Tuesday 23 February 2010

Vikings show their cultured side at open day

The more cultured side of the marauding Vikings was on show at Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes on Sunday.

The museum staged one of its popular family days and some 430 people enjoyed meeting members of the Temesvikings re-enactment group from London.

Museum education officer Ali Rushent said: “They set up a fur-lined tent and did a series of mini talks with members of the public who came along.

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A heritage to treasure

For the first time, a regional museum is showing its medieval and Viking treasures at the British Museum. Steve Pratt discovers the story of England’s capital of the North and unearths an unusual recipient of a Blue Peter badge.

THE gallery at the British Museum is crammed with extraordinary objects of national and worldwide significance, as keeper of prehistory and Europe Jonathan Williams calls them.

There’s the York Helmet, the most outstanding Anglo-Saxon find to survive in Europe, and the Middleham Jewel, regarded as one of the finest pieces of Gothic jewellery found in this country. In another display case is the 1,000-year-old Gilling sword, one of the best preserved Viking swords ever found.

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Monday 22 February 2010

Jorvik centre reopens

The Jorvik Viking Centre in York has reopened to the public following a £1m refurbishment.

An entirely new gallery has been added and the replica of a Viking-age village has been upgraded. A number of new artefacts, discovered during diggings at the city's Coppergate district, have also gone on show.

Sarah Maltby, director of attractions at York Archaeological Trust, which operates the site, said: "The main thrust of the refurbishment this time is to make a reassessment of the archaeology at Coppergate from which the centre grew over 25 years ago.

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Saturday 13 February 2010

Anglo-Saxon and Viking Summer School Courses at Oxford

The Oxford Experience Summer School, which is held at Christ Church, Oxford offers over 50 different courses during the five weeks from 4 July to 7 August 2010.

These courses include:

The Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon England - 25 to 31 July 2010
(see further details)

King Alfred and the Vikings - 1 to 7 August
(see further details)

You can find out about other Summer School courses in archaeology and history at the University of Oxford’s website.

Metal detectorist finds Viking brooch

A METAL detectorist who had only recently taken up the hobby made a lucky find when he uncovered a Viking brooch, which is going on display at Salisbury Museum.

Sidney Boyce was using his metal detector near Longbridge Deverill when he found the bronze trefoil brooch, which he then took to the museum to be identified.

The find was reported to Katie Hinds, the finds liaison officer for Wiltshire, based at Salisbury Museum, who immediately recognised its significance.

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Experts Gather to Celebrate York's Viking History

Academics from around the Viking world will gather in York on Saturday 13th February 2010 for an entertaining and illuminating look at the past, present and future of Viking studies.

The two-day conference - “A celebration of Iconic Collections and Excavations from the Viking World” - will open the 2010 JORVIK Viking Festival and forms part of JORVIK Viking Centre's 25th anniversary celebrations. It will celebrate some of the most important developments and iconic artefacts uncovered in the last quarter-century of research into the Viking era.

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Viking brooch found in Longbridge Deverill, 3 miles south of Warminster.

A Viking brooch discovered in Longbridge Deverill, three miles south of Warminster, has gone on display in Salisbury Museum. The bronze trefoil brooch was discovered at the end of last year by Sidney Boyce from Salisbury using a metal detector.

The find is extremely rare for this part of England. It dates from between 850 and 1050 AD and is in the Viking Borre style, each arm being decorated with a cat-like animal head.

Katie Hinds, finds liaison officer for Wiltshire, said “It is very unusual to find a brooch like this - similar items have been found in East Anglia but they are copies."

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York Jorvik Viking Centre re-opens with annual festival after £1 million revamp

A Nordic animatronic community made by Disneyworld designers in Ohio, a capsule ride around Viking York and a ferocious battle between axe-wielding warriors will form the opening highlights of the third incarnation of the Jorvik Viking Centre when it opens tomorrow following a £1 million refurbishment.

An antler worker called Sigurd who severed his finger in a saw, two rugged builders, a feuding Viking couple and a rat are among the robotic figures created by US specialists Life Formation, based on archaeological evidence from digs around the grounds of the Centre. They will address visitors in Old Norse, voiced by students from York University.

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‘Time Team’ star Tony Robinson hails revamped Jorvik Centre as Viking Festival gets under way in York

BLACKADDER actor Tony Robinson has officially opened the new-look Jorvik Viking Centre in York after a £1 million refit.

The showpiece of the nine-month renovation is the glass-floor gallery where visitors can marvel at a recreation of the Viking relics that were found on the Coppergate site, excavated between 1976 and 1981.

The exhibition, which charts the history of Norse colonies in the city, also features seven new life-like Viking animatronics which have been shipped in from specialists in the US.

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Saturday 6 February 2010

Book your place at 'Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting, Metal Detecting' Conference

Registration is now open for the ‘Portable Antiquities: Archaeology, Collecting, Metal Detecting’ conference on 13th and 14th March 2010. This event is co-organised by the CBA and Newcastle University’s International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, and takes place at Newcastle University and the Great North Museum: Hancock.

The papers at this conference offer perspectives from a range of different interest groups, look at recent research, present case studies from around the UK and beyond, and ultimately offer views about what the future may hold for portable antiquities management. Much debate is anticipated at this timely event.

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Friday 5 February 2010

Viking treasure found in Shenstone

AN ANCIENT silver ingot dating back more than 1,000 years has been discovered by a treasure hunter in Shenstone, it was revealed this week.

The artefact, measuring almost three inches (70mm) in length, was found at an undisclosed location in Shenstone parish in March last year.

Experts at the British Museum have now examined the find and disclosed that it is Viking in origin and contains around 95 per cent silver.

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Vikings and Death

In the Viking Age people were buried in many different sort of places. Did the ancient Scandinavians chose a particular place for burial or were the burial sites randomly selected? Had the choice anything to do with ideas of the afterlife?

The seasons first Tuesday Talk at The Museum of Archaeology has an exciting topic! Archaeologist Eva Thäte will talk about vikings and death, Tuesday 9 February at 0630 pm. 

– Viking Age burial rites are very diverse as were people’s choices of places for burial grounds. In the Late Iron Age (AD 500-1000), people in Scandinavia buried their deceased on high ground, in ancient burial mounds, in houses, close to water sites and near roads or boundaries, says Eva Thäte.

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Egil Skallagrimsson Keeps his Head

Violent feuding, cunning witchcraft and poetic resolution make for a thrilling comedy drama commissioned for this February's JORVIK Viking Festival.

Egil Skallagrimsson Keeps his Head is a first theatrical commission for York Archaeological Trust to mark its anniversary JORVIK Viking Festival. The new comedy drama has been written and will be performed by award winning North Country Theatre on 17th and 18th February as part of the week's celebratory Viking Festival.

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Wednesday 3 February 2010

Go shopping in the Viking Age

The Viking Ship Museum invites children and adults on a shopping trip in the Viking Age during the winter holidays.

The Vikings were the first people in Scandinavian history to fit sails to their ships and acquire the ability to travel much further. When the Vikings returned home from an expedition or trading voyage, the ship was loaded with new and exciting goods and practices. Where could the Vikings purchase glass? How much did a walrus tooth cost? Did the Vikings trade in slaves?

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