Everyday Life in Viking-Age Towns: Social Approaches to Towns in England and Ireland, c. 800-1100 [Hardback]

Letty ten Harkel (Editor); D. M. Hadley (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842175323 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2013 | Language: English 272p, H242 x W170 (mm) b/w & col. illus.

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Everyday Life in Viking-Age Towns


The study of early medieval towns has frequently concentrated on urban beginnings, the search for broadly applicable definitions of urban characteristics and the chronological development of towns. Far less attention has been paid to the experience of living in towns. The thirteen chapters in this book bring together the current state of knowledge about Viking-Age towns (c. 800–1100) from both sides of the Irish Sea, focusing on everyday life in and around these emerging settlements. What was it really like to grow up, live, and die in these towns? What did people eat, what did they wear, and how did they make a living for themselves? Although historical sources are addressed, the emphasis of the volume is overwhelmingly archaeological, paying homage to the wealth of new material that has become available since the advent of urban archaeology in the 1960s.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Introductions
Preface: D. M. Hadley and Letty ten Harkel
Chapter 1: Living in Viking-Age towns
(David Griffiths)
Chapter 2: Towns and identities in Viking England (Gareth Williams)
Chapter 3: Viking Dublin: enmities, alliances and the cold gleam of silver (Emer Purcell and John Sheehan)

Section 2: Constructing and experiencing urban landscapes
Chapter 4: Beyond longphuirt? Life and death in early Viking-Age Ireland (Stephen H. Harrison)
Chapter 5: From country to town: social transitions in Viking-Age housing (Rebecca Boyd)
Chapter 6: Childhood in Viking and Hiberno-Scandinavian Dublin, 800–1100 (Deirdre McAlister)
Chapter 7: Whither the warrior in Viking-Age towns? (D. M. Hadley)
Chapter 8: Aristocrats, burghers and their markets: patterns in the foundation of Lincoln’s urban churches (David Stocker)

Section 3: Urban trades and activities
Chapter 9: More than just meat: animals in Viking-Age towns (Kristopher Poole)
Chapter 10: No pots please, we’re Vikings: pottery in the southern Danelaw, 850–1000 (Paul Blinkhorn)
Chapter 11: Of towns and trinkets: metalworking and metal dress-accessories in Viking-Age Lincoln (Letty ten Harkel)
Chapter 12: Making a good comb: mercantile identity in 9th- to 11th-century England (Steven P. Ashby)
Chapter 13: Craft and handiwork: wood, antler and bone as an everyday material in Viking-Age Waterford and Cork (Maurice F. Hurley)

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