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Cardiff Professor opens international scholarly conference in Netherlands:

3 June 2014

Across the North Sea: North Sea Connections from AD 400 into the Viking Age 

Wierden friesland

Wierden friesland

A Cardiff University professor is to give the opening lecture at the international scholarly conference Across the North Sea: North Sea Connections from AD 400 into the Viking Age organized by the Frisian Museum in the Netherlands from Thursday 5 to Sunday 8 June.

Professor of Archaeology at Cardiff University John Hines opens the conference with a special keynote public lecture on Thursday 5 June.

One of the leading specialists in the field of North Sea contacts in the Early Middle Ages, Professor Hines will discuss the relationships between the inhabitants of England and Frisia – a coastal region along the south-eastern corner of the North Sea – in the Early Middle Ages, and the many questions that arise around this connection in his lecture.

‘The striking similarities between the Frisian and English languages, the growing number of archaeological finds, and new techniques such as DNA-analysis, mean that new questions can be posed. The Frisians have been rather neglected as a historical presence, partly because of the linguistic challenges for non-Dutch scholars and partly because, on the European scale, they are quite a small group. There are many points of comparison with Wales, which make our involvement in Cardiff University with this initiative particularly important’ says Professor Hines.

Frisia or Friesland is traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language. Frisia extends from the northwestern Netherlands across northwestern Germany to the border of Denmark.

Over three days, experts in the fields of runology, archaeology, history and legal history from the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, and England, Wales and Scotland, will present the most recent research and discuss the North Sea contacts in the medieval centuries from c. AD 400 to the early Viking Period. This period is one of the most decisive in European history.

This congress has been made possible with financial support from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the Royal Frisian Society (Hora Siccama van Harkstede fonds), Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG), the National University of Groningen, Cardiff University, The Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, and the Erasmus Mundus Programme.

The congress closes on Sunday 8 June with an excursion through the terp area, in cooperation with the Terpen Centre of the National University of Groningen. Entrance for the public lecture is €5.00. For the full conference programme and registration one may see