9. Vikings and Picts: genocide or assimilation?
- Julian D. Richards
Evidence of Norse settlement in the Northern and Western Isles illustrate a varied range of possible relationships between the Norse and native Picts. ‘Vikings and Picts: genocide or assimilation’ shows that this relationship could vary from the extremes of peaceful incorporation and annihilation. Evidence indicates large migration to the Northern Isles, and smaller settlement in the Western Isles. However, place names and genetics lack chronological resolution. Archaeological findings suggest large-scale migration followed by Norse political, linguistic, and cultural domination but with some peaceful coexistence. Norse cultural traditions have kept a political importance in the Northern and Western Isles but the picture isn't just of a Scandinavian import, elements of the indigenous culture were retained and adapted.