View Full Version : Some Papers on the Vikings and the Anglo Saxons.

07-05-2016, 12:18 AM
For those who may be interested, here are some papers on the Vikings and the Anglo Saxons. Some are newer than others and some may have already elicited comment. Nevertheless, I thought I'd post them for those who haven't seen them as of yet.

‘Hiberno-Norwegians’ and ‘Anglo-Danes’: anachronistic ethnicities and Viking-Age England1


University of Aberdeen

TWO papers have recently been published, with reference to Irish sources from the Viking-Age, challenging the identification of Dubgaill (‘Dark Foreigners’) with ‘Danes’ and Finngaill (‘Fair Foreigners’) with ‘Norwegians’.2 In this paper I seek to broaden the debate by suggesting that the categorisation of Insular-viking politics as a struggle between opposing Danish and Norwegian factions is similarly unhelpful. For example, the use of the term Dene in ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ can be regarded as similar to the use of the terms Dani and Nordmanni in Frankish chronicles: that is, as a general name for those of Scandinavian cultural identity rather than a label referring to people of one particular Scandinavian ethnicity.3 I argue that the supposed animosity between ‘Hiberno-Norwegian’ and ‘Anglo- Danish’ factions in English politics before 954 is largely a historiographic invention and not a Viking-Age reality.


Ingroup identification, identity fusion and the formation of Viking war bands

Ben Raffield, Claire Greenlow, Neil Price and Mark Collard


The lið, a retinue of warriors sworn to a leader, has long been considered one of the basic armed groups of the Viking Age. However, in recent years the study of lið has been eclipsed by the discussion of larger Viking armies. In this paper, we focus on the key question of how loyalty to the lið was achieved. We argue that two processes that have been intensively studied by psychologists and anthropologists – ingroup identification and identity fusion – would have been important in the formation and operation of lið. In support of this hypothesis, we outline archaeological, historical and literary evidence pertaining to material and psychological identities. The construction of such iden- tities, we contend, would have facilitated the formation of cohesive fighting groups and contributed to their success while operating in the field.


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

The genetic structures of past human populations are obscured by recent migrations and expansions and have been observed only indirectly by inference from modern samples. However, the unique link between a heritable cultural marker, the patrilineal surname, and a genetic marker, the Y chromosome, provides a means to target sets of modern individuals that might resemble populations at the time of surname establishment. As a test case, we studied samples from the Wirral Peninsula and West Lancashire, in northwest England. Place-names and archaeology show clear evidence of a past Viking presence, but heavy immigration and population growth since the industrial revolution are likely to have weakened the genetic signal of a 1,000-year-old Scandinavian contribution. Samples ascertained on the basis of 2 generations of residence were compared with independent samples based on known ancestry in the region plus the possession of a surname known from historical records to have been present there in medieval times. The Y-chromosomal haplotypes of these 2 sets of samples are significantly different, and in admixture analyses, the surname- ascertained samples show markedly greater Scandinavian ancestry proportions, supporting the idea that northwest England was once heavily populated by Scandinavian settlers. The method of historical surname-based ascertainment promises to allow investigation of the influence of migration and drift over the last few centuries in changing the population structure of Britain and will have general utility in other regions where surnames are patrilineal and suitable historical records survive.


From Dál Riata to the Gall-Ghàidheil

Andrew Jennings and Arne Kruse

The distinctive pattern of Norse settlement names in western Scotland, together with two seemingly unrelated historical events, the disappearance of Dál Riata from contemporary records and the mysterious appearance of a new ethnic group, the Gall- Ghàidheil, 1 in the Irish annals, appear to be inter-linked phenomena. By examining the extent and nature of Norse place-names it becomes possible to suggest a geographical origin for the Gall-Ghàidheil, which we would suggest was the territory of Dál Riata.


Anglo-Saxon Immigration and Ethnogenesis By HEINRICH HÄRKE1

IT IS NOW widely accepted that the Anglo-Saxons were not just transplanted Germanic invaders and settlers from the Continent, but the outcome of insular interactions and changes. But we are still lacking explicit models that suggest how this ethnogenetic process might have worked in concrete terms. This article is an attempt to present such a model from an archaeological perspective, but with an interdisciplinary approach. The focus is on the role of the native British population and its interaction with immigrant Germanic groups. As a result, the model envisages two broad phases in the creation of the Anglo-Saxons: an ethnically divided conquest society in the 5th/6th centuries in which immigrants and their descendants practised a form of ‘apartheid’ in order to preserve their dominance; and a phase of increasing acculturation and assimilation of the natives in the 7th/8th centuries that laid the foundations of a common English identity.


Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon genomes from East England reveal British migration history

Stephan Schiffels1,w, Wolfgang Haak2,w, Pirita Paajanen1,w, Bastien Llamas2, Elizabeth Popescu3, Louise Loe4, Rachel Clarke3, Alice Lyons3, Richard Mortimer3, Duncan Sayer5, Chris Tyler-Smith1, Alan Cooper2
& Richard Durbin1

British population history has been shaped by a series of immigrations, including the early Anglo-Saxon migrations after 400 CE. It remains an open question how these events affected the genetic composition of the current British population. Here, we present whole-genome sequences from 10 individuals excavated close to Cambridge in the East of England, ranging from the late Iron Age to the middle Anglo-Saxon period. By analysing shared rare variants with hundreds of modern samples from Britain and Europe, we estimate that on average the contemporary East English population derives 38% of its ancestry from Anglo-Saxon migrations. We gain further insight with a new method, rarecoal, which infers population history and identifies fine-scale genetic ancestry from rare variants. Using rarecoal we find that the Anglo-Saxon samples are closely related to modern Dutch and Danish populations, while the Iron Age samples share ancestors with multiple Northern European populations including Britain.


Adrian Stevenson
07-09-2016, 07:21 PM
Thanks for providing some interesting reading.

Cheers, Ade.

Jean M
07-09-2016, 08:03 PM
For those who may be interested, here are some papers on the Vikings and the Anglo Saxons. Some are newer than others and some may have already elicited comment.

Thank you. I did not have two of these. All will go into The Vault here.

07-14-2016, 12:14 AM
This is great! Looks like I have a fair bit to read!

07-14-2016, 03:21 AM
If you're interested and haven't already done so, you might like to sign up for a free account at Academia.edu. You'll get access to a whole host of academic papers on a variety of subjects and if you list your interests, it'll feed the appropriate papers onto your home page.

For example, the above mentioned Clare Downham has uploaded quite a few of her articles there. Actually, most of what I've posted here comes from there.

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