As you might have gathered from reading these posts and hopefully my book as well, I have a bit of an interest in Norse stuff. Needless to say, when the British Museum put tickets for this exhibition on sale, I got booking and was not disappointed.
The museum has now got a new exhibition space and the Viking’s Life and Legend is the first of the major exhibitions to be displayed here.
Inside there are a wide range of objects including the remains of weapons, hordes (including the Vale of York horde), coins from all over the world (and it was interesting to find out that the most common coins that have been found in Scandinavia from this time were from the Islamic world). There are quotes from both Norse sagas and accounts of people that came into contact with the Vikings, including Islamic scholars and Christian monks. There is a recreation of the Jelling Stone in Denmark which has an early Norse depiction of Christ and the centrepiece: the remains of the Roskilde 6 longship from the Viking Ship Museum in Denmark, the longest surviving longship from this time.
I would go into more detail with this and the other exhibitions but I really think you should see them for yourselves to really do them justice. http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/vikings.aspx
Last year, as you may remember, I went to London to see three exhibitions in one day (Pompeii and Herculaneum, Treasures of the Royal Court and David Bowie). This year I thought I’d go one better. Over the next few days you can find out some of the things that are going on in the Capital at the moment.
At the Natural History Museum you can go back to Britain a million years ago. The exhibition shows how the landscape of Britain changed many times over the course of this period, with it being joined to the European continent and cut off due to the Ice Age. It also shows the various animals that would have inhabited Britain at this time. Bears, wolves, hippos and lions all roamed the British Isles at various points, depending on the temperature.
The exhibition also showed the tools that early humans in Britain used such as flint knives and a video demonstrated how these were made. There is also the oldest known spear in Britain on display too. Towards the end are models of a Neanderthal man and a Homo Sapiens and speculation on what caused the Neanderthals to die out, along with evidence of interbreeding between the two species.
The exhibition ends with a piece on genetic ancestry where famous people have had their DNA examined to see where their ancestors originated. This is very interesting and just goes to show that all humans, despite our differences, are one and the same.
Want to know more? Go and see it! http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/britain-million-years/
Are you all enjoying In the Shadow of the Gods? I do hope you are. Please let me know what you think (unless you fancy doing a spot of trolling…)
Anyway, this month I read the following books. Do have a look at them.
1) Swords of Good Men by Snorri Kristjansson. A book set at the turn of the Millennium with some fantasy elements. Very good.
2) Viking Gold by V. Campbell. This is a book aimed at young adults but can be read by adults too. A gripping adventure set around the time of the Norse discovery of America.
3) Viking: Odinn’s Child by Tim Severin. A fantastic book. If you are enjoying Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series then you will like these. I can also recommend his book on the Brendan Voyage if you enjoyed Viking Gold (which I’m sure you will!)
4) Jack of Spies by David Downing. Taking a break from the list to see how other spy books are written. This is set just before the First World War in 1913 and gives an insight into life in China, the USA, Britain and Ireland. Very interesting.
Sorry for the lack of Sharpe but Sharpe’s Enemy has not yet returned to the Library. No wonder he’s not good friends with Mr Sharpe…