22 August – 1 September.
The Viking Age in Caithness, Orkney and the North Atlantic.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
Michael P. Barnes, Colleen E. Batey (joint Organising Secretary), Christine Fell, James Graham-Campell, Christopher D. Morris (joint Organising Secretary) Donald Omand (Local Secretary), Raymond I. Page, Allan Small, David M. Wilson (Chairman).
Congress Secretary: Janet Mowat.
Iceland: Guðmundur Ólafsson, Guðrún Ása Grímsdóttir
Sweden: Björn Ambrosiani, Helmer Gustavson
Members of the congress:
The Binks Trust; the British Academy; Dame Bertha Philpotts Fund, Cambridge University; the Highlands and Islands Development Board’s Social Fund.
Members and Associates of The Eleventh Viking Congress generally arrived in Thurso, Caithness on Tuesday, 22 August 1989, although some appeared to travel more in hope than expectation of arrival at this destination. Some indeed took longer than expected to arrive, in part due to British Airways’ newly-introduced policy of flying only nine-seater planes between Aberdeen and Wick, and in part due to other, more complex reasons. At least one arrived earlier than expected. For those who did arrive on time there was the opportunity of partaking in a Thurso Town Walkabout, the first of a number of tours and excursions undertaken during the Congress which appear below in the Congress Diary.
The arrangements for this Congress were rather more complex than usual, as it was a two-centre affair, with a crossing of the Pentland Firth (mercifully calm!) to Orkney on 25 August. The full Congress continued until 28 August, concluding with a Congress Dinner at the Kirkwall Hotel. Members then either returned home on 29 August, or joined a three-day post-Congress Tour, departing on 1 September.
There was a very full programme of lectures and excursions, and many of the former have been included in revised forms in this volume. The title reflects the major themes examined throughout the Congress, but there were other papers delivered on English, Irish and Scandinavian themes. These have not been included in this volume, partly on grounds of size and practicability, and partly on grounds of overall coherence for the published Proceedings. We also miss a few papers prepared for, or delivered at, the Congress, but not delivered to the Editors. We hope these are published elsewhere. We give our thanks for their contributions at the Congress to: Per Sveaas Andersen, Raymond Page, †Thomas Fanning, †Torben Kisbye, Karl Inge Sandred, Brian Smith, Mjöll Snæsdóttir, Anne-Sofie Gräslund, Inger Zachrisson, Irmelin Martens, Gerd Stamsø Munch, Else Roesdahl, Björn Ambrosiani, Brita Malmer, Kolbjørn Skaare, Gro Steinsland, Helmer Gustavson and Lennart Elmevik.
An innovation at this Congress was the invitation to a number of British postgraduates working in the field of Viking Studies to take part at a subsidised rate: they contributed to the life of the Congress in several ways, some time-honoured, but also some by means of poster-sessions on their own researches. These were well-received and the Committee hopes that future Congresses may continue to highlight the work of the younger generations of Viking scholars by turning the innovation into a tradition.A long tradition of Viking Congress parties was upheld, and we are grateful to the Caithness District Council, Highland Regional Council, Orkney Islands Council, Durham University, and the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Consulates for their generous hospitality. In particular, we acknowledge with thanks the formal welcomes by Councillors John Young and Edwin Eunson, Convenors of the Caithness District and Orkney Islands Councils respectively, and by the Highland Regional Council, through Messrs Ron MacDonald and Ross Noble. The highlight was without doubt the Official Reception by our Royal Patron at The Castle of Mey. The personal interest in the Congress of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother is, we hope, reciprocated in our choice of frontispiece, and we acknowledge the gracious permission granted for the reproduction of Her Majesty’s photograph.
Special thanks are due to the various guides on the excursions, including members of the Committee, but most particularly Robert Gourlay and Raymond Lamb, Regional Archaeologists for Highland Region and Orkney Heritage Society respectively. Raymond, in particular, in the planning of the memorable Sunday excursion on board Orcadia to Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre, and of the post-Congress Tours, gave unstintingly of his time and expertise to assist the Organising Secretaries. Donald Omand and Janet Mowat of Aberdeen University’s Centre for Continuing Education at Braal in Halkirk acted as the lynchpins of the local organisation before, during and after the Congress; the rest of the Organising Committee owe them a deep debt of gratitude. We also wish to acknowledge the practical assistance of the Secretaries of the Departments of Archaeology at Durham University and Glasgow University and of Medieval Archaeology at University College London: Sheila Brown, Norma Wakeling and Angela Morrell.
We acknowledge with much appreciation here the following bodies for their grants for the organisation of the Congress: The Binks Trust; The British Academy; The Dame Bertha Philpotts Fund, Cambridge University and The Highlands and Islands Development Board’s Social Fund. Generous grants and subventions towards the publication of this volume are acknowledged above.
Finally, the energy and inspiration of our Chairman, Sir David Wilson, must be acknowledged; his organisation of the business of Committee meetings is legendary and his choice of venues always apt. He has been a member of many Viking Congresses, the leading British scholar in Viking studies of his generation and internationally acclaimed. As he has now left the leadership of the British Museum to take well-earned retirement, we salute his achievement and hope that he will regard the publication of these papers as a suitable leaving present from his friends and fellow-members of the Viking Congress.
CHRISTOPHER D. MORRIS
On behalf of the Organising Committee
NOTES ON FIELD EXCURSIONS EDITED BY CHRISTOPHER D. MORRIS
As is traditional at Viking Congresses, in addition to the formal sessions when papers were presented (a selection of which are printed in this volume), a number of excursions to sites, monuments and museums were made. As a significant number of these places were unknown to many visitors, and as details of them are often difficult to track down, it was decided to include brief accounts of them (usually based on handouts prepared for the Congress) as a more permanent record for members of the Congress, and as a point of reference for purchasers of the volume. In some cases, the texts were prepared specifically for the Congress, and in some cases they were reproduced by the authors from other publications of their own. If the latter is the case, then the source has been given, and grateful thanks given for their reproduction here. Two general maps have been provided, one for each area, supplemented by other illustrative material as appropriate. These also serve as location maps for subsequent chapters.
The Viking Age in Caithness, Orkney and the North Atlantic. Select Papers from the Proceedings of the Eleventh Viking Congress, Thurso and Kirkwall, 22 August – 1 September 1989. Ed. Colleen E. Batey, Judith Jesch, Christopher D. Morris. Edinburgh University Press. 1993.
|The Eleventh Viking Congress, Caithness and Orkney, 1989|
|Royal Patron and Organising Committee||viii|
|Members and Associates||xi|
|1 Congress Diary||1|
|Notes on Field Excursions. Edited by Christopher D. Morris|
|2 The Landscape of Caithness and Orkney.||102|
|3 Before the Vikings. The Pre-Norse Background in Caithness.||111|
|ROBERT B. GOURLAY|
|4 Caithness. An Onomastic Frontier Zone.||120|
|5 Norse Earls and Scottish Bishops in Caithness||129|
|A Clash of Cultures. BARBARA E. CRAWFORD|
|6 The Viking and Late Norse Graves of Caithness and Sutherland||148|
|COLLEEN E. BATEY|
|Appendix: The discovery of a child burial of probable Viking-Age date|
|on Kneep headland, Lewis 1991: interim report||165|
|TREVOR G. COWIE, MARGARET BRUCE and NEILL KERR|
|7 The Northern Hoards of Viking-Age Scotland||173|
|JAMES A. GRAHAM-CAMPBELL|
|8 Silver Storage and Circulation in Viking-Age Scotland||187|
|The Evidence of Silver Ingots. SUSAN E. KRUSE|
|9 FINNBOGI GUÐMUNDSSON On the Writing of Orkneyinga saga||204|
|10 The Sea, The Flame and The Wind||212|
|The Legendary Ancestors of the Earls of Orkney. PREBEN MEULENGRACHT SØRENSEN|
|11 Englandand Orkneyinga saga||222|
|12 Earl Rognvald and the Rise of Saga Literature||240|
|13 The Orkney Earl and Scald Torf-Einarr and his Poetry||248|
|14 Carolingian Orkney and itsTransformation||260|
|RAYMOND G. LAMB|
|15 Some Aspects of Early Viking Settlement in Orkney||272|
|JOHN R. HUNTER, JULIEM. BOND and ANDREA M. SMITH|
|16 The Birsay Bay Project: A Résumé||285|
|CHRISTOPHER D. MORRIS|
|17 The Settlement ofWestness, Rousay||308|
|SIGRIDH. H. KALAND|
|18 Tuquoy, Westray, Orkney. A Challenge for the Future?||318|
|OLWYN A. OWEN|
|19 Some Settlement Patterns in Medieval Orkney||340|
|WILLIAM P. L. THOMSON|
|20 The Interpretation of the Runic Inscriptions of Macshowe||349|
|MICHAEL P. BARNES|
|21 Two Runic Inscriptions from Orphir, Orkney||370|
|JAN RAGNAR HAGLAND|
|22 Orphir Church in its South Scandinavian Context||375|
|23 Orkney Norn||381|
|A Survey of ‘Taboo’ Terms|
|24 The Lord’s Prayer in Orkney and Shetland Norn||388|
|25 Some Orkney Personal Names||397|
|26 Shrieks at the Stones||408|
|The Vikings, the Orkneys and the Scottish Enlightenment|
|27 Viking-Age Sketches and Motif-Pieces from the NorthernEarldoms||423|
|28 Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Evidence of a Norse IslandFood Custom||441|
|GERALD F. BIGELOW|
|29 Problems Concerning the Earliest Settlement in the Faroe Islands||454|
|HANS JACOB DEBES|
|30 On the Landnam of the Faroe Islands||465|
|SÍMUN V. ARGE|
|31 Viking-Age Faroe Islands and their Southern Links in the Light of Recent Finds at Toftanes, Leirvik.||473|
|STEFFEN STUMMANN HANSEN|
|32 Shielings and their Role in the Viking-Age Economy||487|
|New Evidence from the Faroe Islands|
|DITLEV L. D. MAHLER|
|33 An Insect’s Eye-View of the Norse Farm||506|
|PAUL C. BUCKLAND, JON P. SADLER and DAVID N. SMITH|
|34 GreenlandRunes: Isolation or Cultural Contact?||528|
|35 Settlement Mounds in the North Atlantic||544|