Vikings, the North Atlantic Saga, published in A Sealions Tale September 01
The exhibit, Vikings, the North Atlantic Sage, is currently on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The exhibit was put together by the Smithsonian Institution and while some of the items on display are replicas, most are genuine artifacts.
The exhibit starts out with a brief film about Viking times, then shows a little of the influence that the Vikings have had on the modern world. Included are such fripperies as a Minnesota Vikings football helmet and a cell from the Warner Brothers cartoon, What’s Opera Doc?
After showing modern ideas and misconceptions about the Norsemen, the exhibit has several rooms devoted to Viking culture in their Scandinavian homelands. Included in these rooms are swords, torques, and reproductions of ships and rune stones.
Viking ear costume, metalsmithing and woodworking are featured. Be sure to see Ranvaig’s casket, which is featured.
After the rooms on the Viking homeland, it is time to set sail across the North Atlantic. First stop is Iceland. The story of the land of fire and ice is told from its initial settlement to its incorporation into the Kingdom of Norway. Included in this section is four original Icelandic manuscripts, including “The Sage of Eric the Red” and “The Sage of the Greenlanders.”
From Iceland we take a quantum leap to Vinland and the excavation of the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. For my part, I would have rather they had followed the routes of the westward expansion and gone to Greenland next, but they didn’t ask me.
Finally the exhibit concluded with Greenland, the last western outpost to be abandoned by the Vikings. Included in this section are Inuit carvings such as “The Bishop of Baffin” which shows that the Norse had contact with Native American peoples up to the late 14th century.
This exhibit was in Houston, TX until October 14th 2001.