The Viking Age: A Time with Many Faces

The Viking Age: A Time with Many Faces

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Product number: 3749

The majority of literature about the Viking period, based on artifacts or written sources, covers battles, kings, chiefs and mercenaries, long distance travel and colonization, trade, and settlement. Less is said about the life of those that stayed at home or those that immigrated into Scandinavia, whether voluntarily or by force.

This book uses results from the examination of a substantial corpus of Swedish osteological material to discuss aspects of demography and health in the Viking period – those which would have been visible and recognizable in the faces or physical appearances of the individuals concerned. It explores the effects of migration, from the spread of new diseases such as leprosy to patterns of movement and integration of immigrants into society. The skeletal material also allows the study of levels of violence, attitudes towards disablement, and the care provided by Viking communities. An overview of the worldwide phenomenon of modified teeth also gives insight into the practice of deliberate physical embellishment and body modification.

The interdisciplinary approach to questions regarding ordinary life presented here will broaden the knowledge about society during the Viking Age. The synthesis of the Swedish unburnt human skeletal remains dated to the Viking age will be a valuable resource for future research and provides an in-depth view on Viking age society.

  • Title: The Viking Age
  • Sub-title: A Time with Many Faces
  • By (author): Caroline Ahlström Arcini
  • ISBN: 9781785709388
  • Pages: 126
  • Language: English
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Size: 222 x 19 x 286 mm
  • Illustrations: 16 color illus. 
  • Published: Oxbow Books (2018)
  • Books cannot be returned.

Caroline Arcini holds a position as osteologist at the National Historical Museums, Sweden. She has a PhD in Medical History from Lund University. Her research focuses on paleopathology and studies of the health situations in prehistoric and historic times


“This book does have much to offer to readers looking to expand their knowledge of the Viking Age. This book will undoubtedly appeal to laypersons looking to explore the Viking Age. The book is well written and visually appealing, although dominated by maps and graphics rather than images of skeletal material. This book is also appealing to scholars in the field for the wealth of references as well as the strontium isotope values provided in the Appendix. Overall, this is a fun book to read and a quality resource in several different ways.”
International Journal of Paleopathology Volume 24, March 2019