At cinemas 24 April 2014
Certificate 12a as live
Supported by BP
Organised by the British Museum, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
For thirty years, historian and broadcaster Michael Wood has made compelling journeys into the past, bringing history alive for generations of readers and viewers. He is the author of several highly praised books on English history including In Search of the Dark Ages, Domesday, and In Search of England, and over one hundred documentary films, among them In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great and The Story of India. His most recent work was the highly praised television series King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons; he is now working on a major BBC TV series The Story of China.
Michael was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Oriel College Oxford, where he did post-graduate research in Anglo-Saxon history in the Viking Age, on which he has written many academic articles. His study of the first king of England, The Lost Life of King Aethelstan, is to be published by Oxford University Press in 2014-15. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Society of Antiquaries, a governor of the RSC, and Professor of Public History at Manchester University. Michael lives in North London with his wife and their two daughters.
Dr Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her speciality is ancient and mediaeval history and culture. A Scholar at Oxford University she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester. She is a Tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education and a Research Fellow of King's College London.
For further information see www.bettanyhughes.com
Gareth Williams has been a curator at the Museum since 1996, with responsibility for British and European coinage, about AD 500 to about 1180. Within this area he specialises in Anglo-Saxon and Viking coinage. Much of his work focuses on the use of coinage as evidence within broader historical and archaeological studies.
His wider research includes the history of the British Isles and Scandinavia in the early Middle Ages, with particular interests in different types of economy, medieval warfare and military organization and the history and archaeology of the Vikings. He also works on the history of cultural identities, with a particular focus on the changing nature of British identity. A recent direction in his research has been a focus on Viking camps in England and Ireland in the late 9th century, and their role in the development of towns in both countries.
He has strong interests in experimental archaeology, and has been actively involved in historical re-enactment and historical interpretation in character for several years. Since 2002, he has also directed a collaborative research project on the history of Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire.
He curated the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend at the British Museum, 6 March – 22 June 2014, and helped develop the two cinema broadcasts, Vikings Live and Viking Adventure at the British Museum to accompany the exhibition.
Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002. He studied at Oxford and the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, before going to the Courtauld Institute of Art in London to study 17th and 19th-century art. He was for six years a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and a part-time lecturer at the Courtauld. In 1981 he became Editor of the arts periodical, The Burlington Magazine. He became Director of the National Gallery in 1987.
Neil sits on the Board of the National Theatre, London and the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. In 2010 the British Museum and the BBC worked together on a project telling A History of the World in 100 objects. Neil’s latest book, Shakespeare’s Restless World, based on the acclaimed BBC radio series of the same name, was published in September 2012.
Judith Jesch is Professor of Viking Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of the Viking Age at the University of Nottingham. She is an expert on Old Norse poetry and Scandinavian runic inscriptions, but has also published widely on many aspects of Norse and Viking studies.
Neil Price is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, having previously taught at the universities of Uppsala, Oslo and Stockholm. Over more than 25 years of research, Neil has travelled throughout the Viking world. His many publications and collaborations include: The Vikings in Brittany (1989), Cultural Atlas of the Viking World (1994), The Archaeology of Shamanism (2001), The Viking Way (2002) and The Viking World (2008). His new books Odin's Whisper: Death and the Vikings and The Vikings will both be appearing in late 2014.
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston
1957 Went to sea in the Merchant Navy
1965 Master Mariner
1968 Watchkeeper and Communications officer in the Royal Navy
1968-9 First person to sail solo non-stop around the world
1972 Younger Brother of Trinity House
1992 Royal Institute of Navigation Gold Medal for experiments in Medieval Navigation
1994 Set world record for fastest circumnavigation under sail
1995 Open University film on the use of the Astrolabe and Cross Staff
1996 BBC Programme on Viking Navigation
1969, 1995, 2007 UK Yachtsman of the Year
1995 International Yachtsman of the Year
1996 Established Clipper Ventures plc
2006/7 Completed solo circumnavigation in the Velux5Oceans Race
2010 International Sailing Federation Hall of Fame
Dr Turi King graduated with a BA Hons in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge before gaining an MSc and PhD in Molecular Genetics at the University of Leicester and going on to become a Wellcome Trust Post-doctoral Research Associate and later a Research Fellow on the Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain project. Turi is Lecturer in Genetics and Archaeology and as well as her work on the genetic legacy of the Vikings in Britain is leading the DNA analysis in the Richard III project.
Martin Findell is a postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Leicester, working on the Leverhulme Trust funded programme 'The Impact of Diasporas on the Making of Britain' . His current project studies the Germanic dialects of the early Anglo-Saxon period, using the small amount of evidence available, chiefly from runic inscriptions. Martin is interested in the sound systems of the early Germanic languages and their representation in runic writing, as well as in the use of runes in modern culture.
Kristiane Strætkvern was born in Norway in 1961, moving to Denmark in 1985. In 1988 she graduated as Bachelor in Conservation from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the School of Conservation and began work in the waterlogged wood laboratory in the National Museum Conservation Department. She gained her professional diver’s licence in 1993 and a Master in Conservation in 2001.
She has dealt with various major conservation projects: The restoration of the Utrecht ship 1998–99, field conservation and conservation of 15,000 waterlogged objects from the Nydam bog, the conservation of nine shipwrecks from Roskilde harbor (ongoing since 1997), lifting of timbers from the medieval Kolding cog (2001) and conducting of the in-situ investigations of the ship Belgica in Harstad in 2008.
Since 2009 she has led the project 'A Viking ship for a European audience; Conservation of the Roskilde 6 for exhibition', since 2013 named 'Viking ship on tour'.
From 2004 to 2011 she was coordinator for the ICOM-CC Working Group on Wet Organic Archaeological materials (WOAM). From 2011–2014 she is elected member of the ICOM-CC Directory Board. She is member of the Danish WG 9 CEN expert group on waterlogged wood.
Image credits: Michael Wood photo © Maya Vision International, Judith Jesch photo © Andrew Hallsworth, Marlow Photographic