Thor's Hammer pendant
On its first North American stop, Vikings: Lives Beyond the Legends came ashore today (May 16, 2014) at the Royal BC Museum. The international exhibition, which runs through to November 11, 2014, is informed by recent discoveries and provides fascinating insights into the Viking era.
Artifacts, interactive computer displays and hands-on educational activities help tell the story of the Viking people, illustrating who they really were and how they lived. Vikings challenges commonly held beliefs and misperceptions of the mythical period, breaking through stereotypes as the Vikings emerge in a fascinating new light.
Produced by the Swedish History Museum, Sweden, and MuseumsPartner in Austria, the exhibition features more than 500 rare artifacts – jewellery, swords, axes, and clothing – many which have never been shown outside Scandinavia. The objects reveal fascinating details, offering glimpses into domestic life, family and community, religion and rituals, travel and trade, aristocracy and slavery, Viking women, and more. Stunning artifacts and interactive displays provide insights into the significance of the Vikings’ craft, the power of their mythology and the symbolism of their ships.
“This exhibition features over five hundred highly intricate and richly decorated artifacts that have rarely been seen outside of Scandinavia, but also offers a refreshing contemporary view of Vikings culture, a view of wonder and intimidation,” said Royal BC Museum CEO, Professor Jack Lohman. “Vikings will satisfy visitors who are enthralled by their fearsome past and by the traditional folklore of the Viking Age, and shatters many long-held myths about the Viking way of life.”
The exhibition also provides opportunities for visitors of all ages to explore Viking culture through learning programs and public lectures. These range from the Viking Feature Lecture delivered by Dr. Erin McGuire of the University of Victoria, to a lecture by Grant Keddie, Royal BC Museum archaeology curator, on Viking connections to Canada. The popular Wonder Sunday series will offer an in-depth look at Viking mythology and symbolism for all ages.
Other activities for younger visitors include Night at the Museum: Vikings!, a night of archaeological discoveries with Viking yoga in the morning. Saturday Night Alive will teach Viking craft working techniques to all ages and Vikings Summer Camps are being offered to teach children all about what it takes to be a Viking.
As well, the University of Victoria will offer a special Anthropology course, Life and Death in the Viking World, on-site at the Royal BC Museum. Instructed by Dr. Erin McGuire, this third-year course offers a unique opportunity for members of the public to join undergraduate students in examining the nature and impact of the Viking expansion in the North Atlantic. Full details about all of the Vikings learning programs at the Museum are available online at: http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/exhibitions/upcoming/vikings/programming-and-events/
IMAX Victoria in the Royal BC Museum is screening a companion film to the exhibition, Vikings: Journey to the New Worlds, a 40-minute large-format documentary film that will provide a comprehensive snapshot of the Vikings, their historical and cultural impact, as well as scientific and technological achievements. Special Royal BC Museum and IMAX combo pricing is available.
Tickets for Vikings are available in advance, online or at the Royal BC Museum Box Office. For more information, visit www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca or call 1-888-447-7977.
The Royal BC Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended summer hours 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays from May 23 through September 27.
Report courtesy Royal BC Museum