• Sun. May 19th, 2024

Oxford academic leads Viking Great Army Camp dig


Oct 11, 2022

An oxford academic is leading on a dig in Northumberland with hopes of locating a camp which belonged to the Viking Great Army.

Dr Jane Kershaw from Oxford University, believes the camp may have been used by the famous commander Halfdan to launch attacks on the Picts, a group of people who lived in what is now northern and eastern Scotland.

A team of archaeologists are working at the dig site in the Coquet Valley.

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Several objects have been found at the site over the years with metal detectors, including lead gaming pieces and copper coins known as stycas.

There are also volunteers working on the site, which Dr Kershaw believes could have hosted a ‘town of tents’ in the 9th century.

In an interview on BBC Radio Newcastle, Dr Kershaw said: “They found some incredible finds that can really only belong to the Viking Great Army and their activities in the 870s.

“I don’t think we are looking at many structures that would leave lots of archaeological traces because they are only here for a short amount of time.”

She said it would be hard to put a number on those who were there but thinks the site could have spanned between 20 and 50 hectares.

She added: “It’s not just the warriors who are here but a whole kind of people who were involved in supplying and maintaining the camps.

“You are not on mission a lot, so I think there’s a lot of sitting around, hence the gaming pieces we have found.”

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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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