Ancient Skeleton Sheds Light on Welsh History; BURIAL FIND OFFERS HISTORIANS CLUES ABOUT LIFE IN MIDDLE AGES

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Byline: RACHAEL MISSTEAR West Wales Editor rachael.misstear@walesonline.co.uk

LYING crookedly in a shallow grave, its bones have existed undiscovered for more than 1,000 years.

But the discovery of this ancient skeleton could shed new light on the history of the Vikings in Wales.

Wales. THE The unearthing of the skeleton at Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey has given historians important new clues on the impact of both Anglo-Saxons and Vikings operating around the Irish Sea.

Archaeologists from the National Museum Wales said the burial find is an unexpected addition to a group of five - two adolescents, two adult males and one woman - discovered in 1998-99.

Originally thought to be victims of Viking raiding, which began in the 850s, this interpretation is now being revised. THE VIKINGS the Irish Sea small sea-bands at eighth Over the ninth and they established significant and settled across the region: in andWestern Scotland, Galloway, coastal areas Mastery routes in very important Irish Sea the most these routes seaway with a settlement which, in overland to city of York. Viking route the Island and the Wales were strategic The unusual non-Christian positioning of the body, and its treatment, point to distinctions being made in the burial practices for Christians and other communities during the 10th century.

Analysis of the bones by Dr Katie Hemer of Sheffield University indicates that the males were not local to Anglesey, but may have spent their early years - at least up to the age of seven - in North West Scotland or Scandinavia.

Given the significance seaways Anglesey, widespread Viking Irish Sea would be if there had such settlement Wales. nativeWelsh does suggest forces over parts of Wales.

"The new burial will provide important additional evidence to shed light on the context of their unceremonious burial in shallow graves outside the elite fortified settlement in the later 10th century," said Dr Hemer. The recent excavations also suggest the presence of a warrior elite thanks to the discovery of seventhcentury silver and bronze fittings on Source: Wales and swords and scabbards. They suggest the recycling of military equipment during the period of rivalry and campaigning between the kingdoms.

AND VIKINGS first came to region in borne raiding end of the course of the 10th centuries According to history, the borderlands between the Welsh and English were a target for Northumbrian intervention between AD610 and the 650s. The Northumbrian king Edwin subjugated Anglesey and Man, until Cadwallon in alliance with Penda of Mercia invaded England and killed Edwin in AD 633, to rule north-east Wales and Northumbria for a year.

power bases in locations Irish Sea Northern Isles of Isle of Man, The Llanbedrgoch Cumbria and of Ireland. maritime region was for the VIKINGS. Perhaps important of was the Dublin Viking the Wirral connected the Viking This busy meant that Anglesey of North of immense significance. site, considered one of the most intriguing settlement complexes belonging to this period, has been the subject of 10 summer seasons of fieldwork by the museum's Department of Archaeology and Numismatics. …