upon the area, the scarcity of pure Norse formations and the abundance of English Norse hybrids demonstrate that the Scandinavian settlers speedily fused with the Anglian community. All the pure Norse compounds are to be found within a twenty-mile radius from Annan, and the largest number are close to the sea.

Scandinavian Endings

LXXXI ON býr, ODan bý, “farm, village, hamlet”. This is quite the most common Scandinavian habitative suffix in England, and is to be found wherever there was Scandinavian settlement. Northumberland and Durham contain only a sprinkling of Scandinavian names, but these include nine in -by. In areas of intensive settlement such as Yorkshire, C umberland and Westmorland, the number of by-names is very large. Ekwall states that “There is reason to believe that all or practically all English place -names in -by are Scandinavian in the strictest sense” (IPN i, 57). The element persisted in living use in ME into the 11 th and 12 th centuries: witness such names as Lockerbie, Pearsby, Dmf, and Botcherby, Cu, which are compounded with Norman personal names. Several names in Dumfriesshire seem to have been formed about this time, when -by had become an element in the local ME speech: cf Albie, Canonbie, Mumbie, Sibbaldbie. Lindkvist notes that the term may have been in use in the Northern ME dialect, and that unless the first element of a name ending in -by is Scandinavian, the compound may well be of English formation (Lindkvist, l ii, ff). / 282/

- from Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties, May G. Williamson, University of Edinburgh, 1942

 

New Settlements with Norse Place-Names
New Settlements with Norse Place-Names

"the Vikings of Cumbria were Norwegians who came via Ireland,
Scotland and the Isle of Man
"

Vikings in Cumbria

The first Norse settlers are thought to have arrived around AD 925. Unlike the invaders of Eastern England, the Vikings of Cumbria were Norwegians who came via Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Fifty years earlier the Danes led by Halfdan had entered Cumbria through the Stainmore Pass and ransacked the area, reducing Carlisle to such a state that it remained in ruins for the next two hundred years, and annexed Cumbria to the Danelaw.

For a time, the Vikings probably just raided the coasts of the county before returning to Ireland and the Isle of Man. But they soon came to settle, and seem to have preferred the uplands of the central region, no doubt because the Angles had not penetrated so far and land was easier to come by. Their influence is still evident in the many place names, particularly in the central lakes, which include Norse elements such as dale, fell, howe and thwaite.

- Wikipedia

See also History of Northumbria: Viking era 866 AD - 1066 AD

"Place-name and archaeological evidence points to some settlement
by Norse or Norse–Gaels in the Viking Age
"

Kingdom of Strathclyde

Strathclyde (lit. "Strath of the Clyde"), originally Brythonic Ystrad Clud, was one of the early medieval kingdoms of the Celtic people called the Britons in the Hen Ogledd, the Brythonic-speaking parts of what is now southern Scotland and northern England. The kingdom developed during the post-Roman period. It is also known as Alt Clut, the Brythonic name for Dumbarton Rock, the medieval capital of the region. It may have had its origins with the Damnonii people of Ptolemy's Geographia.

The language of Strathclyde, and that of the Britons in surrounding areas under non-native rulership, is known as Cumbric, a dialect or language closely related to Old Welsh. Place-name and archaeological evidence points to some settlement by Norse or Norse–Gaels in the Viking Age, although to a lesser degree than in neighbouring Galloway. A small number of Anglian place-names show some limited settlement by incomers from Northumbria prior to the Norse settlement. Due to the series of language changes in the area, it is not possible to say whether any Goidelic settlement took place before Gaelic was introduced in the High Middle Ages.

"Strathclyde was also referred to as Cumbria, and its inhabitants as Cumbrians"

After the sack of Dumbarton Rock by a Viking army from Dublin in 870, the name Strathclyde comes into use, perhaps reflecting a move of the centre of the kingdom to Govan. In the same period, it was also referred to as Cumbria, and its inhabitants as Cumbrians. During the High Middle Ages, the area was conquered by the Kingdom of Alba, becoming part of the new Kingdom of Scotland. It remained a distinctive area into the 12th century.

Kingdom of Strathclyde 900 - 1100 AD

The core of Strathclyde is the strath of the River Clyde. The major sites associated with the kingdom are shown, as is the marker Clach nam Breatann (English: Rock of the Britons), the probable northern extent of the kingdom at an early time. Other areas were added to or subtracted from the kingdom at different times. Some areas, such as in Cumberland in what was to become England, may have been cooperative alliances rather than dominated areas.

- from Kingdom of Strathclyde, Wikipedia

The Govan Stones: The Viking-age Treasures

The Govan Stones are a collection of 31 recumbent grave stones, hogback stones and one remarkable sarcophagus from this period of history when warfare instigated by the Norse transformed the political landscape of Britain. There had been 45 stones but a number were lost in the 1980s when the site of the neighbouring Harland and Wolff shipyard was demolished. It is thought the stones from the 10th and 11th centuries, which had been lined up against a wall, were removed along with debris from the shipyard. The most imposing monuments in the Govan collection are the five massive sandstone blocks, commonly known as the "hogbacks". The solid stone blocks are not, as the name might suggest, representations of pigs but stones which are designed to make the tombs of the dead look like mighty buildings in the Norse style.

The hogbacks are found exclusively in areas of northern Britain settled by Vikings - southern Scotland, Cumbria and Yorkshire - and the Govan examples are by far the largest. The bow-sided shape of the hogbacks is similar to the classic Viking house and the interlace patterns on them are also very Scandinavian in origin, according to Prof Stephen Driscoll, professor of historical archaeology at Glasgow University.

"It underpins this idea that this British kingdom of Strathclyde
has some strong connections with the Scandinavian world
"

"It underpins this idea that this British kingdom of Strathclyde has some strong connections with the Scandinavian world," he says. "My feeling is that this is meant to represent a lord's hall or a chieftain's hall. "This type of monument, these hogback monuments, you only find them in Britain. You don't get them in Scandinavia and you don't get them before the Vikings come here.

- from Govan Stones: The Viking Age Treasures, BBC News Scotland, Jan 26, 2014

Doomster Hill

Doomster Hill has long-vanished from the Govan landscape. This huge artificial mound by the river was the thing site for the kingdom of Strathclyde for 200 years from around the year 1000AD. In the 11th century Strathclyde was absorbed into the kingdom of Scotland and the assembly place lost its royal significance, however it continued to serve as a local meeting place until 1600. Locals called it Doomster Hill or simply The Hillock, the name Doomster Hill coming from Dempster - the lawman (as still survives in the Isle of Man). Eventually the thing site fell into disuse and became a place associated with folklore and legend. It is said that children pressing their ears to the grassy slopes could hear fairies moving inside the hill. In 1840, a water reservoir for local dye-works was put on top of the hill, and around 10 years later the hill was completely demolished and levelled to make way for one of Govan's world-famous shipyards. The decline in heavy industry in the late 20th century resulted in the shipyard itself being completely demolished and today the original thing site lies under the Riverside Housing Estate. Although no trace of the hill survives, its size and shape can be discerned from old sketches made before its destruction in the 19th century. Its tiered or ‘stepped’ design is similar to Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man, and recent excavations strongly suggest that a ceremonial route (radiocarbon dated to the 8th or 9th century) directly linked Doomster Hill to the early medieval church, just as a ceremonial route links Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man to the Royal Chapel of St John’s. The former thing site is now being commemorated - firstly by a modern meeting of 100 locals in March 2012 and now a permanent reminder of the links to Govan's Viking past through the new artworks.

- from thingsites.com

"Vikings were settling in along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond"

The Vikings in Strathclyde

While archaeological evidence of Viking activity along the River Clyde and in the west of Scotland is rare, it does exist. This evidence coupled with historical documents provides us with an intriguing and exciting picture of the area’s Viking heritage.

Our story starts and ends with battle, but it is certainly not all fighting and warfare. During the year AD 870, the Annals of Ulster record that the Viking Kings of Dublin, Ivar and Olaf, laid siege to Dumbarton Rock at the mouth of the River Clyde. After four months, the Vikings succeeded in sacking the stronghold of the Britons and gained access to the early medieval kingdoms inland via Loch Long and Loch Lomond. Archaeological evidence of this part of our Viking story includes, two silver arm-rings found near Port Glasgow, two lead weights and a sword pommel found at Dumbarton Rock, a number of Northumbrian coins found near Paisley, and the magnificent Hunterston brooch. These smaller archaeological finds compliment the collection of large and entertainingly carved hogback stones at Govan Old Parish Church and tell us that some of these Vikings were wealthy and well settled around the banks of the River Clyde.

Our story moves northward as our Vikings settle around Loch Long and Loch Lomond to trade with central Scotland and establish an overland route to the east. The hogback at Luss marks part of this journey north as do a number of small objects of personal use and decoration dotted throughout this region. A number of these small objects were discovered in graves found in a small cemetery known as The Carrick. They tell us that as both women and children were buried here, our Vikings were settling in along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Now, after nearly 400 years of movement, trade and settlement our story again turns to blood and battle. King Hakon of Norway used the portage between Loch Long and Loch Lomond to raid inland and in 1263 fought the Scottish forces under King Alexander III at the Battle of Largs. While the Battle of Largs was indecisive, the death of Hakon shortly after brought to an end the Norse control of the Western Isles and Hakon’s desire to spread that control inland.

While this is the end of both our archaeological and historical evidence, we must remember that the doings of kings is not the whole story. Our Vikings likely blended well with the other cultural groups living around the Clyde and the lochs of western Scotland and their stories became interwoven in the hidden history of Scotland.

From The Hidden Heritage of a Landscape
See The Viking Heritage Trail
 

Norman Origins

In 911 the French Carolingian ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings under their leader Rollo to settle in Normandy as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for the land, the Norsemen under Rollo were expected to provide protection along the coast against further Viking invaders.[1] Their settlement proved successful, and the Vikings in the region became known as the "Northmen" from which "Normandy" and "Normans" are derived.[2] The Normans quickly adopted the indigenous culture, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity.[3] They adopted the langue d'oïl of their new home and added features from their own Norse language, transforming it into the Norman language. They intermarried with the local population[4] and used the territory granted them as a base to extend the frontiers of the duchy westward, annexing territory including the Bessin, the Cotentin Peninsula and Avranches.[5]

In 1002 King Æthelred II of England married Emma, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy.[6] Their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042.[7] This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew heavily on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers, soldiers, and clerics and appointing them to positions of power, particularly in the Church. Childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex, and his sons, Edward may also have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne.[8]

When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England.[9] Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by the Archbishop of York, Ealdred, although Norman propaganda claimed the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury.[9][10] Harold was immediately challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this;[11] King Harald III of Norway, commonly known as Harald Hardrada, also contested the succession. His claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor Magnus I of Norway and the earlier English king, Harthacnut, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway.[12][a] William and Harald at once set about assembling troops and ships to invade England.

- from Wikipedia

Lands under Norman control
Lands under Norman control

 

The Norman Invasion, Landing in England scene from the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting ships coming in and horses landing
The Norman Invasion, Landing in England scene from the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting ships coming in and horses landing

"The Norman conquest was a pivotal event in English history"

The Norman Conquest of England

The Norman conquest was a pivotal event in English history. It largely removed the native ruling class, replacing it with a foreign, French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy, and clerical hierarchy. This, in turn, brought about a transformation of the English language and the culture of England in a new era often referred to as Norman England.

By bringing England under the control of rulers originating in France, the Norman conquest linked the country more closely with continental Europe, lessened Scandinavian influence, and also set the stage for a rivalry with France that would continue intermittently for many centuries. It also had important consequences for the rest of the British Isles, paving the way for further Norman conquests in Wales and Ireland, and the extensive penetration of the aristocracy of Scotland by Norman and other French-speaking families, with the accompanying spread of continental institutions and cultural influences.

- from Norman Conquest of England, Princeton University

"major land grants were made to Frenchmen - for example the grant of Annandale to Robert Bruce, ancestor of the later Scottish king of that name"

The Norman Invasion

The Normans also expanded into Scotland and Wales, although in a very different way from the conquest of England. Scottish kings from the time of Malcolm Canmore (1058 - 1093) looked to introduce Norman personnel and practices into their realm, perhaps out of respect for a perceived cultural superiority, but certainly in order to strengthen their own political position. Particularly under David I (1124 - 1153), major land grants were made to Frenchmen - for example the grant of Annandale to Robert Bruce, ancestor of the later Scottish king of that name.

- from Overview: The Normans, 1066-1154, BBC

The Brus Family in England and Scotland



From The Brus Family in England and Scotland, 1100-1295 by Ruth Margaret Blakely, 2005

Bruce of Annandale

From Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland, G.W.S. Barrow, 1965
From Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland, G.W.S. Barrow, 1965

de Brus of Scotland, Clifton's Collectibles Genealogy

 

Donnchadh, Earl of Carrick

Scotland South of the Forth c. 1200
Scotland South of the Forth c. 1200

Donnchadh was the son of Gille-Brighde, son of Fergus, king of the Gall-Gaidhil... Donnchadh's territory lay in what is now Scotland south of the River Forth, a multi-ethnic region during the late 12th century.[15] North of the Forth was the Gaelic kingdom of Scotland (Alba), which under its partially Normanised kings exercised direct or indirect control over most of the region to the south as far as the borders of Northumberland and Cumberland.[16] Lothian and the Merse were the heartlands of the northern part of the old English Earldom of Northumbria,[17] and in the late 12th century the people of these regions, as well as the people of Lauderdale, Eskdale, Liddesdale, and most of Teviotdale and Annandale, were English in language and regarded themselves as English by ethnicity, despite having been under the control of the king of the Scots for at least a century.[18]

Clydesdale (or Strathclyde) was the heartland of the old Kingdom of Strathclyde; by Donnchadh's day the Scots had settled many English and Continental Europeans (principally Flemings) in the region, and administered it through the sheriffdom of Lanark.[19] Gaelic too had penetrated much of the old Northumbrian and Strathclyde territory, coming from the west, south-west and the north, a situation that led historian Alex Woolf to compare the region to the Balkans.[20] The British language of the area, as a result of such developments, was probably either dead or almost dead, perhaps surviving only in the uplands of Clydesdale, Tweeddale and Annandale.[21]

The rest of the region was settled by the people called Gall-Gaidhil (modern Scottish Gaelic: Gall-Ghàidheil) in their own language, variations of Gallwedienses in Latin, and normally Galwegians or Gallovidians in modern English.[22] References in the 11th century to the kingdom of the Gall-Gaidhil centre it far to the north of what is now Galloway.[23] Kingarth (Cenn Garadh) and Eigg (Eic) were described as "in Galloway" (Gallgaidelaib) by the Martyrology of Óengus, in contrast to Whithorn —part of modern Galloway—which was named as lying within another kingdom, The Rhinns (Na Renna).[24] These areas had been part of the Kingdom of Northumbria until the 9th century, and afterward were transformed by a process very poorly documented, but probably carried out by numerous small bands of culturally Scandinavian but linguistically Gaelic warrior-settlers moving in from Ireland and southern Argyll.[25] "Galloway" today only refers to the lands of Rhinns, Farines, Glenken, Desnes Mór and Desnes Ioan (that is, Wigtownshire and the Stewartry of Kirkcudbright), but this is due to the territorial changes that took place in and around Donnchadh's lifetime rather than being the contemporary definition.[26] For instance, a 12th-century piece of marginalia located the island of Ailsa Craig "lying between Gallgaedelu [Galloway] and Cend Tiri [Kintyre]", while a charter of Máel Coluim IV ("Malcolm IV") describes Strathgryfe, Cunningham, Kyle and Carrick as the four cadrez (probably from ceathramh, "quarter"s) of Galloway; an Irish annal entry for the year 1154 designated galleys from Arran, Kintyre, the Isle of Man as Gallghaoidhel, "Galwegian".[27]

By the middle of the 12th century the former territory of the kingdom of the Rhinns was part of Galloway kingdom, but the area to the north was not. Strathgryfe, Kyle and Cunningham had come under the control of the Scottish king in the early 12th century, much of it given over to soldiers of French or Anglo-French origin.[28] Strathgryfe and most of Kyle had been given to Walter fitz Alan under King David I, with Hugh de Morville taking Cunningham.[29] Strathnith still had a Gaelic ruler (ancestor of the famous Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl of Moray), but he was not part of the kingdom of Galloway.[30] The rest of the region—the Rhinns, Farines, Carrick, Desnes Mór and Desnes Ioan, and the sparsely settled uplands of Glenken—was probably under the control of the sons of Fergus, King of Galloway, in the years before Donnchadh's career in the region.

- Wikipedia

 

Ancient History of the Surname Waugh

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