New knowledge about the Viking winter camp in Repton, Derbyshire, will air tonight. The Heritage Daily announced that in the BBC 4 series’ Digging for Britain, researchers will take a closer look at the camp and new findings.
In the past five years, a PhD student at the University of Bristol has revisited the site. She has reassessed the discoveries of an earlier excavation by Martin and Birthe Biddle in the 1970-80s. The newest tools and techniques now help to confirm or dispute current knowledge. In particular, it sheds new light on structures in the ground, estimates of the size of the encampment and activities that took place.
One example is a burial mound that contains a mass grave of about 250 people. The Biddles’ believed these were victims of the Viking wars. But the first radio-carbon dating suggested the remains could be even older. The new excavation, however, puts the grave firmly back to 873 CE. The mound itself also turns out to be a charnel house, and before that a workshop. Read more in the press release of the University of Bristol.
One side note to make here: there are no academic publications about this recent excavation yet. However, it’s highly likely they will follow in due time. The results will contribute significantly to the knowledge about Viking winter camps in England.