Julian Richards examines remains that are the earliest archaeological evidence of the infamous Viking hit-and-run raids in Britain. Loot from our fair Isles has been found hidden in Viking graves in Norway giving evidence that they did manage to take some of Britain home with them.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Blood of the Vikings - Danelaw - Netflix
The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; Old English: Dena lagu; Danish: Danelagen), as recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, is a historical name given to the part of England in which the laws of the Danes held sway and dominated those of the Anglo-Saxons. Danelaw contrasts West Saxon law and Mercian law. The term is first recorded in the early 11th century as Dena lage. Modern historians have extended the term to a geographical designation. The areas that constituted the Danelaw lie in northern and eastern England. The Danelaw originated from the Viking expansion of the 9th century, although the term was not used to describe a geographic area until the 11th century. With the increase in population and productivity in Scandinavia, Viking warriors, having sought treasure and glory in the nearby British Isles, “proceeded to plough and support themselves”, in the words of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for the year 876. Danelaw can describe the set of legal terms and definitions created in the treaties between the King of Wessex, Alfred the Great, and the Danish warlord, Guthrum, written following Guthrum's defeat at the Battle of Edington in 878. In 886, the Treaty of Alfred and Guthrum was formalised, defining the boundaries of their kingdoms, with provisions for peaceful relations between the English and the Vikings. The language spoken in England was also affected by this clash of cultures with the emergence of Anglo-Norse dialects. The Danelaw roughly comprised 14 shires: York, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln, Essex, Cambridge, Suffolk, Norfolk, Northampton, Huntingdon, Bedford, Hertford, Middlesex and Buckingham.
Blood of the Vikings - Archaeology - Netflix
Major archaeological sites that bear testimony to the Danelaw are few. The most famous is the site at York. Another Danelaw site is the cremation site at Heath Wood, Ingleby, Derbyshire. Archaeological sites do not bear out the historically defined area as being a real demographic or trade boundary. This could be due to misallocation of the items and features on which this judgement is based as being indicative of either Anglo-Saxon or Norse presence. Otherwise, it could indicate that there was considerable population movement between the areas, or simply that after the treaty was made, it was ignored by one or both sides. Thynghowe was an important Danelaw meeting place, today located in Sherwood Forest, in Nottinghamshire. The word “howe” often indicates a prehistoric burial mound. Howe is derived from the Old Norse word Haugr meaning mound. The site's rediscovery was made by Lynda Mallett, Stuart Reddish and John Wood. The site had vanished from modern maps and was essentially lost to history until the local history enthusiasts made their discoveries. Experts think the rediscovered site, which lies amidst the old oaks of an area known as the Birklands in Sherwood Forest, may also yield clues as to the boundary of the ancient Anglo Saxon kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. English Heritage recently inspected the site and believes it is a national rarity. Thynghowe was a place where people came to resolve disputes and settle issues. It is a Norse word, although the site may be older still, perhaps even from the Bronze Age.
Blood of the Vikings - References - Netflix