The Hjaltland Research Network has received £17,000 from the Royal Society of Edinburgh to bring together national and international scholars of folklore onomastics, genetics, isotope research, archaeology and history to plan a large-scale research project entitled Mapping Viking Age Shetland, which will start in 2013. There will be a series of organizational meetings over the next two years in Shetland, Edinburgh and Copenhagen.
Mapping Viking Age Shetland will seek, through the digitising and mapping of the datasets of each discipline, to answer many of the unresolved questions about Shetland’s Viking Age, such as:
– what happened to the pre-Viking population,
– the date of Viking settlement,
– the origins of the Norse settlers and the anomaly of the divergent origins of the male and female lines,
– the nature of Shetland’s connections to the Celtic world,
– the intensity of settlement and the extent and duration of Norse pagan beliefs and folk traditions.
Mapping Viking Age Shetland will be a truly interdisciplinary approach to Viking-Age research, applying the latest technological advances and innovative new research in the various scientific and technological fields, which will allow for the teasing out of additional information from existing sources and the uncovering of new evidence, onomastic, genetic and isotopic.
Mapping Viking Age Shetland itself will be the pilot for a larger scale project, calledMSGI: Migration, Settlement and Genetic Inheritance: Mapping the Legacy of the Viking Age.