Det norske institutt i Athen

The Ships of the Vikings - Tools of Transport, Tools of Faith

J. Bill Lecture
J. Bill Lecture


Dear friends and colleagues,

You are cordially invited to attend our lecture titled:


The Ships of the Vikings - Tools of Transport, Tools of Faith

by Dr. Jan Bill, Professor of Viking Age Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Oslo; Curator of the Viking Ship Collection at the Museum of Cultural History



Thursday May 26, 2022, at 19h Athens time

In-person attendance



The Viking ships have long been considered the epitome of Scandinavian culture in this famous ear of European history, and although the surviving number of them is small, they have been thoroughly researched. However, most research have chosen one of two approaches, either focusing on their practical use as the carriers of warriors, traders and settlers, or on their metaphoric and symbolic use in graves. However, for the Viking age Scandinavians, these spheres were not necessarily separate. The ship in the grave had a history of voyages and events, which were still living in the memory of the people burying it. And indeed already at its time of construction, it may have been considered animated, an object destined to bring its owner luck or catastrophe and perhaps one day to bring him or her to the otherworld. In this lecture, we shall explore the Viking ships by combining these two perspectives when scavenging archaeological, textual and pictorial sources in an attempt to evoke a picture of the Viking ship as the Vikings may have seen it.