Archaeological news about the Archaeology of Early Medieval Europe from the Archaeology in Europe web site

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Kinder, Gentler Vikings? Not According to Their Slaves

New clues suggest slaves were vital to the Viking way of life—and argue against attempts to soften the raiders’ brutish reputation.
A bare-chested Viking offers a slave girl to a Persian merchant in an artist’s rendering of a scene from Bulgar, a trading town on the Volga River.

The ancient reputation of Vikings as bloodthirsty raiders on cold northern seas has undergone a radical change in recent decades. A kinder, gentler, and more fashionable Viking emerged. (See “Did Vikings Get a Bum Rap?”)
But our view of the Norse may be about to alter course again as scholars turn their gaze to a segment of Viking society that has long remained in the shadows.
Archaeologists are using recent finds and analyses of previous discoveries—from iron collars in Ireland to possible plantation houses in Sweden—to illuminate the role of slavery in creating and maintaining the Viking way of life.
Read the rest of this article...

No comments:

Post a Comment