Coverage of the British Museum’s first major exhibition on the Vikings in over 30 years will be shown at Mareel over the next two Sundays.
Cinema audiences will get an exclusive guided tour of the BP exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend, introduced by museum director Neil MacBregor and presented by TV historians Michael Wood and Bettany Hughes.
Exhibition curator Gareth Williams and leading world experts take audiences through the exhibition, getting up close to objects and exploring the global contacts, ships and swords, burials and beliefs of the Viking Age as well as examining the Vikings’ enduring language and legacy.
The focus is on the core period of the Viking Age, from the late eighth century to the early 11th century. The extraordinary Viking expansion from the Scandinavian homelands during this era created a cultural network with contacts from the Caspian Sea to the North Atlantic, and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean.
Warfare and warrior identity are at the centre of what it meant to be a Viking and contact with other lands was often violent. Objects include recently excavated skeletons from a mass grave of executed Vikings in Dorset, armour and weapons. But there is also fine jewellery, sculpture and metalwork which was traded as well as raided across the globe.
At the centre of the exhibition is Roskilde 6, the longest Viking ship ever found. National Museum of Denmark conservator Kristiane Straetkvern will talk about the discovery, excavation and conservation of the ship timbers found in a Danish harbour, while yachtsman Robin Knox-Johnston re-lives his transatlantic voyage testing Viking navigation.