In search of the Viking Great Army : Cat Jarman : 14th October

Dr. Cat Jarman, University of Bristol, will be giving a free Zoom lecture on the Viking Great Army for BACAS in partnership with two other societies, Bristol and Avon (BAAS) and Bristol and Gloucestershire (BGAS), and Bristol Museum. The talk will start at 7.30pm on Wednesday 14th October. Tickets are FREE, just register to book your place:

In 873, the notorious Viking Great Army attacked a monastery in Repton, forcing the Mercian king to flee the country and installing a puppet king in his place. 1100 years later, excavations uncovered evidence of the Army’s winter camp along with Scandinavian graves, and a mound covering the combined remains of nearly 300 people and Viking weapons. It seemed the mass burial contained the Viking army dead – but radiocarbon dates suggested many of them died long before the 9th century. In my research, I used bioarchaeological methods – forensic analysis of bones and teeth – to analyse their geographical origins and to uncover the truth about the radiocarbon dates, solving a 40-year old puzzle. Yet the mass grave was not the only legacy the Vikings left in Repton: Recent fieldwork has now shown that the Scandinavian presence in Derbyshire was much greater than previously assumed, with networks stretching far beyond north-western Europe. The latest research may also help us pin down elusive evidence for what the Great Army did next, namely their attempt to capture Alfred’s kingdom of Wessex in south-western England.