Maritime Culture of the North

Over thousands of years, coastal life and the exploitation of marine resources in Scandinavia and its neighbouring areas around the Baltic and North Sea have produced material culture and cultural patterns, which are worth investigating and recording. With the research series ‘Maritime Culture of the North’ the Viking Ship Museum contributes to the investigation of the past maritime culture of the North.          

In the following, the first four volumes of the series are presented

Volume 1-4

Volume 1: Ohthere’s Voyages. A 9th-century account of voyages along the coasts of Norway and Denmark and its cultural context. Edited by Janet Bately & Anton Englert. Maritime Culture of the North 1. Roskilde 2007, 216 pages. ISBN 978-87-85180-47-6. The book is published by the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. The book is kindly supported by Nordea Danmark-fonden and Konsul George Jorck og hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond.       

Volume 2: Wulfstan’s Voyage. The Baltic Sea region in the early Viking Age as seen from shipboard. Edited by Anton Englert & Athena Trakadas. Maritime Culture of the North 2. Roskilde 2009, 374 pages. ISBN 978-87-85180-56-8. The book is published by the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde in collaboration with the Archaeological State Museum of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Schwerin, the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe in Leipzig, the Roman-Germanic Commission in Frankfurt am Main and the Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research in Wilhelmshaven. The book is kindly supported by Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Cologne, Nordea Danmark-fonden, Konsul George Jorck og hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond and Dronning Margrethes og Prins Henriks Fond.   

The first two volumes in the series Maritime Culture of the North are based on two seminars focussed on two Viking-Age voyage accounts by the mariners Ohthere and Wulfstan.

The first of these seminars was held on the 9th and 10th May 2003 at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. It was an international, interdisciplinary event with the title Ohthere’s Voyages – an interdisciplinary seminar. The seminar focussed on the description of the North Norwegian Chieftain Ohthere’s voyages along the Norwegian coast into the White Sea and down through Danish waters to Hedeby. Combined with the translated and annotated source text, the seminar contributions could be gathered to an interdisciplinary monograph about Ohthere’s travelogue  

The second seminar took place on the 24th and 25th September 2004 at the former Swedish armoury in Wismar under the title Wulfstan’s Voyage. New Light on Viking-Age Seafaring within the Ethnic Geography of Mare Balticum. As an experimental contribution to the seminar, the Museum’s Boat Guild for the Skuldelev 1 reconstruction, Ottar, completed a voyage from Hedeby to Gdansk.

‘Archaeology and the Sea in Scandinavia and Britain. A personal account’ ved Ole Crumlin-Pedersen. Maritime Culture of the North 3. Roskilde 2010, 184 sider. ISBN 9788785180056. The book is published by the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. The book is kindly supported by Dronning Margrethes og Prins Henriks Fond, Nordea-fonden, Konsul George Jorck og hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond, Knud Højgaards Fond and Velux Fonden.

Half a century ago, archaeology entered a new field of work with the excavation of ancient ships found under water. A new discipline emerged: maritime archaeology. In this book, Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, the Danish pioneer of maritime archaeology, gives a fascinating overview of more than forty years of work. 

Beginning with the natural conditions for seafaring, the author explains the evolution of basic water craft into those plank-built, sail-carrying ships which enabled the seaborne activities of the Viking Age and the following medieval period, concluding with case studies of the maritime cultural landscape of Roskilde Fjord and the ship as symbol. The themes of this volume were first presented in six Rhind Lectures for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2008.                                                                

'Viking-Age War Fleets. Shipbuilding, resource management and maritime warfare in 11th-century Denmark' by Morten Ravn. Maritime Culture of the North 4. Roskilde 2016, 164 sider. ISBN: 9788785180728. Viking-Age War Fleets has been generously sponsored by Dronning Margrethes og Prins Henriks Fond, Frimodt-Heineke Fonden, Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck’s Fond and Landsdommer V. Gieses Legat.

In the Scandinavian societies of the Viking Age the ship was omnipresent. Politically, ideologically and economically the ship played a central role, and in the military operations, which are the subject of this book, the ship and its armed crew were the fundamental means of achieving military goals. This publication deals with the organisational, resource-related and operational aspects of the building and use of ships for warfare in 11th-century Denmark.