Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New book examines Vikings in the Outer Hebrides

A new book on the island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides has revealed some interesting about the Viking presence in Scotland. From Machair to Mountains shows how experts uncovered a series of virtual “time capsules” on South Uist in the form of ancient settlements preserved under sand dunes dating from the Bronze Age to the modern era. The archaeological project was undertaken with grant aid from Historic Scotland.

The research challenges the existing belief that the Norse period marked a cataclysmic change in the Hebridean way of life. Instead of supporting the view that the Scandinavian invaders killed men and enslaved their women and children, the archaeological evidence suggests a greater degree of intermixing and continuity than has previously been accepted.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This project is a remarkable achievement and describes a hugely significant part of Scottish history. The findings show that these remote locations were attractive to human inhabitants from the earliest times and that communities have successfully survived here for thousands of years. The project has added substantially to our understanding of the history of the Outer Hebrides and western Scotland.”

Click here to read this article from Medievalists.net