Viking Neighbourhood Found Near Istanbul

Related Articles

Related Articles

Archaeologists conducting a study for evidence of Vikings near the city of Istanbul (formerly the Byzantine capital of Constantinople) have suggested the discovery of a Viking neighbourhood.

The study has focused on the ancient city of Bathonea (previously identified as Rhegion) on the European shore of the Sea of Marmara, 20 km west of Istanbul.

Vikings first came to the Byzantine Empire as merchants, before being incorporated into an Imperial guard formed by Emperor Basil II in AD 988, consisting of Varangians from the state of Kievan Rus’.

 

The recruitment for the guard outside of the Empires borders was a tactical policy, as the guard members lacked any loyalty to factions other than the emperor or held any political ambition (a common issue historically with the Praetorian guard of the Western Roman Empire) that could be a threat to the Emperor’s position.

Over the next 100 years, the guard’s ranks would include Norseman from Scandinavia, establishing a Norse cast that would become the dominant entity of the guard’s ranks.

According to contemporary texts, foreigners were forbidden from settling in the capital, but were instead said to be living in a port which corresponds with sites such as Bathonea. Vikings and Varangians could enter the capital in the morning within small groups, but had to leave the city before sunset.

During excavations of Bathonea, the team of archaeologists found a cross made from ambergris, a substance formed from a secretion of the bile duct in the intestines of the sperm whale. The most significant find is a necklace depicting a snake, that represents Jörmangandr (also known as the Midgard Serpent) that will bring about the first signs of Ragnarök.

Head of excavations Şengül Aydıngün, an associate Professor of the Kocaeli University told Hurriyet Daily News “Vikings lived in Istanbul between the eighth and the 11th centuries in different periods. We have found their exact settlement area to be between the ninth and 11th centuries in the Bathonea excavations.”

Header Image Credit : Public Domain

Download the HeritageDaily mobile application on iOS and Android

More on this topic

LATEST NEWS

Château Gaillard – Richard the Lionheart’s Castle

Construction of the castle began in 1196 by King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart - who ruled as King of England and held the Dukedom of Normandy, as well as several other territories.

Geoscientists Discovers Causes of Sudden Volcanic Eruptions

Tiny crystals, ten thousand times thinner than a human hair, can cause explosive volcanic eruptions.

Specimens From Ice Age Provide Clues to Origin of Pack-Hunting in Modern Wolves

Wolves today live and hunt in packs, which helps them take down large prey. But when did this group behavior evolve?

Remnants Ancient Asteroid Shed New Light on the Early Solar System

Researchers have shaken up a once accepted timeline for cataclysmic events in the early solar system.

Chromium Steel Was First Made in Ancient Persia

Chromium steel - similar to what we know today as tool steel - was first made in Persia, nearly a millennium earlier than experts previously thought, according to a new study led by UCL researchers.

Artaxata – “The Armenian Carthage”

Artaxata, meaning "joy of Arta" was an ancient city and capital of the Kingdom of Armenia in the Ararat Province of Armenia.

New Funerary & Ritual Behaviors of the Neolithic Iberian Populations Discovered

Experts from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology of the University of Seville have just published a study in the prestigious journal PLOS ONE on an important archaeological find in the Cueva de la Dehesilla (Cádiz).

The Great Wall of Gorgan

The Great Wall of Gorgan, also called the "The Red Snake" or “Alexander's Barrier” is the second-longest defensive wall (after the Great Wall of China), which ran for 121 miles from a narrowing between the Caspian Sea north of Gonbade Kavous (ancient Gorgan, or Jorjan in Arabic) and the Pishkamar mountains of north-eastern Iran.

Popular stories

The Secret Hellfire Club and the Hellfire Caves

The Hellfire Club was an exclusive membership-based organisation for high-society rakes, that was first founded in London in 1718, by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and several of society's elites.

Port Royal – The Sodom of the New World

Port Royal, originally named Cagway was an English harbour town and base of operations for buccaneers and privateers (pirates) until the great earthquake of 1692.

Matthew Hopkins – The Real Witch-Hunter

Matthew Hopkins was an infamous witch-hunter during the 17th century, who published “The Discovery of Witches” in 1647, and whose witch-hunting methods were applied during the notorious Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts.

Did Corn Fuel Cahokia’s Rise?

A new study suggests that corn was the staple subsistence crop that allowed the pre-Columbian city of Cahokia to rise to prominence and flourish for nearly 300 years.