A major objective of the project is to share our research and results with both the wider academic community and the public. An academic seminar series is already running at Uppsala, and over the coming years we will be organising workshops, conferences and public lectures. Numerous publications are planned, including the cemetery reports from Valsgärde and Salme, and peer-review journal papers that will be available on Open Access. The first of these have already appeared and will be followed by many more.
Our public outreach also includes interactive events organised at sites such as Gamla Uppsala, with re-enactors and craftsworkers, and we hope to make reconstructions of some of the burial finds from the boat graves. The Uppsala University spin-off company Disir Productions is creating geolocated apps for tablets and mobiles, enabling visitors to sites such as Gamla Uppsala to literally walk through computer generated reconstructions of the Iron Age past. The technique is known as 'augmented history', and similar apps are being developed for Valsgärde and related monuments.
Lastly, all the core members of the project team are involved in television consultancy on Viking documentaries for several international broadcasters, reaching very large audiences indeed. In particular we have filmed Real Vikings for History Channel in Canada and the US, which links directly to their Vikings drama series. Through the medium of one of the most popular current gateways to Viking culture, we work with cast members at actual archaeological sites and in museums, discussing the reality behind the fiction.
The Vikings Begin exhibition
In late April 2018, a ship reached New York bringing the exhibition “The Vikings Begin” which embarked on a two-year tour of the US. On display is a selection of 1,300-year-old items from the pre-Viking Age. Usually in storage at Gustavianum in Uppsala, they have never crossed the Atlantic before. But now the mysterious world of the early Vikings is revealed to a wider audience, premiering at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut May 2018.