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The Vikings at the Field

Tue, Mar 17, 2015

vikingsby JoseAngel Ramos
Today when we hear the word Viking we picture big men with long hair who go out and fight dragons. Other times we picture Vikings, as a mascot for sport teams such as Minnesota’s National Football team and now there is a show called “Vikings” that is available for anyone who has Netflix.

The Field Museum is putting an end to all the misconceptions and misunderstanding of the Vikings because they are painting a new picture of the Vikings with the new exhibit opening up Feb. 27 and running through Oct. 4.

The exhibition brings visitors to the Viking age that was around the 8the – 11th centuries.

Vikings were also not all travelers who went out to fight in war. The exhibition says most Vikings lived as farmers, merchants, and craftsmen.

Maria Jansen, General Director of the Swedish History Museum also talked about a big misconception about the Vikings as she addressed the Viking’s helmets.

“There were no horns on the Vikings helmets,” Jansen explained. “We have no findings of helmets with horns at all.”

Although no evidence show horns on helmets but in some depictions in the exhibit, show men dancing or running in what look like helmets with horns. With a closer look it reveals the “Horns” are actually bird heads. If there were any headgear with horns on them it was most likely used for ceremonies, not battle.

Most people think Vikings had horns on their helmets because it seems to be a trademark of Viking culture that would also explain the Minnesota’s football logo.

The Viking exhibit does have an artifact that was exclusive in almost all Viking homes and it was a drinking horn. Vikings used horns like we use cups. Occasionally these drinking horns were placed in graves.

The exhibit had a lot of artifacts of combs that Vikings might have used for their hair. The combs were made of bone showing how tough Vikings were and making most of everything they got their hands on.

“We found a lot of combs and things you need for good hygiene,” Jansen said. “So we know they like to look good and be clean and do a lot of things with their beards and hair.”

In order to believe it you must have to see it because believing is seeing and the Vikings presentation at The Field Museum is the only US stop on an international tour.

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