The Parker Library features in an upcoming documentary on the National Geographic TV channel. The programme, entitled ‘Viking Apocalypse‘ looks at the mass grave uncovered by archaeologists near Ridgeway Hill in Dorset in 2009.
The grave contained the skeletons of 54 men, mostly in their teens or twenties, and all had been dismembered; their skulls were buried separately. From their injuries, archaeologists were able to determine that they weren’t killed in battle but executed, sometime between 910 and 1030 AD. Analysis of the teeth of 10 of the men showed that they weren’t natives of Britain but Scandinavians.
The theory the programme explores is that the men were Vikings executed by Anglo-Saxons. The programme’s presenter, Dr Britt Baillie-Warren, came to the library to see what the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has to say about warfare and execution during the period – and the Vikings’ place in English history.
The programme will be shown on Wednesday 25 January at 9pm.