Camps and Early Settlement in the Viking Diaspora: England, Ireland and the Case of Galicia

Irene García Losquiño

Abstract


From the ninth to the eleventh century, Vikings famously raided areas like England, Ireland and Normandy and started to settle there. In its early phases of activity, the Viking camp, called longhort in Irish annals, appeared and was used as an initial structure from which to control areas adjacent to navigable rivers or to the coast. These structures sometimes evolved into centres of trade and military activity, and in some cases, they became urban centres. However important they are to understanding the progression from raiding to settlement in the Viking diaspora, these camps have not been found in less-studied regions that underwent a long period of Viking contact. That is the case of Galicia, a frequent raiding destination and, as argued in this paper, one that also witnessed the medium- and long-term presence of Vikings, although possibly in much lower numbers than in other areas of the diaspora. In this article, I will present the commonalities of Viking camps in England and Ireland and will assess whether that type of structure should be expected in Galicia.

Keywords


vikings; camps; longphuirt; Galicia; settlement; England; Ireland

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