The Earliest Wave of Viking Activity? The Norwegian Evidence Revisited
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This article discusses the chronology and nature of the earliest Viking activity, based on a group of early burials from Norway containing Insular metalwork. By focusing on the geographical distribution of this material and applying the concept of locational and social knowledge, the importance of establishing cognitive landscapes to facilitate the Viking expansion is highlighted. It is argued that the first recorded Viking attacks were only possible after a phase in which Norse seafarers had acquired the necessarily level of a priori environmental knowledge needed to move in new seascapes and coastal environments. This interaction model opens the possibility that some of the early Insular finds from Norway may represent pre-Lindisfarne exploration voyages, carried out by seafarers along the sailing route of Nordvegr.