Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Barrett's Back on the Brough

My favourite archaeological excavation, led by Dr James Barrett, on the Brough of Deerness in Orkney, has started up again, after a break in 2010. The site is still a bit mysterious and interpretations have changed, from an early Christian site, to a Viking Age chieftain's site, with the latter the current favoured one, but extending into later times when there is a Norse-period church, the remains of which can still be seen above ground (and you can just make it out in the picture).
The site now has a blog, which it is promised will be updated weekly. There, you can read about the most recent finds, including, very excitingly, a stone gaming board. Readers who know of my love for the Lewis playing-pieces (and who doesn't love them?), will know that this sets the imagination racing!


  1. Hi,

    I cannot work out how else to contact you but thought you might be interested to know that DC comics are producing a series called Northlanders under their Vertigo imprint.

    I have only just discovered it although it has been running a couple of years. It depicts the colonisation of Iceland and other aspects of Viking society as a dramatised portrayal of everyday life. A bit different from the sci-fi Marvel version of Thor.

    I have pasted an Amazon link below but if you call into Page 45 on Market Street or Forbidden Planet you will undoubtedly be able to have a look at the collections.

    The link to what looks like the first collection is .

    Take care. Chris

  2. Thanks for the tip Chris, this sounds interesting.

  3. Hi

    Completely forgot to say that my original Professor, when when I read history a loooong time ago, in Cardiff, was H.R. Loyn. I imagine thta would be a blast from the past for you. I recall he was very tall and we were all encouraged to buy his book!!!

  4. That dates you a bit, as Prof. Loyn died in 2000. Of his book, all I'll say is, it was of its time...but hope you did buy it (and keep it?).

  5. Indeed it does, as I left Cardiff in 1979 - before you were a gleaming in your mother's eye I'll warrant!! I did buy the book but it wasn't quite my area of interest. I still have it.

    I arrived (at Uni sans any linguistic ability) intrigued by Habsurg early Europe and ended as a continental High Middle-agist - ahem - altho even then I had concentrated on Byzantine history - rather molloxed up my Crusades paper when I could literally only answer two questions. Sigh.

    Incidentally, can you recommend a good and readable (for someone who now reads history for pleasure not work) book on the Norse myths? I picked up the Abrams book but am utterly becalmed half way through as its a bit of a travelogue for me.

  6. Try R.I. Page's Norse Myths.