The Richard Hall Symposium 2019, Call for Papers: Women and Power in the Viking World

A one-day conference with York Archaeological Trust, York, Sunday 24th February 2019 

Coppergate Woman

This [woman] is a bit of a mystery in that no other burials were found in her vicinity. As she herself was at the riverward limit of the excavations…it is conceivable that she was the outermost in a group / cemetery that otherwise lay outside our excavation, although no others were noted hereabouts in the watching brief. If she was on her own it might be, therefore, that she was something of an outcast… buried beyond the bounds of normal cemeteries. However, she had been laid quite carefully in the ground, albeit not on a standard east-west orientation. All quite uncertain… 

Notes on the full female skeleton found in the Coppergate dig, written ahead of the installation of ‘the Coppergate Woman’ exhibit at the JORVIK Viking Centre in 2010.


The Coppergate Woman has featured prominently in JORVIK’s reconstruction of 10th-century York since 2010. Extensively researched by specialists working in a number of fields, the Coppergate Woman has become JORVIK’s emblem of Viking-era womanhood, yet much about her life and status remains unknown and open to conjecture.

The Richard Hall Symposium 2019 invites speakers at any stage in their research career to present on women and power in the Viking world. Interdisciplinary in its scope, the symposium celebrates the work done by Richard Hall and his colleagues to investigate and represent the lives of the residents of Viking-era Coppergate using the full range of sources available to them, a project given vivid expression in the world-renowned JORVIK Viking Centre.


Possible topics for exploration include:

  • Power and display
  • Art and literature
  • Gender
  • Archaeological practice and interpretation
  • Public / popular histories
  • Difficult histories

Confirmed Plenary Speakers for 2019:

  • Dr Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir, Yale University
  • Prof Judith Jesch, University of Nottingham
  • Dr Alexandra Sanmark, University of the Highlands and Islands


We welcome papers of 20 minutes addressing the issues outlined above for this interdisciplinary conference. Please send a 250 word abstract to  by 21st October 2018.



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