The secret to the Vikings’ success may lie in their encampments

For many years, archaeologists and historians have provided an increasingly informed insight into the dynamic world of the Vikings, chipping away at the clichés of a crazed, capricious people preoccupied with beards and bloodshed. One particular approach to understanding Viking activity has been to study the encampments they set up along the coasts and rivers of western Europe, allowing them to substitute their ships for a fixed, onshore position whenever cold, fatigue, hunger, or other conditions compelled them to.

Often called “winter camps” or longphuirt, more than 100 of these sites were established across the Atlantic archipelago and European mainland during the 9th century alone, and their tangible remains have been uncovered in places like Repton and Torksey in England, and

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