Institute of Archaeology


The Sir David Wilson Lecture in Medieval Studies: Digging the Orkney Story

07 December 2022, 6:15 pm–7:45 pm

Picture of two building porticos merged together (UCL and the British Museum)

The Sir David Wilson Lecture, the first event in the 2022-23 UCL Institute of Archaeology/British Museum Medieval Seminar Series, will be given by Judith Jesch (University of Nottingham) on 7 December.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Iain MacDonald


Christopher Ingold Building – XLG1
Department of Chemistry
20 Gordon Street
United Kingdom

The Sir David Wilson Lecture 2022 will be given by Judith Jesch (University of Nottingham) entitled 'Digging the Orkney Story'.


The lecture will present what a range of Old Norse-Icelandic sagas and other texts have to say about Orkney and Shetland in the Viking Age. In it I will attempt to sift these various textual perspectives and establish how they tell the story of the arrival of Scandinavians in the Northern Isles. The significance of the chronological gap between events and texts will be explored using a method I like to call the ‘stratigraphy of texts’ that may explain the potential relationships between sagas and their historical settings, and thereby provide some insights into the source-value of sagas. The lecture will also consider some archaeological evidence in an attempt to explore how this can be brought into dialogue with the relevant texts.

The event is a joint meeting with the Institute of Historical Research Earlier Middle Ages seminar, followed by a launch party for the seminar series in the Leventis Gallery at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.

The Medieval Seminar Series is sponsored by the World Archaeology Section at the UCL Institute of Archaeology and the British Museum. All meetings start at 6.15pm at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. 

Seminar Series Convenors:

Meetings Secretary: