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Vikings’ demise on foreign soil – a case of ethnic cleansing?: The discovery of two mass graves containing the remains of Scandinavians in Anglo-Saxon England
Gotland University, School of Culture, Energy and Environment.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Vikingars bortgång i främmande land - ett fall av etnisk rensning? : Upptäckten av två massgravar innehållande kvarlevorna av skandinaver i anglosaxiska England (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The discovery of two mass graves in England in 2010 containing the remains of Scandinavian men in their prime from the Viking age against the historical backdrop of Anglo-Saxon England has elicited questions as to whether or not they were victims of ethnic cleansing. Literature studies combined with the results from the post-excavation analyses render the conclusion that the victims in the grave, most likely, were not subjected to ethnic cleansing. It is more plausible that they were Scandinavian mercenaries who were executed during an intense period where a failing England was desperately paying for its own conquest with the Danegeld. The historical documents give the impression that a nation-wide genocide against Danes took place, however the archaeological material and analyses do not fully support this scenario.

Abstract [sv]

Mot bakgrunden av den anglosaxiska perioden i England har upptäckten 2010 i England av två massgravar innehållande kvarlevor av vikingatida skandinaviska män väckt frågor om huruvida offren var utsatta för etnisk rensning. Resultat från analyser av materialet från utgrävningarna i kombination med litteraturstudier leder till slutsatsen att individerna i graven sannolikt inte var offer för etnisk rensning. Det förefaller mer troligt att männen var legosoldater vilka avrättades under den intensiva period då det skuldtyngda England betalade stora summor danagäld till vikingarna. I de historiska källorna beskrivs hur massmord av daner ägde rum över hela landet, dock finns det inget i det arkeologiska materialet eller i analysresultaten som stöder en sådan händelseutveckling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, England, ethnic cleansing, mass grave, St Brice’s day, Scandinavia, isotope analysis
Keyword [sv]
vikingar, anglosaxer, England, etnisk rensning, massgrav, Sankt Brice, Skandinavien, isotopanalys
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hgo:diva-1502OAI: diva2:538659
Subject / course
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-07-02 Created: 2012-07-01 Last updated: 2013-07-01Bibliographically approved

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Josefsson Bernhardsdotter, Eva
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School of Culture, Energy and Environment

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