Dealing with the Dead in the Viking Age

6th October 2021 (19:00 - 20:00)
Zoom London W1H 2AG

Viking grave in Gotland

A talk by Professor Neal Price of Uppsala University, arguably the global doyen of matters Viking, and the author of a superb book on Viking history and culture, The Children of Ash and Elm (2020).

THE SPEAKER

Professor Neil Price is Distinguished Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Uppsala (a chair that dates back to 1662 when Olof Verelius was made ‘Professor of the Fatherland’s Antiquities’); he holds his degrees from the University of Uppsala (Ph.D.) and the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. Neil’s research interests include the early Medieval/Late Iron Age in Scandinavia and Europe, focusing on the Viking period, and Early Modern and historical archaeology in the Pacific, China Seas and Indian Ocean. Professor Price has worked on over 50 sites, has published prolifically, and has served as a consultant on numerous television, radio, and public media projects.

Professor Neil Price

Professor Neil Price

LECTURE SUBJECT

Dealing with the Dead in the Viking Age:
Funerary rituals and practices in Viking times – shedding new light on the relationship between life and death in Viking times

No period in time save that of the Romans evinces such interest, and stirs so much imagination, as the Viking period (traditionally thought of as about 750-1050 AD). Many tall tales are told of exploits and practices in those “Dark” Ages which, on more diligent enquiry and research, are either distorted or basically “fake news”. We need a scholar of renown to help to sort the truthful wheat from the fraudulent chaff, and there is no better person working today in this field than our distinguished speaker, Professor Neil Price from Uppsala. Neil will be sharing with us his scholarship and learning around a very interesting facet of that remarkable epoch, the relationship between the living and spirit worlds, both of which were very prominent and important in those times. Many mysteries remain around how, when, where and why Vikings were buried (and indeed which Vikings were buried) but what we do know is both surprising and revealing.

The evening will be hosted by our Council member, Professor David Goldsmith, who says “Neil has written many books, now seven on Viking topics, but his most recent “The Children of Ash and Elm : A History of the Vikings” [Penguin-Random House / Allan Lane, London, 2020 ISBN 978-0-241-28398-1] is the most remarkable and impactful; indeed, I would venture to suggest that it is the best account to date of the Viking life, ethos, rituals and behaviour. I found it constantly surprising, informative and entertaining, and very much enjoyed reading it. We are fortunate indeed in the A-SS to have the opportunity to hear Neil by Zoom from Uppsala

Free ZOOM talk – RSVP@angloswedishsociety.org.uk