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The Vikings are coming! Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery presents Valhalla - Life and Death in Viking Britain (5th January 2016)

The Vikings are coming! Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery presents Valhalla - Life and Death in Viking Britain

An exciting exhibition that brings together key Viking burial findings, objects that explore everyday life in Britain 1,000 years ago, and the latest archaeological research techniques opens at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on 8 February 2016.

‘Valhalla – Life and Death in Viking Age Britain’ is a touring exhibition by The JORVIK Group and York Archaeological Trust.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to:

  • Discover significant artefacts from excavations in York, including two Viking-age skeletons that were recently unearthed in the city.
  • Learn how remains found in excavations can reveal the way Vikings commemorated and celebrated their dead using pagan boat burials, grave goods and ornately carved headstones.
  • Explore evidence from York and Shropshire, including the burials of a woman and a man and objects that relate to everyday life in Viking-age Britain.
  • Experience a special hands-on children’s area the world where puppetry and play encourages you to find out about Norse myths and sagas.
  • New pathological research conducted by York Osteoarchaeology on the two skeletons found in York tells visitors more about the person and when they were alive. Studies of wear and tear, scarring, breaks and other marks on bones, as well as dental remains, reveal information about the life they led, what sort of activities they were involved in and whether they were rich or poor.

Sarah Maltby, Director of Attractions at York Archaeological Trust said:

“This latest pathological research gives us clues about the lives that those people led.

“Combine this with osteological analysis, and we can tell the sex, age and height of a person, depending on how much of the skeleton was preserved in the ground. The research can also give us clues as to how that person may have died – whether from disease, injury or from natural causes.

“Looking at this evidence, alongside artefacts found throughout the British Isles, helps tell a more accurate story of Viking Britain and our Viking ancestry.”

As well as examining aspects of life in Viking-Age Shropshire the exhibition includes an interactive area for young visitors who can discover the sagas and tales of the Viking Gods as well as being able to write their name in runes and create their own Viking God.

And the learning team at Shropshire Council’s museums service will be offering a schools’ workshop session to help children explore Shropshire’s Viking history. This hands-on artefact enquiry session, involving costume and role-play, will help children to discover who the raiders were, why they came, how they fought and what they believed.

Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member responsible for museums, said:

“Valhalla promises to be a fantastic and fascinating exhibition that offers something for people of all ages. I’m delighted that the exhibition is coming to Shrewsbury.”

‘Valhalla – Life and Death in Viking Age Britain opens on 8 February 2016 and runs until 5 June 2016.

It is supported by Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery will be open from 10am to 4.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday until Easter, and will then be open 10am to 4.30pm Monday to Sunday.

Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery is owned and managed by Shropshire Council.

For more information visit

For further information about schools’ workshop, or to book, ring 01743 258881 or email