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Assembling places and persons: a tenth-century Viking boat burial from Swordle Bay on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, western Scotland

Harris, Oliver J.T.; Cobb, Hannah; Batey, Colleen E.; Montgomery, Janet; Beaumont, Julia; Gray, Héléna; Murtagh, Paul; Richardson, Phil

Assembling places and persons: a tenth-century Viking boat burial from Swordle Bay on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, western Scotland Thumbnail


Authors

Oliver J.T. Harris

Hannah Cobb

Colleen E. Batey

Julia Beaumont

Héléna Gray

Paul Murtagh

Phil Richardson



Abstract

A rare, intact Viking boat burial in western Scotland contained a rich assemblage of grave goods, providing clues to the identity and origins of both the interred individual and the people who gathered to create the site. The burial evokes the mundane and the exotic, past and present, as well as local, national and international identities. Isotopic analysis of the teeth hints at a possible Scandinavian origin for the deceased, while Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian connections are attested by the grave goods. Weapons indicate a warrior of high status; other objects imply connections to daily life, cooking and work, farming and food production. The burial site is itself rich in symbolic associations, being close to a Neolithic burial cairn, the stones of which may have been incorporated into the grave.

Citation

Harris, O. J., Cobb, H., Batey, C. E., Montgomery, J., Beaumont, J., Gray, H., …Richardson, P. (2017). Assembling places and persons: a tenth-century Viking boat burial from Swordle Bay on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, western Scotland. Antiquity, 91(355), 191-206. https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.222

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 21, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 20, 2016
Publication Date Feb 1, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2016
Journal Antiquity
Print ISSN 0003-598X
Electronic ISSN 1745-1744
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 91
Issue 355
Pages 191-206
DOI https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2016.222

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