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10. Viking Weapons in Irish Wetlands

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Chapter Summary

In Northern Europe acts of deposition of weapons in wetlands, in lakes, bogs, rivers and the sea, took place from the Mesolithic to the Late Iron Age. This chapter outlines the differences and similarities of the acts of deposition of Viking weapons in Scandinavia and Ireland. It discusses the layers of meaning of the cognitive landscape related to the depositions, and the identities of the people who performed them. An alternative suggestion has been to perceive the weapons as traces of warfare. The occurrence of religious objects in wetlands points towards an interpretation of the finds as traces of ritual actions. Therefore, this seems to be relevant perspective for interpreting the presence of Scandinavian weapons in Irish wetlands. A significant feature of the Scandinavian weapons from Irish wetlands is that they too tend to cluster around bridges, fords and crossings. Places and landscapes are essential parts of identity.

Keywords: bogs; crossings; Ireland; Irish lakes; Irish wetlands; rivers; Scandinavia; social identities; Viking weapons



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