A key aim of the project is to understand how cooking and food culture varied across time and space. Were urban and rural cuisines distinctive? How did cuisine differ between land-locked and coastal groups?
How much was food culture influenced by the political geography of Viking-Age England? Did people living in the Danelaw settlement of northern and eastern England cook and eat differently to those in the Saxon South? How did both compare to the 'homelands' of southern Scandinavia?
We will explore this through carefully selected case studies.
York and Yorkshire
This region in Viking England's northern heartland will provide a key case study. We plan to include material from the extensive excavations in the city (Coppergate and Hungate), and from surrounding villages: Burdale, Cottam, Cowlam, and Wharram.
Lincoln and the East Midlands
We will study material from Lincoln's famous Flaxengate excavations, and compare this with pottery from small towns and rural sites across Lincolnshire and the East Midlands (Flixborough, West Halton (Lincs); Newark (Notts)
Comparator 1: London
We will compare the results of the two main case studies with data from excavations along the waterfront of Saxon London, as well as existing data from elsewhere in southern England.
Comparator 2: Ribe and environs
Finally, we will compare our 'English' data against analyses from Denmark, including material from the Viking-Age towns of Ribe and Aarhus, and a number of rural sites. We will also draw on existing datasets from across central and southern Sweden.