Tha background is that British Museum in London opens the exhibition Vikings: Life and Legend on the 6th of March this year. It is the largest Viking exhibition at the museum for more than 30 years and at its centre is Roskilde 6, the biggest Viking ship ever found. From stem to stern it is unbelievingly 37 meters long.
|Roskilde 6, 37 meters long; the largest Viking ship ever?|
Even if only a fifth of the exhibited hull is made of wood, the reconstructed ship is enormous and impressive. In The Guardian, Jonathan Jones writes about the ship: "It cuts through the air like a sword through flesh, relentless. The prow is as sharp as a shark's tooth. ... (It) is spectacular, beautiful, thought-provoking and profound."
|The Viking exhibition logo|
"Why not weave their tales and the histories written by their enemies into the mix of archaeological stuff to give it warmth and context? The refusal to do so cannot be an oversight. It looks like an archaeological dogma: only material objects painstakingly excavated are to be relied upon as evidence. The rest is romantic twaddle, apparently."
Jonen asks where the gods are. "The picture stone showing a ship arriving at Valhalla is one of just a handful of images of mythology in this exhibition."
In my books from the Viking Age, the gods are very present in the lives and struggles of the characters, both as helpers and adversaries. I also build the stories on historical and archaeological facts. In the cold North, young Sigurd (later Sigve the Awful) and his family and friends live hard lives just to survive. But for Sigve, who becomes the youngest chieftain in the realm, the challenges are huge. He has enemies all around him: rivals and powerful kings that want to get rid of this upcoming warrior. Despite his young age, Sigve is a famous swordsman and an apparent threat to everyone in power.