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New Dates Obtained for Possible Viking Mass Grave in England

Friday, February 2, 2018

Great Viking ArmyBRISTOL, ENGLAND—The International Business Times reports that new radiocarbon dates have been obtained for the human remains discovered some 40 years ago in a mass grave at a seventh-century church in Repton. Historic records indicate that a Viking army invaded England’s four Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in A.D. 865, and spent the 873–874 winter in Repton. The remains of hundreds of dead, mostly males between the ages of 18 and 45 who had suffered violent injuries, had initially been thought to be members of this Great Viking Army, but radiocarbon dating had indicated some of the bones were too old for that to be the case. Cat Jarman of the University of Bristol says the Vikings’ seafood-rich diet could have thrown off the first radiocarbon tests. The new dates, which adjust for the older carbon ingested with marine foods, place all of the remains in the ninth century A.D. Jarman said the new dates don’t prove the bones belonged to the Vikings, but they do make it far more likely. For more, go to “Hoards of the Vikings.”

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