The Sea-wolf

Yesterday afternoon I visited the Vikings exhibitionn currently on display at the British Museum. Unfortunately you’re not allowed to take photos, though there are some on Flickr.

The first half of the exhibition looks at how the Vikings set up an impressive network of trade and contacts, from the North Atlantic through Europe and to the Middle East, using their famous longboats to navigate the seas and rivers.

Then second half is more about their military might1 and their raids on Europe and the British Isles. This part of the exhibition is dominated by the remains of a Viking warship, Roskilde 6, which is really breathtaking.

The exhibition finishes off showing how the Viking period ended with the emergence of the Scandinavian states and Monarchies and the adoption of Christianity.

Overall I really enjoyed the exhibition. It flowed nicely, and contains some interesting and beautiful items. My only criticism is that it could have shown us more about how the Vikings lived their day-to-day lives, which although we caught a glimpse of through some of the items worn by the Vikings, it wasn’t really explained. Their religion was also largely missing from the exhibition.

I would recommend visiting if you can. Best to go off peak, as when I went it was very busy.

  1. We think of Vikings as great warriors, but in reality the evidence suggests they lost at least as many battles as they won. [return]