River Kings

Cat Jarman

Regular price $36.00

Bioarcheologist Jarman debuts with an eye-opening look at how ancient silk roads linked Vikings to the Far East.

Framing the narrative around the journey one small carnelian bead likely made in Gujarat, India, to the gravesite in Derbyshire, England, where it was found, Jarman takes intriguing detours to examine various items associated with the Vikings' journeys eastward, including buried ships filled with human remains on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and carvings in the pillars of the Hagia Sofia in Constantinople (now Istanbul). She notes that carnelian beads started to appear in Scandinavia in the early ninth century, and explains what these and other objects found in gravesites in modern-day England, Hungary, and Turkey reveal about the movement of people between Scandinavia and the Byzantine Empire.

She also draws attention to "exotic items," including a bronze Buddha statuette, found in archaeological sites in Scandinavia, and traces trade routes across the Baltic Sea and dozens of rivers stretching inland through Europe to argue that the people known as the Rus' by Islamic travelers and nomadic groups on the Eurasian Steppe were more than likely Vikings, or their descendants. Colorful storytelling and lucid explanations of archaeological science make this a vivid testament to the far reach of Scandinavian people and culture.

Hardcover || 352 pages || 5.70" x 9.10"