The Vikings were not the first colonizers of the Faroe Islands

Mike Church, Simun Arge, Kevin Edwards, Philippa Ascough, Julie Bond, Gordon Cook, Steve Dockrill, Andrew Dugmore, Thomas McGovern, Claire Nesbitt, Ian Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We report on the earliest archaeological evidence from the Faroe Islands, placing human colonization in the 4th–6th centuries AD, at least 300–500 years earlier than previously demonstrated archaeologically. The evidence consists of an extensive wind-blown sand deposit containing patches of burnt peat ash of anthropogenic origin. Samples of carbonised barley grains from two of these ash patches produced 14C dates of two pre-Viking phases within the 4th–6th and late 6th–8th centuries AD. A re-evaluation is required of the nature, scale and timing of the human colonization of the Faroes and the wider North Atlantic region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-232
Number of pages5
JournalQuaternary Science Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Faroe Islands
  • Earliest human settlement
  • 14C Dating


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