Start Radioactive dating artifacts

Radioactive dating artifacts

“Considering the weapons buried with these guys, and all the Viking cemeteries discovered in Dublin, I don’t think the Annals were exaggerating.

His bones showed stresses associated with heavy lifting beginning in childhood.

Unlike the three other men, he was not buried with weapons.

And, further, that those trading contacts may have occurred generations before the violent raids described in contemporary texts, works written by monks in isolated monasteries—often the only places where literate people lived—which were especially targeted by Viking raiders for their food and treasures.

Scholars are continuing to examine these texts, but are also considering the limitations of using them to understand the historical record.

Within weeks, the Annals say, the Vikings had won a battle “in which an uncounted number [of people] were slaughtered.” Recent excavations in Ireland tend to confirm the account the texts depict.

“They came, they saw the lay of the land, and then came the catastrophic invasions described in the Annals,” Simpson says.

“How did the Vikings know where all those monasteries were? They were already trading before those raids happened.” The beginning of the Viking era in Britain was long thought to have been June 8, A. 793, the day when seaborne Scandinavian raiders appeared on the horizon and attacked a monastery on the island of Lindisfarne, off the east coast of England.

Population pressures at home, a thirst for wealth and adventure, and improvements in boat-building techniques all propelled the Vikings out of their chilly realm in search of conquest.

In 795 they reached Ireland with an attack on Rathlin Island, where the monastery was “burned by the heathens,” according to the Annals of Ulster, the longest and most detailed of the medieval texts that historians have relied on to chronicle the period.

At the time, Ireland had been Christian for at least three centuries, and its monasteries were its wealthiest and most powerful institutions.

This date has long been taken to be the beginning of the Vikings’ permanent settlement in Ireland.