The Archaeology of Death in ‘Vikings’


A friendly and receptive audience welcomed me yesterday evening to my first-ever medievalism seminar, organised by the fabulous Dr Simon Trafford of the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. There was tea, wine, debate and conversation around my image-rich presentation surveying the pagan Norse funerals which are integral to the plot of the 6-series hit History Channel show Vikings.


My talk thus explored my latest thinking on the way Vikings portrays death and the dead, building on 43 blog-posts (it says 42 on the slide, but I blogged about Vikings yesterday too) and a series of publications.

Slide51As well as addressing what I think the show ‘gets right’ and what it ‘gets wrong’, I considered why this widely viewed show might be a form of public archaeology, engaging mass audiences with archaeological evidence. As such, I considered how it was relevant to broader discussions of the intersection between…

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