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Posted by / 08-Mar-2019 04:20

His bones showed stresses associated with heavy lifting beginning in childhood.Unlike the three other men, he was not buried with weapons.A third individual lived slightly later, with a 95 percent probability of having died between 689 and 882, with a 68 percent probability of between 771 and 851.“I expected a later range of dates, safe to say,” says Simpson.All have been dated to the ninth or tenth centuries on the basis of artifacts that accompanied them, and the South Great George’s Street burials seemed to be four more examples.Yet when excavation leader Linzi Simpson of Dublin’s Trinity College sent the remains for carbon dating to determine their age, the results were “quite surprising,” she says.“These dates seem impossibly early and difficult to reconcile with the available historical and archaeological sources.” The fourth Viking excavated at South Great George’s Street was the most intact of the group and revealed the most about their lives and hardships.

“They came, they saw the lay of the land, and then came the catastrophic invasions described in the Annals,” Simpson says.Early medieval texts refer to the Vikings as simply “the heathens,” stressing the religious, rather than ethnic, differences between them and the Irish.The Annals describe hordes of Vikings plundering the landscape and battling the feuding warlords who ruled Ireland.In 795 they reached Ireland with an attack on Rathlin Island, where the monastery was “burned by the heathens,” according to the Annals of Ulster, the longest and most detailed of the medieval texts that historians have relied on to chronicle the period.At the time, Ireland had been Christian for at least three centuries, and its monasteries were its wealthiest and most powerful institutions.

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This date has long been taken to be the beginning of the Vikings’ permanent settlement in Ireland.

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