From sites to regional synthesis: collective chronologies of late Viking and early Christian activities in Iceland

Schmid, Magdalena, Dugmore, Andrew, and Newton, Anthony (2020) From sites to regional synthesis: collective chronologies of late Viking and early Christian activities in Iceland. In: Viking Encounters: proceedings of the eighteenth Viking Congress. pp. 303-317. From: Eighteenth Viking Congress, 6-12 August 2017, Aarhus, Denmark.

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In recent years, intensive archaeological research in Iceland has produced much new dating evidence on Viking-Age settlement. New tephra and radiocarbon datasets coupled with methodological advances in Bayesian statistical modelling provide the means to develop highest probability age estimates at site-, region- and island-scales. These approaches allow for both regional synthesis and more nuanced evaluations of the timing of specific events, such as the onset of colonization in the late 9th century. This paper develops these innovations to address patterns of settlement reorganization and changes in social practices in Viking-Age and Early Medieval Iceland. The available data indicate a regional pattern of settlement reorganization in the mid-11th century, which occurred after the establishment of the national parliament in the first half of the 10th century and the construction of early churches in the late 10th century. Regional synthesis also indicates that Christian cemeteries were established cal AD 928-986 (at 68% probability) - or between one and three generations before the nationwide conversion to Christianity recorded in textual sources, and at a time when pagan burial practices were still carried out (cal AD 953-1006 at 68% probability). This enhanced chronological assessment helps to clarify potential drivers of settlement organization and gives a deeper insight into the patterns of social change

Item ID: 77048
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 9788771842654
Keywords: Viking age, Christianisation, Iceland, radiocarbon dating, Bayesian statistics, archaeological events
Copyright Information: © The authors and Aarhus University Press 2020.
Funders: Icelandic Research Fund, Watanabe Trust Fund
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 04:14
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430101 Archaeological science @ 50%
43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4301 Archaeology > 430104 Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant @ 50%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1307 Understanding past societies > 130704 Understanding Europe’s past @ 100%
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