What have the Vikings ever done for us? We often imagine the Viking Age in the light of smash-and-grab attacks on isolated monasteries – but what was the longer legacy of contact with medieval Scandinavia? Torksey, the focus of our cover feature, famously hosted a winter camp of the Viking Great Army in AD 872. When the Vikings moved on the following year, they had sown the seeds of a flourishing town with an innovative approach to pottery production. What have recent excavations revealed about this site, and what are its implications for understanding early medieval England?
Cultural contacts also hold the key to our next article, which traces prehistoric links between Britain and Brittany through an exploration of burial monuments, placenames, and evidence for cross-Channel trade.
From the south coast we then head north to Hadrian’s Wall and far beyond, exploring the intriguing array of architectural forms that are found in Iron Age Scotland but not in northern England. Recent archaeological research suggests that the Roman frontier was not a cause, but a reflection, of this cultural divergence.
We remain with the Romans to visit Brough-on-Humber in the East Riding of Yorkshire. There, 85 years ago, an inscription was discovered hinting at the presence of a now-lost 2nd-century theatre. A local community excavation is hunting for more clues.
Finally, many of you may have known our friend and long-time contributor to CA, Neil Faulkner, who sadly passed away in February. Our Editor-in-Chief, Andrew Selkirk, has reprised his ‘Last Word’ column to pay tribute to an innovative archaeologist and fondly remembered colleague.