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					6 : Early Historic and Viking Notes

SETTLEMENTS

Early Historic

          In SE Scotland, timber halls - predominantly reflecting Anglian expansion but at Doon
           Hill, Hall A appears to have been pre-Anglian but replaced on the same spot by the
           Anglian Hall B
                         Timber halls distribution map
                         Doon Hill : Hall A
                         Doon Hill : Hall B & Yeavering
                         Cheddar reconstruction

          Another important type is the so-called nuclear fort with a heavily defended citadel
           and with royal status - examples at Dalmahoy, Dundurn, Dunadd
                       Dunadd

          Some monasteries on islands, with varying degrees of remoteness; St Ninian‟s Cave,
           Wigtownshire emphasises that some places were not luxurious
                      Iona ap
                      St Ninian‟s Cave

          In the north there is evidence for extensive settlement at the Brough of Birsay and on
           the headland opposite at Buckquoy where figure-of-eight or clover-leaf houses occur,
           as they do at Gurness
                         Buckquoy house
                         Buckquoy plan
                         Gurness house

Viking

         Jarlshof with its developing Viking longhouses spread over several centuries is the
            typical settlement
                          Phase 1 – 800-850
                          Phase 2 – 850-900
                          Phase 3 – 10th century
                          Phase 4 - 11th century
                          Phase 5 – late 11th-early 12th century
    But in Scotland Viking settlements are far from common and few have been excavated


TRANSPORT
Planked boats

Improvements in boat-building and boat-handling technology allowed wider-ranging and more
frequent contacts, particularly in the Norse period.


images of boats:

          Cossins, Angus - not certainly a planked boat


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         Jarlshof ship graffiti

boat fragments:

         building stages in Roskilde fjord boat (Skuldelev 3)

           Eigg boat stem
           Eigg find location
           Eigg findspot
           Eigg reconstruction

         boat building tools based on Bayeux Tapestry, Viking-Age finds & reconstructions
          used in the ROAR project
         rivets from Kiloran Bay

        functional efficiency means that bailers don‟t change much over long periods of time
         boat bailer, Cheese Bay, N Uist : 190 BC - 0 AD
         bailers from Hedeby


CONTACTS & TRADE

Scots of Dál Riada and their archaeological „invisibility‟. Plenty of documentary evidence
for various types of people movement during the Early Historic period (eg political
expansionism; missionary and pilgrim activity; movement of craft specialists and
traders). Much of this movement is archaeologically invisible; and movement of people
in the pre-literate period is even harder to spot.



Central Europe and the Mediterranean

During the Early Historic period, there was direct contact with these areas, thanks to
missionaries, pilgrims and traders. This led to the supply of exotica to the elites of
western Scotland.
        Germanic/Frankish glass



Along the Atlantic façade

 Early Historic importation of luxury exotica from Gaul and elsewhere, along the Atlantic
route, to the aristocracy in W Scotland and E Ireland. This organised "trade" was
designed to support and display the aristocracy's power and prestige.

        Nb. Adomnan's remarks in his life of Columba regarding Gaulish merchants.

         D ware & E ware (2 slides)
         wooden bowl & replica from Buiston copying E ware shows the prestige
          nature of the pottery and its forms



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        other material such as wine, herbs, perhaps mercury


The Viking trading network

The Vikings gave Scotland access to an already well-established commercial system, with
a trading network stretching from Baghdad and Samarkand through Ukraine to
Scandinavia and beyond to America. Scotland was "plugged into" this system, operating
as an important intermediary area along the N-S, Scandinavian-Irish route. It was also
involved in some of the E-W, N Atlantic trading, and from the 11th century was actively
exporting to N Germany and S Scandinavia.

        Trading activities were well organised.

Professional merchants were involved, and some became wealthy. Some trade was
conducted at settlements with natural harbours such as Whithorn (and perhaps Pierowall
and Kirkwall). These Scottish settlements were small in comparison with trading towns
elsewhere (eg. Dublin, York, Ribe). But much trade was undertaken by independent
merchants. Our main source of evidence for trade comes from grave goods.

           Pair of scales & weights : Kiloran Bay
           Weights in use

        Most trade was conducted by barter: this wasn't a money economy.

Although coins were used in some trading transactions, they did not operate as money as
we understand it. There was some system of assessing value - and this was used not just
in trading, but also for taxes and savings - but this was based on the use of silver as
bullion (in the form of hacksilver, ingots, coins and jewellery). From around 950 AD,
when the Earls of Orkney established themselves, we see a peculiarly Scottish item - "ring
money" - become popular as a unit of value following the Scandinavian unit of 24 grams.

           hacksilver & coins : Storr Rock
           ingot : Iona hoard
           ring money : Kirk O‟Banks


        Not all exotic objects were the result of trade: some were personal possessions
        brought by settlers, some were gifts from natives, some were loot, and in some
        cases we just can't be sure how an object arrived.

           personal possessions - for example,
                jewellery : beads Westness
                            brooches Kneep

         loot (often this comprised valuable items, hacked up for recycling; some of
          this ended up in graves.)
                “Celtic” gilt bronze mount frag : Monkersgreen

           either gift from a local, or loot: can't tell




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               Irish penannular brooch, Pierowall - i.e. a native Irish type of artefact:
               could have been traded; could have been a gift; could have been loot

               Ballinaby ladle


A wide range of commodities, from a wide variety of sources, were traded.

Selection of objects from all documented provenances:


       i.      from eastern Baltic - occasional jewellery
               Finnish brooch : Gogar Burn

       ii. from Arabic world - coins
                Skaill : Baghdad

       ii.     from England –
               coin of Athelstan, Skaill
               jet from Whitby : Castletown
               combs/comb cases probably from York : Skaill

       iv. from Ireland/Irish Sea area, including Isle of Man (with some items, hard to
       tell whether from Ireland/Irish Sea area or Scandinavian: Hiberno-
       Norse/Hiberno-Viking types)
               ball brooch (Irish/Manx) : Skaill
               Hiberno-Viking arm ring : Blackerne

       v. from Scandinavia other than eastern Baltic -

        weapons
             Eigg sword hilt

        jewellery
              oval brooch : Castletown
              trefoil brooch : Clibberswick
              silver pin : Ballinaby

        glass and semi-precious stone - glass beads, glass vessels, amber, carnelian
         and crystal, antique Roman objects
              carnelian bead : Brough of Birsay

       vi. from within Scotland – querns of garnetiferous schist, steatite objects, silver
       “ring money”
               steatite frag from Ospidale

       viii. from elsewhere on Viking trade network
                coins from Europe – Eadgar & Louis le Begue (Calais) : Tarbat

       ix. from unknown point/s (?) on Viking trade network
                gold plaited finger ring : Fladda Chuin



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                 gold armlet : Sound of Jura _possible shipwreck

WARFARE
Our assumption is that war has been part of life in Scotland for millennia. Political warfare -
involving winning control over people and land - was a major feature of life in the first
millennium AD. The warrior was a person of status & the assumption of a military demeanour
may have been as important as the actual combat
         carved stone, Birsay
War had a major social role, with warriors proving their worth in battle and displaying their
status through fancy weapons.

Early Historic
        weapon range continued as before but few have been recovered in Scotland

        Aberlemno battle scene

The Vikings
        shield boss & grip : Ballinaby
        sword from Gorton, Moray
        elaborate swords : Eriskay
        arrows : Westness – 8 buried in a quiver

DISPLAY

 Basic assumption is that in the early historic and Viking periods, power, wealth and status
  was signified and affirmed through display. Display involved:

           Norrie‟s Law plaque
           Rogart brooch
           Aldclune brooch
           Clunie Castle brooch –from the treasury at Dunkeld?
           Dunbeath terminal
           Markle boss
           Dalmeny pyramid

           Westray grave 11 sword hilt
           Skaill brooch & neck-ring
           Stenness gold rings
           Jarlshof bone pins
           Westness brooch

 Sites and monuments can create impressions of concerns to evoke prestige

         Dupplin x 4, ie. N . W . S . E


 The Hunterston brooch epitomises display

         general view
         detail of pin-head panel



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          detail of one of the main panels


DEATH

The adoption of Christianity involved a particular version of inhumation burial, with
corpses buried in shrouds, extended in graves orientated E-W (for Judgment Day) in
cemeteries associated with churches or other ecclesiastical sites, without grave goods,
and with many graves marked with simple cross-marked slabs. Recent dating
programmes suggest that this form of burial, though predominantly Christian, cannot be
associated with Christianity without substantiating evidence.

            Hallow Hill long cists
            Hallow Hill long cists, plans
            Catstane - in this tomb lies Vetta daughter of Victricius (tentatively)
            Liddle Water - here lies Carantus, son of Cupitianus
            Northwaterbridge, Kincardine
            Redcastle „Pictish‟ cemetery

Incoming Viking settlers brought their own pagan tradition of burial, featuring
inhumation fully clothed, accompanied by possessions, in a pit, slab-lined grave or boat.
However, Christianised Vikings conformed to Christian conventions

          Westness boat burial

          Balnakeil
               location
               skull reconstruction
               gaming board
               sword
               shield
               shears, fish hook & needle cases
               knife, spearhead & whetstone
               pin & comb
               reconstruction of burial


BELIEF SYSTEMS

Pictish art indicates the existence of complex symbolism and a complex belief system, which
we can only glimpse: the symbols probably had many roles and meanings.

Pictish class I stones:

            Grantown
            Easterton of Roseisle
            Logie Elphinstone
            Dunrobin
            Burghead
            Abernethy
            Greens



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           South Ronaldsay
           Aberlemno
           Rhynie
           Picardy stone : Dunnideer in background


Pictish symbols on portable objects:

           Norrie's Law plaque
           Whitecleugh chain
           ox phalange, Broch of Burrian
           incised disc, Jarlshof
           painted pebbles
                Road Broch, Keiss
                Wester Broch, Keiss
                Keiss brochs
                Broch of Burrian
                Jarlshof


EARLY CHRISTIANITY


Christianity was introduced to Scotland after the Romans had left, and took several
centuries to become established throughout the country.

         incised cross, St Boniface's

         Monymusk Reliquary



Different traditions of Christianity developed in different areas, often influencing one
another.
        The South West church

           Whithorn cross


        the West coast church

        
            Kildalton
        
            Eileach an Nadimh


        the Anglian church

         Aberlady




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        the Pictish church

           Latheron
           Woodray
           Tarbat : calf stone
           Crieff mount
           bronze bell, Perth

        Christianity in Norse areas

         cross, Doid Mhairi, Islay


The progress of Christianity was intimately linked with the conversion of local rulers.

         Stone altar front, Flotta
         Papil




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