British Museum to hold exhibition on Vikings

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 04, 2014 23:30 hrs

London, March 5 (IANS) The British Museum will Thursday hold an exhibition on Vikings, displaying discoveries and objects of the pirates from northern European 1,000 years ago, museum authorities said Tuesday.

It is the first time for the museum to hold major exhibition of such kind for over 30 years. The exhibition will last until June 22, Xinhua reported.

Organised in cooperation with the National Museum of Denmark and the National Museums in Berlin, the exhibition will focus on the Vikings, best known as pirates or raiders in the core period of the Viking Age from the late 8th century to the early 11th century.

The Vikings had significant influence on northern European regions and central Asia, including England, Ireland, southern Spain, Iceland and Turkey.

During the three-month exhibition, a 37-metre-long Viking warship will be shown for the first time in the museum, which was rebuilt by the surviving timbers, approximately 20 percent of its original. The timbers were unearthed in 1997 in Demark.

According to archaeologists, the ship, known as Roskilde 6, was almost certainly a royal warship of Vikings around AD 1025, the high point of the Viking Age. Ships were important tools for the skillful seafarers, who used them to create a vast network of contacts near and far.

The Vale of York Hoard, consisting of 617 coins, six arm rings and a quantity of bullion and hack-silver, will also be entirely exhibited for the first time in the museum since it was discovered in northern England in 2007.

Besides those two highlights, daily necessities, jewelry, decorations, weapons and looted treasures from different regions will help visitors learn the ancient Vikings comprehensively.

Gareth Williams, curator of early Medieval Coinage Department, said: "They were not just raiders or traders, they developed a trading network which was unparalleled. It is the fundamental achievement of the Vikings, and they created an unprecedented global network of contacts and influences."

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