Battle wounds in the Middle Ages


Viking skull
A concerted attempt to decapitate this chap
A sword or axe has sliced into this head - he didn't survive!
A sword or axe has sliced into this head – he didn’t survive!
Viking skull
Trauma to the side of the skull
An almight blow to the back of the head here
An almighty blow to the back of the head here
Injuries to the pelvis crop up a lot from stab wounds
Injuries to the pelvis crop up a lot from stab wounds
Viking warrior
This soldier was lightly armed and injured just about everywhere – no head protection!

I’ve just returned from a trip to the northern English city of York – a place absolutely dripping in medieval history and I will be sharing some of the wonderful things I saw with you in upcoming blog posts.

Today – I’m going to share some gruesome evidence of battles fought in the 11th century between Vikings and Saxons and later on, Vikings and Normans. Strange to say that most of the leaders involved on all sides were related to each other – basically part of the northern European aristocracy.  But in those violent times, that didn’t stop them sticking axes in each others’ heads.

Back in the 1970s, archaeologists started to find the remains of the Viking city of York – dating back to the 9th, 10th and 11th centuries.  If you know your English history, then you’ll be aware that after the Romans left in the early 400s, there were various waves of invaders including the Angles, Saxons and Jutes. The Saxons eventually established kingdoms like Mercia and Wessex only to see the whole eastern half of England gobbled up by fiersome Vikings from Scandanavia.

I went underground to look at the remains of the Viking city – well below today’s modern street level – and snapped some skulls of those who fell in battle.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Battle wounds in the Middle Ages

  1. As you say such a violent time, and yes they were all related to each other, absolutely amazing, but human nature hasnt changed much has it. I love the finds and looking forward to more.
    Thank you – your site is outstanding.

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