What was the Viking Age and when did it happen? A view from Orkney


Barrett J, Beukens R, Simpson I, Ashmore P, Poaps S & Huntley J (2000) What was the Viking Age and when did it happen? A view from Orkney. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 33 (1), pp. 1-39.

The Viking Age was an important watershed in European history, characterized by the centralization of authority, the adoption of Christian ideology, the growth of market trade, the intensification of production and the development of urbanism. Together, these phenomena mark the beginning of Scandinavian state formation. However, the dates at which each occurred - and the unequal rates at which different state attributes were adopted in 'cores' and 'peripheries' - remain to be fully explored and explained. These issues can be illuminated by world-systems theory and brought into focus by studying the date at which key aspects of the Viking Age were adopted in a Scandinavian periphery - the Norse Earldom of Orkney and Caithness, northern Scotland. The present study questions not only why peripheries change, but why they do not change, or change more slowly than neighbouring cores.

Norwegian Archaeological Review: Volume 33, Issue 1

Publication date31/12/2000
PublisherTaylor and Francis