Isle of Man’s striking Viking artefacts go on loan for major exhibition in Cornwall

    Sword pommel. ©Manx National Heritage/John Caley
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    Manx National Heritage is loaning some of the Isle of Man’s Viking artefacts for a major exhibition, called Viking Voyagers, at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.

    The Vikings are coming to National Maritime Museum Cornwall
    The Vikings are coming to National Maritime Museum Cornwall

    Parts of a Viking sword, glass beads, bronze pins and iron nails from a Viking ship burial are amongst items that will be on loan for a new exhibition opening on 20 March 2015 at Falmouth’s National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Nationally and internationally historically significant items will be on display during the two-year exhibition, which aims to show the Vikings as a maritime culture rather than an ethnic group. Visitors to the museum will be able to discover what is behind the popular myth of the bloodthirsty raiders, what it meant to be a Viking and how their mastery of maritime technology was the secret to their success.

    Institutional and lending partners include the British Museum, National Museum of Ireland, National Museum of Denmark as well as Manx National Heritage and the exhibition curators have assembled a stunning collection which will show a culture that enjoyed ostentation and hierarchy as well as ritual, religion and the simplicity of family life. These archaeological finds, which are over 1000 years old, include weaponry, jewellery, household implements, slave chains and coins, showing the global reach of the Vikings and their ships.

    Allison Fox, Archaeology Curator, Manx National Heritage, comments: “Many wonderful Viking Age artefacts have been discovered over the years on the Isle of Man through archaeological excavation and metal detecting and thanks to the generosity of the finders and landowners, many have been donated to the National collections. The Manx Viking artefacts travelling to Falmouth will help tell the story of who the Vikings were and how they managed to colonise such a large swathe of Europe. The Isle of Man became a central part of Viking territory and subsequently the seat of power to the Kingdom of Man and the Isles and as a result, there is plenty of evidence of the Vikings on the Island.”

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