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Jorvik: Rebirth of a City

Jorvik, the Viking-age predecessor of modern York, has in recent years, been revealed by archaeologists in astonishing detail. A new underground Viking centre in the city has enabled the excavated evidence to be displayed where it was found, accompanied by an innovative full-size reconstruction of a complete Viking-age neighbourhood.

876 … In this year Halfdan shared out the lands of Northumbria, and they were engaged in ploughing and making a living for themselves.

This laconic Anglo-Saxon Chronicle annal, and the one which ten years earlier recorded the Viking capture of York, have been the starting point for generations of historians in their study of the Scandinavian episode in the city's history. During the following 88 years, York was successively ruled by Danish kings, captured by the Norwegian Ragnall and ruled by Norse, captured by Athelstan and reincorporated in the English Kingdom, then recaptured by the Norse under Olafr Gothfrithsson and ruled by Norwegians until the last Viking king of York, Eirikr Bloodaxe was expelled for the second time in 954. Scandinavian rule for three generations left an indelible stamp on the city, so that even at the Norman conquest and in Domesday Book, York is recognisably an Anglo-Scandinavian city.

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