Cultures in communication in the long Viking Age

‘Cultures in communication in the long Viking Age’ is a University of York funded project led by Dr Steve Ashby (PI, University of York) with Professor Dries Tys (Co-PI, Vrije University Brussels).

The project will pilot a method for studying metal-detected data on an international scale. The chronological focus is the pre-Viking and Viking period (c. AD 700-1100: the ‘long’ Viking Age), a period for which the material evidence — especially the ‘portable’ material culture often recovered through metal detecting — strongly attests to long distance and overseas travel. The geographical focus is the North Sea littoral, and particularly those countries that encourage the reporting and recording of metal-detected artefacts, namely:

  • England (Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS))
  • Denmark (Danefae law; DIME project)
  • Flanders, Belgium (MEDEA project)
  • The Netherlands (Portable Antiquities of the Netherlands (PAN))

Project Objectives

Scope the availability of metal-detected data from Denmark, Flanders, and the Netherlands, and investigate its compatibility with the existing English dataset.
Develop and trial a methodology for the synthesis and analysis of metal-detected datasets from England, Denmark, Flanders, and the Netherlands. Specifically, this will involve (a) the development of a common vocabulary to cover material recorded across the four regions, and (b) investigation of the compatibility of information regarding dating and findspot locations.
Build a collaborative network of researchers at institutions across the North Sea, in order to develop a major international project to make use of this new evidence.