Monday, July 30, 2012

Irish archaeologist shows way to Viking site

"As archaeologist Ned Kelly stood in a field sixty kilometres north of Dublin," the article begins, "describing how the Vikings founded a “longphort” or fortress-settlement at this spot nearly 1,200 years ago, I realized that he was talking about the ancestors of many Canadians, including possibly some of my own. Kelly, keeper of antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, led the expert team that recently discovered this long-lost Viking site."
The writer is yours truly. The magazine is Canada's History, August-September issue. The piece continues:
"When we strode across this greening field near the town of Annagassan, on the Irish coast south of Dundalk Bay, we were walking atop the covered remains, yet to be excavated, of a citadel, a stone rampart, and many ancient workshops and houses. Because the site was established early in the Viking Age (841 A.D.), and has remained buried beneath farmland for more than 1,000 years, 'Linn Duachaill' -- the name means 'pool of the beast' -- is probably the most important longphort ever discovered. From here, according to the Annals of Ulster, Scandinavian sea-farers conducted inland raids within a radius of 125 kilometres."
For the rest, which is really, really, really interesting, pick up a copy of the magazine, which is now turning up on magazine racks. Oh, and there's a short video you might want to catch.

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