Sunday, 10 October 2010

The Real Vikings

Time Team Special

8pm Monday 11th October 2010 on Channel 4

The 45th Time Team Special will be screened on Channel 4 on Monday 11th October 2010 at 8pm. Tony Robinson, Mick Aston and Phil Harding will look for the Real Vikings by following digs around the UK, reporting from excavations across the country, from Orkney to the south coast, but it is at Hungate in York that the biggest discoveries are made. This huge dig uncovers the thousand-year-old Viking remains of streets, houses and a trading centre.

The Viking's, notorious as fearsome, axe-wielding warriors who relished their reputation as bloodthirsty invaders, initially commencing with seaborne raids in the 8th century, then turned to intentional occupation of these Isles, shaping the Britain we live in today, influencing our culture, place-names and language.

Hopefully the program will provide an update on the discovery of the fifty-one headless bodies, confirmed as Vikings, discovered in a mass grave at Ridgeway Hill, near Weymouth, in June 2009, one of the largest examples of executed foreigners buried in one spot. Any mass grave is a relatively rare find, but to find one on this scale, from this period of history, is extremely unusual. Archaeologists from Oxford believe the men were probably executed by the local Anglo Saxons sometime between 910 AD and 1030 AD.

However, the Vikings were not just seaborne raiders; it is often overlooked that they were also successful global traders, technological pioneers and world-wide mariners. Using all this research, Tony and the Team are said to paint a new and much more complex picture of these skilful and enterprising people.

See: Mass Viking Execution in Dorset

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