Vikings come to the cinema screen

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.


Add Your Comment
  • Ron Young

    • June 10th, 2014 12:02

    Having seen this film at my own local cinema when it was shown “live” a few weeks ago, I can thoroughly recommend it. I’d rate it as an experience on equal to seeing the exhibition

    About a week after seeing the film, I went down to the British Museum to see the exhibition. The majority of the artefacts are small to moderate size, and the “Vikings” film showed them in greater detail than seeing them first hand. However, Roskilde 6 is magnificent as the wooden artefacts are displayed on a metal frame that shows them in their full relationship. It gives you some idea of the size of the vessel and also helps you appreciate the skill of the people who came over to Shetland, Orkney and the rest of the United Kingdom.

    By the way, I’m not an Orcadian or Shetlander, although I have visited both island groups and come from down south in Derbyshire.


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