Previous research projects

Since the Viking Ship Museum opened in 1969, the Museum has been actively involved in research. The many, and often long-lasting, projects have involved researchers with a broad range of knowledge and skills. Some research projects have been conducted internally here at the Viking Ship Museum, while other projects are based on international or national collaboration with other research institutions. 

Below you can find a list of selected previously conducted research projects 

Microwear analysis of lithic debris offers an aid to field archaeologists in need of focusing excavation activity at the parts of Stone Age sites that are least disturbed bypost-depositional processes. In this progress report we describe the ridge-wear approach and report on its application to the submerged Mesolithic settlement ofOrehoved, Denmark. Test-pitting had provided worked flints from two distinctive layers within an area of ca. 2.8 ha, located 4–7m below present sea level. Throughanalysis of wear on dorsal ridges on flint flakes we demonstrate that the assemblages of artefacts from both strata spanned the whole range from minimally-roundedto extremely-rounded. Spatial and statistical analyses indicate that both layers contain redeposited artefacts. Major parts of higher ground areas were thereforeconsidered so disturbed by sea-level rise that further excavation should be avoided here. Follow-up excavation in a more low lying area located a third andstratigraphically deeper layer with numerous artefacts in stone, bone, and plant material in situ.

External collaboration: Randolph E. Donahuea (Lithic Microwear Research Laboratory, UK), Anders Fischer and Torben Malm (Agency for Culture and Palaces, Denmark) and Daniela B. Burronic (Leeds Beckett University, UK)

Outcome: Peer-reviewed  scientific article: Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 23, 540-548

Project responsible: curator Morten Johansen 

The project description is only in Danish:

To kvinder og seks mænd foretog i 2016 en sørejse langs Grønlands sydvestlige kyst om bord på Vikingeskibsmuseets Skuldelev 6-rekonstruktion, Skjoldungen. Sørejsen har givet et nyt maritimt blik på det grønlandske landskab samt en øget forståelse af nogle af de sejladsmæssige udfordringer som mødte vikingetidens og middelalderens nordboere i de grønlandske fjordsystemer.

External colloboration: Forlaget Gyldendal, The Skjoldungen Boat Guild and The National Museum of Greenland

Outcome: Book  published by Gyldendal: Nielsen, I. og Sand, O. 2017: Skjoldungen - en moderne vikingesejlads. Gyldendal. Furthermore, a scientific peer-reviewed article focussing on trial voyages as a scientific method: Madsen, C. K., Ravn, M. og Sand, O. 2019: Grønlandstogtet – et rekonstrueret skibsfund fra vikingetiden og den eksperimentelle arkæologis muligheder og begrænsninger. Arkæologisk Forum.

Project responsible: Research coordinator Morten Ravn

During the summers from 2005 to 2007, the Viking Ship Museum reconstructed and built three boat-finds from the Iron Age and Viking Age. Common to all three boats is that they all have a thin, hollowed-out log boat as their basic component, which is then heated and softened over fire and then expanded out into a new hull form. In this book, archaeologist Ole Crumlin-Pedersen presents the archaeological background of expanded boats, while boatbuilder Hanus Jensen describes how the three reconstructions were built. Both authors communicate their knowledge and experience with such passion, that we as readers get entirely swept up in their enthusiasm for this part of the Nordic clinker-built boat’s history.

Outcome: Theme book from the Viking Ship Museum: Crumlin-Pedersen, O. og Jensen, H. 2018: Viking and Iron Age expanded boats. Roskilde.

Project responsible: Research coordinator Morten Ravn      

The military operations of Scandinavian societies in the Viking Age depended on their ships. Different types of ships were used in order to transport troops and war supplies. Some ships were designed to conduct the speedy transport of large numbers of troops; others were specialised cargo vessels used in military operations as carriers of supplies, and in some cases also troops. Not only were different types of ships involved in naval transport, the size of the fleets were also varied: some fleets consisted of only a few ships, others of several hundred. Using the immense amount of empirical data resulting from building full-scale ship reconstructions at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, it is possible to compare the amount of resources necessary for building and maintaining the different ship types with the different fleet sizes. 

Finally, this experimental archaeological insight is compared and discussed with the written evidence for Viking Age military organisation.

Publication: Peer-reviewed paper to the proceedings of the seminar: International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology 14, Gdansk 2015.  

Project leader: Curator, Morten Ravn 

During 2015, the Viking Ship Museum is reconstructing the Gislinge Boat – a 7.7m long working boat dated to 1130. In July, iron smelter Mads Jylov carried out four smelting experiments at the boatyard. The resulting iron was then used by Jonas Bigler to produce rivets for the Gislinge Boat. The project addresses a number of research questions:

- How was iron produced in Scandinavia during the 12th century?

- How does the iron we produced compare with archaeological material?

- How quickly does bog iron corrode?

- How long can bog iron rivets sit in the hull before they have to be replaced?

Each rivet has been documented from the initial smelt to its position in the boat. This documentation will continue over the coming years and constitutes the first long-term study of bog iron nails in a maritime experimental archaeological context.       

Fondsstøtte fra: Kraks Fond

Eksternt samarbejde: Smed Jonas Bigler og jernudvinder Mads Jylov

Publiceringskanal: Peer-reviewed and popular scientific articles

Projektansvarlige: Teamleder Martin Dael og museumsinspektør Tríona Sørensen

Since 2008, the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde (DK) has carried out the archaeological assessment and survey required prior to the installation of the trans-Baltic Nord Stream gas pipeline through Danish waters. The project has involved desk-based screening of the data collected as well as archaeological activities in the field. Coast to coast, the 1220 km long twin pipeline crosses Russian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and German waters. 137.6 km of this is though Danish territorial waters and EEZ. Including an alternative route design approximately 250 km of pipeline corridor has been surveyed in the Danish sector at a width of up to 2 km. Though only a small fraction of the vast seabed, the result is an overwhelming collection of hitherto unknown shipwrecks and other objects dating from the 17th century to the present day: 25 wrecks, seven possible wrecks, and five single objects - to which should be added seven presumed dump sites, the identification and dating of which are inherently problematic.

This paper briefly presents the huge research potential of the wrecks and objects discovered; the methodology employed and patterns in the chronological and spatial distribution of the finds will be discussed. Are all these wrecks, of these particular dates, really representative of the entire surrounding seabed? Or are there circumstances in space and time that explain the apparent abundance of wrecks right along the pipeline and the apparent absence of wrecks of Medieval and earlier date?     

Publication: Peer-reviewed paper to the proceedings of the seminar: International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology 13, Amsterdam 2012

Project leader: Curator, Mikkel Thomsen  

We will present the results of a preliminary study on the potential of stereoscopic video recording as both a means of disseminating and making accessible maritime archaeological sites and methods to museum visitors, as well as a foundation for photogrammetric documentation. In order to test the method on an object of both historical interest and with a significant three-dimensional extent, stereoscopic footage was captured on the site of the Danish man-of-war Dannebroge, wrecked 1710 and now lying about 12 meters below the surface of Køge Bugt. This footage has been processed into a short sample for 3d projection. 

The study is primarily concerned with the possibility to offer an immersive experience of an exciting and captivating field – which otherwise remains mostly inaccessible to the public – through a traditional, one-way installation. However, the study at the same time explores the feasibility of exploiting the photogrammetric potential of such footage, since further processing the video into digital models could generate nigh effortless archaeological documentation, as well as provide input for museum installations where visitors might engage more interactively with the material. Conclusions are thus drawn on the practical potential, technical and physical requirements and compatibility of the two methods.       

Outcome: Hyttel, Frederik & Andreas Bloch 2016: Bringing the Mountain to Muhammad: Documentation af archaeological sites under water. In Larsen, N. & Pilati, M. (eds.), Why 3D?. Faaborg.     

The military operations of Scandinavian societies in the Viking Age depended on their ships. Different types of ships were used in order to transport troops and war supplies. Some ships were designed to conduct the speedy transport of large numbers of troops, while others were specialised cargo vessels used in military operations as carriers of supplies and sometimes troops as well. This project examines the building and use of ships for warfare in 11th century Denmark. The subjects are addressed through detailed analyses of aspects such as resources, organisational structures and naval warfare. The outcomes are a more informed understanding of 11th century Scandinavian military organisation, shipbuilding and resource management. 

External funding: Dronning Margrethes & Prins Henriks Fond, Frimodt-Heineke Fonden, Landsdommer V. Gieses legat and Konsul George Jorck og Hustru Emma Jorck's Fond.       

Publication: Peer-reviewed monograph in the Viking Ship Museums series Maritime Culture of the North.

Project leader: Curator, Morten Ravn 

The Viking Ship Museum has applied several 3-D methodologies for working with Viking-Age archaeological ship finds. The remains of Roskilde 6 were documented using a FaroArm, and the data were used for a physical reconstruction model of the original hull form, itself recorded with a FaroArm. A 3-D wireframe model, lines drawings and working drawings were then made in the program Rhinoceros. The working drawings were necessary for making moulds for freeze-drying the wreck’s original timbers, later re-assembled for the exhibition ‘Viking’. Another example is a virtual construction of Skuldelev 2 made on the basis of the 3-D wireframe model of the ship’s reconstructed form.

In the case of the Oseberg ship, a 3-D photo scan was made of the exhibited vessel, and resulting data were used for a new and more correct reconstruction of the hull form. A 3-D wireframe model was used for making hydrostatic measurements, and a solid surface model formed the basis for a 1:10 scale epoxy model that tested the ship’s possible performance in a hydrodynamic laboratory. 

In this paper, the various methodologies applied in these examples are presented in detail and their advantages in all stages of research are discussed.

Outcome: Bischoff, Vibeke 2016: Application of 3-D digital methods in the documentation, reconstruction and dissemination of archaeological ship finds. In Larsen, N. & Pilati, M. (eds.), Why 3D?. Faaborg.      

In the autumn of 2010, the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde launched a newly built eel drifter (åledrivkvase). The eel drifter was commissioned by a private customer, and while building the boat it was decided to write a book about the boatbuilding and the history of the boat type. 

The finished boat, named Tumleren, was launched in 2010, and the book was published in  Danish, German and English in 2015.

This project investigated the archaeological evidence for large cargo ships in Danish waters between 1000 and 1250 and asserts that they were an important element, and indicator, of specialised merchant seafaring in medieval Denmark prior to the Hanseatic Period. 

The owners of large cargo ships must have been as outstanding in wealth and social rank as their ships were outstanding in size. Regarding theories of a ‘Europeanisation’ of peripheral areas around the formerly Frankish core of Latin Europe in the High Middle Ages, the mere existence of a class of large Danish-built, Nordic style cargo ships of 50-60 tons cargo capacity in the 11th and 12th centuries may be seen as an element of this transformation, while at the same time maintaining cultural identity, tradition and political independence. 

The appearance of the seagoing cog in the Danish Kingdom in the middle of the 12th century marks the beginning of a highly dynamic and prosperous period, where Denmark under the kings Valdemar, Canute VI and Valdemar II emerged as a “fairly Europeanised power” within the semi-periphery of a ‘Catholic World-system’. Denmark would go on to concentrate and consolidate its secular and ecclesiastical power, taking possession of the southern Baltic Sea shore, Lübeck and northern Estonia, and thereby fully exploiting its pivotal location between the transport zones of the North and Baltic Seas. 

The results of the research project are published in the book ’Large Cargo Ships in Danish Waters 1000-1250. Evidence of specialised merchant seafaring prior the Hanseatic Period’, with Anton Englert as the main author 

Scholars have divided Viking-Age shipbuilding into traditions such as Nordic and Slavic. This is done well knowing that the validity of concepts is challenged by the variety of empirical evidence. Hence, defining features should only be seen as general guidelines. Essential pivots, such as the defining features for specific shipbuilding traditions and the conceptual approaches to shipbuilding, have been, and still are, debated. But in this paper I will investigate Viking Age shipbuilding with a different approach. I will address issues related to the fundamental processes that constitute a tradition. The purpose is to identify the essential components in shipbuilding communities of the Viking Age and focus on shipbuilding as something conducted by individuals constantly negotiating meaning and thus creating communities of practice and identities.      

Outcome: Ravn, M. 2015. Tradition as process. Reflections on Viking Age Shipbuilding. Olgierd Felczak (ed.), The Baltic Sea – a Mediterranean of North Europe. In the Light of Archaeological, Historical and Natural Science Research from Ancient to Early Medieval Times: 63-68. Gdansk


Project responsible: Curator Morten Ravn

Scholars have divided Viking-Age shipbuilding into traditions such as Nordic and Slavic. This is done well knowing that the validity of concepts is challenged by the variety of empirical evidence. Hence, defining features should only be seen as general guidelines. Essential pivots, such as the defining features for specific shipbuilding traditions and the conceptual approaches to shipbuilding, have been, and still are, debated. But in this paper I will investigate Viking Age shipbuilding with a different approach. I will address issues related to the fundamental processes that constitute a tradition. The purpose is to identify the essential components in shipbuilding communities of the Viking Age and focus on shipbuilding as something conducted by individuals constantly negotiating meaning and thus creating communities of practice and identities.      

Outcome: Ravn, M. 2015. Tradition as process. Reflections on Viking Age Shipbuilding. Olgierd Felczak (ed.), The Baltic Sea – a Mediterranean of North Europe. In the Light of Archaeological, Historical and Natural Science Research from Ancient to Early Medieval Times: 63-68. Gdansk


Project responsible: Curator Morten Ravn

The seas of Europe contain the remains of many thousands of shipwrecks and submerged prehistoric settlement sites and landscapes. Under current European legislation known as The Treaty of Valletta, 1992, the potential effects of subsea development on the underwater cultural heritage, including the installations of cables, pipelines, offshore windmill parks, must be assessed in advance of any such developments.

The SASMAP project (http://www.sasmap.eu), sponsored by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program, started in September 2012 and ran for three years. The 11 SASMAP partners have taken a holistic and process based approach to the investigation of underwater environments and the archaeological sites contained therein. 

The aim has been to develop techniques and methods to assess and protect the underwater cultural heritage in a non-destructive and minimally invasive manner.

The Roskilde 6 ship-find was an essential part of the international travelling exhibition, VIKING, curated in collaboration between The National Museum of Denmark, British Museum in London and Museum für Vor- und Frühgechichte in Berlin. The Viking Ship Museum was hired to reconstruct the original hull form of the ship, and first a reconstruction model and later reconstruction drawings were made. On this basis of these, the original ship components were re-assembled forming the reconstructed full-scale hull form of the Roskilde 6 ship. 

Between 2010- 2012, the Viking Ship Museum built Skjoldungen, a reconstruction of Skuldelev 6. We had previously built a reconstruction of Skuldelev 6 (Kraka Fyr launched in 1998), but this time we were trying to apply new knowledge and experience to the reconstruction. Furthermore, building a new reconstruction of Skuldelev 6 stressed the fact that a reconstruction does not represent the definite truth in terms of how the original looked or functioned. Rather, it presents a picture which acts as a catalyst and a tool for a process which highlights new issues and correlations, and allows us to see and interpret the source material afresh.

In 1987, a full-scale reconstruction, 'Dronningen', was built in Norway, using drawings based on the exhibited ship. 'Dronningen' sank during its very first sea trial, which took place in windy conditions and at a speed of 8-10 knots. Analyses of the sailing trial, as well as a subsequent test of a 1:10 scale model in a hydrodynamics laboratory, showed that bow water shipped over the sheer strake when the vessel reached a speed of approximately 9 knots and a heel angle of approximately 10 degrees. 

There have been many hypotheses about what went wrong. The only way to find out was by thoroughly re-examining the exhibited remains. In 2006 ‘Stiftelsen Nytt Osebergskip’ contacted the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. ‘Stiftelsen’ asked the Viking Ship Museum to participate in a re-evaluation of the hull form of the Oseberg ship. The same year a collaboration agreement between Stiftelsen Nytt Osebergskip i Tønsberg, The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde and The Museum of Cultural History in Oslo was signed and the project began. 

This research has led to a better insight into the original hull form of the Oseberg ship, and has provided more knowledge of the sailing capabilities of the earliest known Nordic sailing ship. The project showed that the ship originally had more fullness in the submerged part of the hull and that it has been broader above the waterline in its forward part than it appears on display today. The new reconstruction of the Oseberg ship has a more concave cross-section in the bow area with its stem lifted a little more out of the water. The reconstruction reveals that this lift gives the vessel a more rockered keel than was assumed and realised in the exhibited ship. All these factors are of vital importance for the water flow around the hull, affecting the ship’s overall sailing performance.

The results of the research project were published in 2007 in a report, with Vibeke Bischoff as the main author 

This research project consisted of an archaeological and architectural study of shipbuilding methods in north-west Europe between 1580 and 1640, based on the analysis of four recently excavated shipwrecks. The delimitation of the period was given by the dendrochronological dating of the carvel-built ships that were selected as primary case-study material. The dating of the ships falls within the reigns of the two Danish Kings Frederik II (1559-1588) and Christian IV (1588-1648). The main aim of the research was to establish which specific shipbuilding methods were in use in North Western Europe in the period defined, as the question had not previously been examined archaeologically in a Danish context.

The results of the research project are published in the book ’The Renaissance Shipwrecks from Christianshavn. An archaeological and architectural study of large cargo vessels in Danish waters, 1580-1640’, written by Christian P.P. Lemée 

From August 2000 to September 2004 the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde built a full-scale reconstruction of the Skuldelev 2 ship-find. The shipbuilding was part of a bigger research and dissemination project aimed at providing a better understanding of Viking Age longships, maritime craftsmanship and resources for shipbuilding in the Viking Age in general. Furthermore, the project intended to provide a better public understanding of the importance of our maritime cultural heritage. 

The results of the research project are published in different articles, and a complete presentation of the building of the Sea Stallion from Glendalough is part of an ongoing research project. Another ongoing research project is concerned with the sailing trials and trial voyages conducted with the Sea Stallion 

Det har været livligt diskuteret, om skibs- og bådebyggeriet i middelalderen ved Østersøens sydkyst har sit udspring i germanske, skandinaviske, eller slaviske skibsbygningstraditioner. Målet med dette projekt var at undersøge, hvor vidt etnicitet kan bruges som grundlag for en videnskabelig analyse, eller om funktionelle krav og udveksling af ideer imellem kystzoner på begge sider af Østersøen kan give et bedre svar på udviklingen af lokale fartøjstyper i perioden 400-1400 e.Kr. 

Projektets resultater blev publiceret i 2004 i bogen ’Man, Ship, Landscape. Ships and seafaring in the Oder Mouth Area AD 400-1400. A casestudy of an ideological context’, forfattet af George Indruszewski. 

The subject of this research project was a weapon-offering from the fourth century BC found in Hjortspring Mose on the island of Als in southern Jutland. First published in 1937 by its excavator Gustav Rosenberg. The project paid special attention to the originally ca 19 m-long plank-built boat, which forms the central element of the find.

The research projects results were published in 2003 in the book ’Hjortspring. A Pre-Roman Iron-Age Warship in Context’, edited by Ole  Crumlin-Pedersen and Athena Trakadas 

The five ship-finds excavated at Skuldelev in Roskilde Fjord in 1962 are the main archaeological attraction and primary research basis at the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde. Since the first underwater investigations were conducted in 1957-1959, as a precursor to the excavation of the ships in 1962, the staff at the Viking Ship Museum have conducted numerous research project related to the Skuldelev ships, often in collaboration with researchers from the National Museum of Denmark. 

Benchmarks in this research are the building of the full-scale experimental archaeological reconstructions of the Skuldelev ships, along with the publication ’The Skuldelev Ships I’ from 2002, edited by Ole Crumlin-Pedersen and Olaf Olsen. 

The ship-grave from Ladby is one of the major ship-graves from 10th century AD. The ship-grave was excavated by G. Rosenberg, conservator, and P. Helweg Mikkelsen, pharmacist, in 1934-1937, and their drawings today constitute the primary source-material for information on the find. In spite of the fact that the ship-grave was painstakingly published by Knud Thorvildsen over 40 years ago, it has since become clear that there are many unexplained elements. These uncertainties have arisen not least because of ship-finds from the Viking Age, and other Viking-Age finds, which have come to light later, as well as important new work on early find complexes such as the Sutton Hoo ship-grave in England, Oseberg and Borre in Norway, and also the development of new concepts such as boat-grave customs and recent methods of analysis. 

In this research project, the above mentioned uncertainties were investigated afresh leading to a better understanding of the ship, the grave-goods and the archaeological and historical context of the ship-grave. The results was published in 2001in the book ’Ladby. A Danish Ship-Grav from the Viking Age’, with Anne C. Sørensen as the main author 

Arkæologen Jens Ulriksens bog 'Anløbspladser. Besejling og bebyggelse i Danmark mellem 200 og 1100 e. Kr'. blev udgivet af Vikingeskibsmuseet i 1998.

» Bogen er udsolgt fra forlaget, men kan downloades vederlagsfrit her 

Bogen er baseret på et forskningsprojekt, hvor talrige lokaliteter langs Roskilde Fjords kyster blev undersøgt og analyseret. Det følgende er et uddrag fra bogens konklusion: 

'Anløbspladserne i Sydskandinavien udviser for størstedelens vedkommende et temmelig ensartet indtryk fra 6. årh. til 11. årh. Eventuelle ændringer i deres anvendelse, og mulige passive perioder, kan kun påvises i begrænset omfang, og med stor dateringsmæssig usikkerhed.   

Et bedre kronologisk grundlag kunne være medvirkende til at få fastlagt pladsernes indre udvikling i form af fysiske forskydninger af aktivitetsområdet eller en eventuel tidsmæssig forskel i udøvelsen af de påviste håndværk. Et eksempel er tekstilfremstillingen, der kan dokumenteres på adskillige af de specialiserede anløbspladser. Accepteres tolkningen af vævehytterne som udtryk for sejlfremstilling, ville det af hensyn til sejlets introduktion på det nordiske skib, være interessant at få fastslået, om der eventuelt var en sådan aktivitet allerede i 6.-7. årh. 

Sammenfattende må det konstateres, at de gennemgående – og arkæologisk påviselige – ændringer skete i 6.-7. årh., hvor de små specialiserede anløbspladser dukkede op, og i 11.-12. årh., hvor de reorganiseredes eller blev opgivet.'

Det første skibsfund som Vikingeskibsmuseet byggede en rekonstruktion af var Skuldelev 3. Rekonstruktionen blev navngivet Roar Ege. Formålet med at bygge rekonstruktionen var at øge kendskabet til den teknologi, der lå bag bygningen og brugen af vikingetidens skibe. 

Projektets resultater blev publiceret i 1997 i bogen ’Roar Ege. Skuldelev 3 skibet som arkæologisk eksperiment’, forfattet af Erik Andersen, Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, Søren Vadstrup og Max Vinner. Bogen udforsker de maritime håndværk og ressourceforbruget involveret i bygningen og udrustningen af et skib fra vikingetiden, og den færdige rekonstruktions sejladsegenskaber analyseres detaljeret gennem omfattende testsejladser og forsøgsrejser.                 

The excavations conducted in Hedeby’s harbour area in 1979-1980 led to a long-lasting German and Danish research project concerned with Viking Age ship-finds and shipbuilding, with a focus on Viking Age Hedeby and Schleswig. 

One of the major research publications resulting from this collaboration is the book ’Viking-Age Ships and Shipbuilding in Hedeby/Haithabu and Schleswig’, with Ole Crumlin-Pedersen as the main author 

Udgravningen af Hedebys havneområde i 1979-1980 blev begyndelsen på et langstrakt tysk-dansk forskningsprojekt omhandlende vikingetidens skibsfund og skibsbygning med et særligt fokus på vikingetidens Hedeby og Slesvig. 

De involverede institutioner var fortrinsvis Archäologisches Landesmuseum der Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen fra tysk side og Nationalmuseet fra dansk side. Senere, i forbindelse med publiceringen af projektets resultater, deltog også Vikingeskibsmuseet i Roskilde. Projektets resultater er blandt andet publiceret i bogen ’Viking-Age Ships and Shipbuilding in Hedeby/Haithabu and Schleswig’, med Ole Crumlin-Pedersen som hovedforfatter. 

In May 1986, Kojan Kavang of the Punan Bah people in Borneo visited the Viking Ship Museum    demonstrating the traditional methods used by his people when building dugout or longboats. Kojan Kavang visit was a part of a bigger research project concerned with the life and maritime culture of the Punan Bah people. 
The results of the research project were published in 1991 in the book, ’Building a Longboat. An essay on the culture and history of a Bornean people’, written by Ida Nicolaisen and Tinna Damgård-Sørensen 

I dette projekt videreførtes Vikingeskibsmuseets eksperimentalarkæologiske sejladsforsøg, der var blevet påbegyndt om bord på nordlandsbåden Rana. Hensigten var at belyse samspillet mellem det nordiske skibs klinkbyggede skrog og skibets råsejl. 

Gennem omfattende analyser af skibsfund fra vikingetiden, testsejladser og forsøgsrejser med rekonstruerede vikingeskibe samt sammenlignende analyser af traditionelle norske råsejlsbåde blev det muligt at sandsynliggøre, hvordan Skuldelevskibene var blevet rigget op i den sidste del af vikingetiden. Resultaterne blev publiceret i bogen ’Råsejlet – Dragens Vinge’, forfattet af Bent og Erik Andersen. 

Formålet med dette projekt var at foretage marinarkæologiske undersøgelser af en tidligere erkendt stenspærring i Fotevik ved roden af Skåneøret i Sydvestsverige. Projektet var et dansk-svensk samarbejde, der udover Vikingeskibsmuseet også talte Nationalmuseets Skibshistoriske Laboratorium på dansk side, mens de svenske institutioner var Statens Sjöhistorika Museum, Lunds Universitets Historiska Museum, Malmö Museum og Länsstyrelsen i Malmöhus län.

Projektet kunne påvise at spærringen havde flere faser, og at spærringen bestod af sten og udtjente skibe, der var blevet anvendt til at blokere for indsejlingen til Foteviken. Spærringens første fase var sandsynligvis etableret i 1000-tallet, mens en betydelig forstærkning sandsynligvis fandt sted i løbet af første halvdel af det 12. århundrede. Projektets resultater blev blandt andet publiceret i bogen ’Pugna Forensis -? Arkeologiska Undersökningar kring Foteviken, Skåne 1981-83’, forfattet af Ole Crumlin-Pedersen, Birgitta Hårdh og Sven Rosborn.