Although I have never formally studied archaeology, and have only very peripherally been involved in one single archaeological dig (which was very exciting!) it is something I do find really interesting, and I read a lot about it. I did do a MOOC (massive open on-line course) with Brown University which was fascinating; obviously as it was on-line there was no actual digging involved, but it taught a lot about the principles and practices (it was called Archaeology’s Dirty Little Secrets, and unfortunately I don’t think it is still available)
Every year, as a Christmas present, my husband buys me a subscription to a magazine ‘Current Archaeology’:
In July’s issue (they always seem to come a month early) there is the usual selection of articles, letters, reviews, features, comments, news… and much more. I’m sure with every subject or interest area, each person has their own particular favourite; for me it is mainly prehistory, but there are other areas too, that time between the Romans leaving Britain and the Normans arriving, for instance. In this issue, the featured article was ‘The Rise of Viking Dublin – revealing Wood Quay’s remarkable remains’.
The article explains that the Viking era in Dublin, known then as Dyflin, lasted from about 840 to about 1170; the settlement started as pretty much a summer camp for raiding parties, a longphort, but over the centuries developed into a bustling, thriving, township. You can read all about it in the link – and an extended version if you subscribe of course!
Just as our world is multicultural, so was the own; Norse people, local Irish people, Normans from Britain, and Welsh and Scots, and what we might call Anglo-Saxons, traders and travellers from elsewhere; a Scandinavian language would have been spoken, and Irish, and no doubt a variety of Anglo-Saxon.
One of the items found was a sheep’s bone, the scapula, and written on it in runic were the words ‘writing is something different in the soul. Amen‘ Isn’t that marvellous? Isn’t it so true? Amazing! And wonderful… and my new motto!
My featured image by the way is of the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin, not that far from Wood Quay.