Essay On Vikings In Ireland

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The Vikings in Ireland:
An archaeological presentation with special focus on the findings in Dublin.

The Vikings are nominally stereotyped throughout their span of history as bloodthirsty invaders who raided and plundered foreign lands. Their reputation in Ireland is no exception to this generalisation as the Annals of Ulster paint a similar picture of violent and ruthless warriors. The Annals record that the first Viking contact with Ireland began with a raid in 795 at Rathlin Island which was at the time known as Rechru. Raids were a prominent feature of Viking contact and in Ireland most of the raiding was directed by Norwegians. This consisted of few sporadic attacks along the coast before becoming more frequent in 820. Characteristically, in 821 they raided Howth and according to a quote from the Annals ‘took great prey of women’. Many were kidnapped and held for ransom, or were used as slaves while the monasteries along the coast of Wexford were plundered
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Most of this material has been found concentrated in Dublin. One of the most notable of these was the excavations carried out on the Wood Quay area of the city in the 1960s. This site, located within the distances of the River Liffey and Christchurch Cathedral has yielded much evidence of Viking dwellings that existed during this period. Significantly, Vikings built their houses from wood which had to be rebuilt every 10 to 20 years due to weathering. To add to this, the houses were built on the same plots of land with turf being laid over the previous foundations. This means that layer upon layer could be reclaimed by archaeologists to give a projection of the Viking period of settlement in this area. This was found to be between the years 920 and 1100 and no forms of settlement were found prior to the 10th

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