Planning an adventure to the Natural History Museum of Utah
this summer? Get ready for a surprising and fascinating adventure!
Now through January
1, 2018, unravel fact from fiction at our newest special exhibition, Vikings: Beyond the Legend.
Travel back in time to 750 – 1100 CE to investigate what
scientists have uncovered about the Norse culture and the period now known as
the Viking age. Discover the true meaning of the term “Viking.” Gather your own
archaeological team to help you digitally excavate a traditional Norse ship.
Hear stories about life as a Viking trader from Thorgrim the Dane, or master
the secrets of rune reading from Volva Rundis Elidottir. Examine rare artifacts
never before seen outside of Scandinavia.
NHMU's resident Vikings
Would it surprise you to know that some of the most popular Viking
characterizations are little more than myth? Legends and some historical
accounts depict these early Norsemen as blood-thirsty raiders, but modern
archaeological evidence has begun to challenge many of these long-held
Norse men and women, living in what is now Norway, Sweden and
Denmark, were highly skilled and knowledgeable craftsmen. They transformed many
raw materials such as wood, bone, leather, stone, iron, steel and precious
metals, into the tools and treasures of everyday.
Young archaeologists excavating a Viking Age boat
Vikings in Utah
Today, about 14.9% of Utah’s 3,000,000 residents are of
Scandinavian descent. Many continue to celebrate and honor their ancestral
connections by carrying on the skills and cultural traditions of the ancient
Aaron Richardson is one Utah artisan who creates, teaches
and demonstrates the art of blacksmithing, using Viking-age methods, from his
shop in Eden, Utah. Richardson is a historic interpreter, who draws inspiration
for his creations from traditional Norse objects found during archaeological
excavations. His story, and examples of his work are currently on display
outside the third-floor elevators of the museum.
Display about common Viking funeral practices
Activities and Events
All summer long, and into the Fall, the museum is
celebrating all things Viking, with special opportunities and events to
discover more about ancient Norse culture and its people.
- Don’t miss Explore
Your Viking Roots - Wednesday, July
19, 2017, 4pm to 8pm. Nordic research specialists will be on hand to help
visitors explore their own family history. At 5:30pm, Geoff Morris, Nordic
Specialist for FamilySearch, will share details from his research into
Scandinavian history and genealogical records as well as provide insights into
some of the rare objects on display in the Vikings
exhibit. Find out more at: https://nhmu.utah.edu/events/familysearch-viking-ancestry
- For a full day of Viking adventure, mark your
calendar to attend Norse Fest,
Saturday, September 23, 2017 – 10am
to 5pm. Experience a variety of Norse arts, with performances and
demonstrations by dancers, blacksmiths and weavers. Research your Viking roots,
hear from Norse experts and historians, even sample Norse foods. Learn more at:
Sky Gallery visitors enjoying the views
Natural History Museum of Utah
The Natural History Museum of Utah
is a premier scientific research and cultural institution. It opened to the
public in 1969 and moved into a spectacular, award winning new home in 2011.
The Museum’s 30 scientists oversee active field research programs throughout
Utah, and elsewhere, and help care for natural history collections of more 1.6
million objects. NHMU offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to
thousands of residents and visitors each year, including timely and interactive
temporary and permanent exhibits, numerous special events and other programs. The
Museum reaches 450,000 people annually, at the Rio Tinto Center and in
communities and classrooms statewide.
Kris Chapman, Public
Relations Assistant at the Natural History Museum of Utah, has been writing and
highlighting exciting museum happenings for just over two years. With a
bachelor’s in communications, she has also worked as a photo assistant, a
textbook editor and a freelance writer for magazines and corporate blogs. With
a passion for all things creative, she dreams of one day writing from a
tropical island, where her toes are free to wiggle in the sand.