Fifteen-year research project to reveal new truths about Viking Dublin

Fifteen-year research project to reveal new truths about Viking Dublin

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A project recording the extraordinary number of Viking warrior burials in Dublin, Ireland is about to published in an 800-page catalogue.



A Viking burial at Islandbridge, DublinAround 60 Viking graves were found in the Kilmainham-Islandbridge area of Dublin between the late 18th century and 1934, though many earlier discoveries were poorly recorded.  Most date from between 841 AD, when the Vikings established their first longphort or naval encampment, to 902 AD when the ruling Norse dynasty was expelled from the city.

Finds are still being made.  In 2004, a Viking sword and spearhead were unearthed in the War Memorial Park.  They were linked to the later discovery of the remains of a young male who, according to strontium isotope analysis, had spent his early years in Scandinavia.

Other recent discoveries include the graves of five young Viking warriors, one of which was found at Ship Street Great in 2001, the other four discovered clustered together on the southeastern shore near South Great George’s Street in 2003.  Radiocarbon dating suggests that all five died in the 9th century.  Isotope analysis revealed that two of these warriors were from Scandinavia and two from somewhere in the British Isles, possibly the western coast of Scotland.

The Irish Viking Graves Project has, since 1999, been compiling its comprehensive and accurate catalogue of all finds associated with Irish Viking Graves and Grave-Goods.  The publication will represent the most important work on the subject for over a century.

Stephen Harrison, who co-wrote the catalogue said: “As a result of our new research, Kilmainham-Islandbridge is now demonstrably the largest burial complex of its type in western Europe, Scandinavia excluded.”

Viking Dublin and how the area looks today
Viking Dublin and how the area looks today

Source: Irish Times

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