Western Isles: The Vikings: Raiders, Traders, or Settlers?

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Heading westward across the North Sea, Vikings landed on Britain, Ireland, the Shetlands, and the Orkneys. As wave after wave of Norsemen arrived on their shores, these western isles became an extension of the Viking homelands. But what did Vikings do there? Were they raiders, traders, or settlers, or some combination of all three? And what was their long-term impact? History and archeology have provided some answers. What started as opportunistic raids on remote, undefended monasteries soon evolved into trading and farming, and the establishment of towns like York, Dublin, and Chester. In these centers, the Viking impact was concentrated but may not have extended deeply into the hinterlands. However, in the less populated northern regions, in Scotland, the Hebrides, the Isle of Man, and the Orkney and Shetland islands, Vikings took land and became farmers, settling huge areas and intermingling with the local population. Find out for yourself...

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