World first for 2015 JORVIK Viking Festival lecture programme
In a prestigious archaeological coup, the results of investigations into a newly discovered Viking-age ring fortress in Denmark will be the highlight of the 2015 JORVIK Viking Festival lecture programme being held in York from 14-22 February. This is the first time the results will be presented outside Scandinavia.
‘Discovering Borgring: A Viking Fortress Reveals Its Secrets’ is an opportunity to hear direct from the archaeological team who led the excavations at Borgring, discovered near the old city of Køge, south of Copenhagen, in September 2014. Dr Søren Sindbæk and Dr Nanna Holm will recount the ground-breaking archaeological detective story which led to the discovery, the first such monument to be identified in Denmark for over 60 years, and reveal their results, which place the find in an international context. The lecture takes place on Thursday 19 February at York Guildhall, starting at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £10 for concessions, and include welcome drinks and nibbles, served from 6.30pm. Pre-booking strongly advised.
Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust (YAT), organisers of the festival, said: “Borgring is one of five royal fortresses built by Harald Bluetooth, known as the Trelleborgs, which formed the power-houses of Bluetooth’s reign over Denmark, and ultimately provided the military might that led to his grandson Cnut becoming King of England, and York an important part of a vast Viking empire. The decision by the Borgring archaeology team to present their results during the JORVIK Viking Festival is testament to the significant role York Archaeological Trust continues to play in understanding the Vikings.”
Another new archaeological project, inspired by an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 872-3, is also being showcased in a lecture during the Jorvik Viking Festival. On Tuesday 17 February ‘The winter camp of the Viking Great Army, Torksey, Lincolnshire’ is the subject of The Helen Thirza Addyman Lecture with Professor Julian D Richards, University of York. Thanks to over 2,000 finds recovered by metal detectorists the location of the winter quarters of the Viking Great Army at Torksey has finally been identified and is now being investigated by the universities of York and Sheffield, in collaboration with the York Museums Trust, who have much to share about what happened there and why, and how Torksey developed into a Saxon town, with a mint and a major pottery industry. The event takes place at DIG, at 7.00pm. Tickets cost £6.00 (£5.00 for Friends of YAT). Pre-booking strongly advised.
The first ever full-length study of Yorkshire’s Viking centuries, from the fall of York to the Norman Conquest of 1066, is the subject of ‘Viking Yorkshire’ on Tuesday 17 at York Mansion House given by author Matthew Townend of the University of York. The event starts at 2.00pm. Tickets cost £4 for adults and £3 for concessions. Pre-booking advised.
The lecture programme then hits the road with this year’s Festival Coach Tour, a thought-provoking exploration of Norse settlement in the Tees Valley, taken by Dr David Petts, Lecturer in the Archaeology of Northern England, Durham University. ‘Vikings in the Tees Valley’ takes place on Sunday 15 February from 9.30am-4.30pm. Tickets cost £15 per person. Pre-booking essential.
In ‘Viking-age Combat: The Physical Effects of Weapon Trauma’ human anatomist, teacher and martial artist, Emma Halpin-Durband, will go through various cases of modern traumatic injuries that are similar to those found in historical records from the Viking era, exploring the force needed to actually damage various areas of the body and discover what this meant for a Viking warrior in combat. Please note: this lecture will include very graphic images of fatal injuries. It is not suitable for children or those of a nervous disposition. The lecture starts at 2.00pm at York Mansion House. Tickets cost £4 per adult, £3 for concessions. Pre-booking advised.
Archaeologists from YAT will also be sharing their extensive knowledge in a series of ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions covering a wide range of topics from Viking innovations to the latest conservation techniques:
Hidden Treasures: Monday 16 February, 10.00am-12.00 noon and 1.00pm-3.00pm Conserving Our Past: Tuesday 17 February, 10.00am-12.00 noon and 1.00pm-3.00pm
Meet the Experts: The Art of Archaeological Illustration: Wednesday 18February, 10am- 12.00 noon and 1.00pm-3.00pm
Archaeology at the Speed of Light!: Thursday 19 February 10.00am-12.00 noon and 1.00pm-3.00pm
Forensic Archaeology: 20 February 10.00am-12.00 noon and 1.00pm-3.00pm
All the above events take place at Barley Hall. Normal admission prices apply.
For more information or details for how to book tickets, please visit www.jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk
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