In the Wake of the Vikings

In 1962, the remains of five Viking ships emerged from the mud at Roskilde Fjord.
The find turned out knowledge of Nordic maritime culture upside down and opened the door to the Viking Age world.

The special exhibition In the Wake of the Vikings is the story about how the five Skuldelev ships have shaped the museum to what it is today: how the remarkable find has been of crucial importance for maritime archaeology in Denmark and been the driving force behind far-reaching archaeological experiments within reconstruction and sailing.

With this exhibition, we offer a look behind the scenes and show how years of working with the ships, has led to the development of an working environment that builds bridges between researchers, craftsmen and sailors.
We step into the excavation of the Skuldelev ships, get close to the boatbuilders, follow the sailing reconstructions on trial voyages and dive with the maritime archaeologists  to sunken, underwater worlds.

The exhibition is based on four landmark developments in the history of the museum:

Exposing the past
A review and a time warp: finding the Skuldelev Ships, excavation, conservation and exhibition in the Viking Ship Hall - a museum is created.

Archaeology under water

At the source of history: the Skuldelev find's impact on the protection of our underwater cultural heritage and the work of the maritime archaeologists in the oxygen-poor environment, preserving stories of ships, seafaring, the skills and possibilities of generations - right from Stone Age until today.

From wreck to reconstruction
A building proces from model to sailing vessel: design, materials and traditional crafts.

The journey can begin
From dream to reality: discovering a 1,000 year old sailing technique and trial voyages in the wake of the Vikings.


Experience black and white film from the excavation in 1962, witness the longship Sea Stallion battle a fierce gale on the Irish Sea in 2007 and dive on Dannebroge, a 17th century man-of-war, lying on the bottom of Køge Bay.
Follow the boatbuilders' work with reconstructing the Viking Ships - from cardboard model to sailing vessel - to the sound axes from the forest.
See stone axes and copper coins, cannon balls and coffee cupsraised from the oceans around Denmark - and brand new maritime archaeological finds, which have never before been exhibitied.

Production: The Viking Ship Museum
Print: Colorgruppen A/S