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21 August 2013

It was thought the Faeroes were first settled by the Vikings but it now seems they were colonised as early as the 4th to 6th centuries AD – see www.dur.ac.uk/news/newsitem?itemno=18471

The research was one by Durham University and published in Quaternary Science Reviews. The Faeroes are a stepping stone beyond the Shetlands, coming by way of Scandinavia. They are also stepping stones on the journey to Iceland from anywhere in the North Atlantic. Peat had been cut, dried, and burnt at the excavation site and speculation might revolve around early Christian hermits and monks from Ireland that may have got there prior to the Vikings in the 8th or 9th centuries. After all, Irish monks are thought to have been living on Iceland when the Vikings reached there – but has lately been questioned.

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