The Vikings Come to Denver

The Vikings are here.   The Museum of Nature and Science in Denver has a special exhibit on the The Vikings.

Let’s learn about the Vikings

Zeb the Duck and Soapy Smith Duck went to this exhibit.   We learned and saw so much.   We actually went twice.   It really is good.   Who are the Vikings?   The people that lived across Scandinavia were not a unified group.   There were warriors, explorers and merchants, but most were farmers.   The word Viking was used for an activity.   Someone was out on a “viking.”  That could be a commercial trip or a raid.   Much jewelry was on display.

Jewelry

Different styles seemed to be from different regions.  Also many items were brought back from raids or commercial trips.   These items are from afar.

From many places

The cross has Irish origins, the cowrie shells are from the Red Sea while the red and white beads are from the Black Sea area.   The ladle was used during church ceremonies.   As we mentioned most people were farmers and this pig, or boar, was a great source of meat.

Boar living on a farm

These people seemed to care about personal appearance, as these grooming items were found.

Grooming items

Many items were found in graves.

Buried with important items

A male was buried with these favorite items.   The Scandinavia area has very cold winters.   Early ice skates were functional, but much different than those we use today.

Early ice skates

Here is what was found in the tomb of a warrior in Birka.

Preparing for battle

Some people were buried with amulets.

Amulets

Amulets guaranteed the gods’ protection.   Runes were iconic symbols from the Viking age.

Rune tells a story

This one tells a story.

The story

The Vikings expanded their world.   Some wooden figures were brought back.

Brought home

There was much silver.

Silver

Some from raids and some was payment for traded goods.   Much silver was melted for jewelry.   Some was kept for local purchases.   Many merchants had scales so pieces of silver were broken off bracelets or other jewelry for payment.   This is a reconstruction of a small Viking boat.

Smaller Viking boat

After leaving this exhibit, this reproduction of another Viking ship caught our attention.

Viking ship

This exhibit will be at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science from March 10 through August 13, 2017.   We hope you see it here or when it comes to your city.