Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

Vikings ... back again

As I opined the other day in my post Vikings that eponymous group have a habit of turning up raiding into the Internet just as they did in real life a millennium and more ago. Just when I thought I had seen them off for a while they have beached their boats on another stretch of the blog...

In May The Times had a report about a proposed excavation to rescue the remains of a longship from possibly the late seventh century which has been identified in southern Norway. There is an element of urgency to this as the remains are under attack from an agricultural fungus. The report can be read at Race to unearth rotting Viking longship

For a later period the website Aeon has an interesting piece which ties up with my previous post and evidence for settlement by Scandinavians, however briefly, on the eastern tip of Canada.  This new article, by a Yale academic looks at that and how it relates to complex trading patterns within North America around the year 1000, and then proceeds to consider the possibility that some Vikings may have had contact with the Maya in Yucatan. The evidence is slight at present, but intriguing. The scale of trade at the time suggests to the author that one can speak, however cautiously,  of globalisation beginning a thousand years and more ago.

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