• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Oxford Scholar Leads Excavation of Great Viking Army Camp

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Oct 11, 2022

An Oxford scholar is conducting excavations in Northumberland in hopes of locating a camp that once belonged to the Great Viking Army.

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

A team of archaeologists is working on the Vallée du Coquet excavation site.

Read more: Line closed after a person was hit by the train

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

Volunteers also work at the site, which Dr Kershaw says could have hosted a “tent city” in the 9th century.

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

“I don’t think we’re looking at many structures that would leave a lot of archaeological evidence, because they’re only there for a short time.”

She said it would be difficult to put a figure on who was there, but thinks the site could have been between 20 and 50 hectares.

She added: “It’s not just the warriors who are here, but all kinds of people who have been involved in supplying and maintaining the camps.

“You’re not on missions often, so I think there’s a lot of waiting, hence the game pieces we found.”

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

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

Contact him by email: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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