Everything you know, or think you know, about Vikings, widely perceived to be ruthless marauders, is about to be turned completely upside down. Exploring lands and rough seas just beyond the horizons from Scandinavia, the sea-faring people, during the medieval period known as the Viking Age, traded and settled tremendous areas of Europe, the North Atlantic and what’s now the United Kingdom, landing as far as Greenland and Iceland. They were feared as savages but recent archaeological discoveries prove the Vikings, or Víkingr, were much more complex than previously thought.
They settled lands which to most others would have been far too hostile and brutal in terms of weather conditions, like Iceland. And no one can deny their sailing skills and ship-building brilliance. The ancient Norsemen are also the subject of the most comprehensive and exhaustive exhibition ever undertaken at the British Museum, located near the University of London and Bedford Square Garden. One of the world’s great cultural institutions, the British Museum lifts the veil of mystery and mystique surrounding this ancient culture and presents them in a whole new light in Vikings : Life and Legends.