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Norwick: Shetland's first viking settlement?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents preliminary conclusions and the significance of Norwick and its artefactual assemblage for Viking colonisation of the Shetland and the west. It is possible that the position of the Viking settlement owed much to the location of the Iron Age structures, which may have been used as a quarry for building-stone. Norwick was a prime building site, in a slightly elevated but good location, with excellent resources nearby and a suitable beach for landing boats. The evidence for the Viking settlement was noted during the removal of topsoil from the area intended to be the graveyard extension at Norwick, i.e. immediately south of the old graveyard. The two most prolific artefact categories found at Norwick are those made of steatite such as vessels, bakestones and weights, and coarse-tempered, handmade pottery which was locally manufactured.

Keywords: graveyard; Norwick; Shetland; Viking settlement



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