Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Vikings Are Taking Over the British Museum!

EEK!  Seriously, I saw this great photograph of some "beserkers" from what has to be the Lewis chess piece horde, pictured at Minerva's home page:

Minerva, from the March/April 2014 edition
Don't you just love them!  Each one is slightly different from the others - different helmets, different shields.  And the gnawing on the shields -- great touch!  I believe (but am not 100% certain) that these are pawns. 

I hopped over to the British Museum's website to find out more about the exhibition.  I've been fascinated by the Vikings for a long time, not least of which I still remember the old movie "The Vikings" with Tony Curtis as an improbable Greek slave flashing traces of a Brooklyn accent, and Kirk Douglas flashing endless muscles (were those really his arms???), chewing up the scenery every chance he got!  Say what you will about their acting skills, they sure were sexy back in the day :) 

Check out the special page "BP exhibition Vikings Life and Legend" that started today (March 6, 2014) and runs through June 22, 2014. There is a separate admission fee for this exhibit, 16.50 Pounds if paid in person (although members get in free), and additional charges apply for booking tickets on line or via telephone. 

Discover the world of the Vikings in this major exhibition – the first at the British Museum for over 30 years.
The Viking Age (800–1050) was a period of major change across Europe. The Vikings expanded from their Scandinavian homelands to create an international network connecting cultures over four continents, where artistic, religious and political ideas met.

The Vikings’ skill in shipbuilding and seafaring was central to their culture and achievements, and at the heart of the exhibition will be a 37-metre-long warship. Found in 1997, and dating to around 1025, it is the longest Viking ship ever discovered. Many other new discoveries, including part of a mass grave of Viking warriors, will be on display for the first time showing how our understanding of the Vikings is still being changed by new excavations and recent research.

The exhibition will also present personal objects, including jewellery, amulets and idols, which help to reveal more about how the Vikings saw themselves and their world. Exquisite objects, including the magnificent Vale of York Hoard, demonstrate the global reach of the Viking network of trade, plunder and power – a network that left a lasting legacy in countries from Ireland and the UK to Russia and Ukraine.

Enter a world of warriors, seafarers and conquerors to discover the many fascinating aspects of a history that is both strangely alien yet remarkably familiar.

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