Sunday 31 January 2010

The Assembly Project awarded £850,000 to study Vikings and Early Medieval Europe

Over £850,000 has been made by medieval scholars from the Universities of Durham, Oslo and Vienna and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for Nordic Studies, Orkney, by the Humanities in Europe Research Awards Scheme. This will fund a three-year, international effort, known as The Assembly Project, is designed to explore the role of assemblies or things in the creation, consolidation and maintenance of collective identities, emergent polities and kingdoms in early medieval Northern Europe.

Orkney and Shetland are to be research sites for a major project looking at the way the Viking communities governed themselves and strengthened their groups.

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Sweden celebrates the 800th birthday of Birger jarl

A jubilee celebration is being held for the 800th anniversary of the birth of Birger jarl, one of Sweden' most important medieval statesmen. Among the events planned for this year is the excavation of the tomb belonging to his son, King Magnus III.

The anniversary of the birth of Birger jarl will be inaugurated on 6 February at Bjälbo in Östergötland, where Birger Jarl was born 800 years ago. More than 130 specially invited guests and media representatives will be participating in vespers in the church, followed by dinner at Stadshotellet in Skänninge. The participants will include representatives of the three regions responsible for the Jubilee – Eastern Götaland, Western Götaland and Stockholm.

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Thursday 28 January 2010

Viking settlement unearthed by OPW

DUBLIN’S NORTHSIDE is revealing its own Viking past with the first evidence of 11th-century Dubliners choosing to settle on the north shore of the Liffey emerging in the past week.

Clear signs of a late-11th century – ie Viking – house have been found at a site in the Smithfield area owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW). Excavation works, commissioned and funded by the OPW, have been under way at Hammond Lane, off Church Street, since last year.

Some 17th- and 18th-century artefacts have been found since then, while evidence of a “substantial Viking house” was uncovered there last week, said excavation director Colm Moriarty.

National Museum director Pat Wallace said the great significance of the find lay in the location of the house north of the Liffey.

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Up Helly Aa in pictures: Viking festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Members of the Viking Jarl Squad march with burning torches during the annual Up Helly Aa Festival, Lerwick, Shetland Islands. Up Helly Aa celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian Vikings in the Shetland Islands and has employed this theme since 1870. Up Helly Aa is held on the last Tuesday in January every year, whatever the weather

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Delving into the history of 'things'

Orkney and Shetland are set to become research sites for a major project looking at the way Viking communities governed themselves and strengthened their groups.

Around £118,000 has been awarded to the Centre for Nordic Studies for research on administrative organisation and Norse “things” — governing assembly sites — in areas of Viking settlement and colonisation.

The centre — supported by UHI, the prospective university of the Highlands and Islands — is involved in a three-year project with Oslo, Vienna and Durham universities. Centre director,

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Viking Society Student Conference 2010

Viking Society Student Conference 2010
Published by Chris Abram on January 28, 2010 12:42 pm under Conferences

The Viking Society is holding its annual student conference in London on 13 February. Everybody is welcome to attend–whether a student or not or a Society member or not.

The theme of this year’s conference is Skaldic Poetry.

The conference will be held in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, University College London. (South Junction of the main building, at the top of the stairs. Registration and refreshments will be in the Jeremy Bentham Room.)

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Sunday 24 January 2010

Medieval Shipwrecks under threat from Shipworms

Shipworms, commonly referred to as 'termites of the sea', are launching an attack on the Baltic Sea, putting large maritime archaeological sites at risk. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, currently participating in the EU-funded WRECKPROTECT project to investigate which artefacts are at risk, speculate that climate change is responsible for this threatening tide of shipworms.

The WRECKPROTECT ('Strategies for the protection of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea against forthcoming attack by wood degrading marine borers. A synthesis and information project based on the effects of climatic changes') project has received over EUR 750,000 in financial support under the 'Environment' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme.

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Thursday 21 January 2010

Jorvik Centre unveils new life-like animatronics

A FRESH horde of Vikings have descended on York thanks to a £1 million refurbishment to the Jorvik Centre.

The life-like animatronics will be unveiled at the centre’s relaunch on February 13.

The six “Vikings” have travelled 4,000 miles from Life Formations in Ohio, in the USA.

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York's annual Viking Festival to mark Jorvik Centre's 25th anniversary

ORGANISERS hope this year's Viking Festival will be the biggest and best ever – and it will start with the official reopening of the new Jorvik Centre.

Marking the 25th anniversary of the Viking Centre, in Coppergate, which is currently closed while it prepares for a relaunch, the festival will be held from February 13 to 25 and coincide with half-term.

The Coppergate Camp is set to be the epicentre of Viking activity, with other Viking escapades scheduled for elsewhere in York.

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Viking Shipwrecks Face Ruin as Odd "Worms" Invade

Global warming putting sunken treasures at risk?

The dreaded wood-eating shipworm is invading northern Europe's Baltic Sea. The animal threatens to munch through thousands of Viking vessels and other historic shipwrecks, scientists warn.

The sea's cool, brackish waters have for centuries protected the wrecks from the wormlike mollusks. But now global warming is making the Baltic Sea (map) more comfortable for the critters, a new study speculates.

Shipworms, which can obliterate a wreck in ten years, have already attacked about a hundred sunken vessels dating back to the 13th century in Baltic waters off Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, reported study co-author Christin Appelqvist.

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Tuesday 19 January 2010

Artefacts selected to outline history of North Yorkshire

AN ANGLO-SAXON helmet, a Viking arm ring and a Second World War Halifax Bomber are just some of the artefacts that tell the story of North Yorkshire’s history, according to a new project.

Ten items of varying shapes and sizes have been selected to outline the history of the county as part of a national project entitled A History Of The World.

It was developed by the British Museum, 350 museums across the country and the BBC.

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Tuesday 12 January 2010

On a mission to crack the Norse code

The wind whipped the waves of Scapa Flow into streamers of white froth, and the swell built to a stomach-churning height.

An announcement came over the Tannoy – our ferry would just make it in to Stromness, but its return journey to Scrabster would be cancelled. The other passengers took in this information without a murmur. Orcadians know that they are cut off, that they live in a world apart.

The gusts blowing in off the bay gathered momentum, and the roar of the waves against the shore was lost in the hum of the engines. Across the water the oil terminal on the isle of Flotta sparkled in halogen blasts of orange and yellow light.

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