A Viking Friday

Good afternoon (“fastyr mie” in our Manx language) from the Isle of Man.

We have had influences from lots of different people on our island over the millennia – not surprising really as we sit in the middle of the Irish Sea, so we’re a very handy stopping off point for travel and trade.  The artefacts from this rich heritage are cared for here at the Manx Museum and part of my job as Curator of Archaeology is to bring them out of the stores and put them to work again to help explain what happened and why on the Isle of Man in the past.  Today my thoughts are mostly with Vikings.

Not so much the battling and marauding type of Vikings, but with the type who settled here a thousand years ago and created a sea kingdom which stretched up through the west coast of Scotland and had direct links with Norway.  The type of Vikings who had horses that wore things like this;

Viking horse bridle pendant c. AD 1100

Viking horse bridle pendant c. AD 1100

And the type of Vikings who played board games with counters like this;

Shark vertebrae from Castle Rushen

Shark vertebrae from Castle Rushen c. AD 1300

And the type of Vikings who left a fair bit of this sort of thing buried in the ground;

Viking coins and silver ingots deposited c.AD 1030

Viking coins and silver ingots deposited c.AD 1030

The period of the Kingdom of Man and the Isles was a really important and influential time for the Island and it’s my pleasure to be rounding up artefacts from AD 1000 – 1300 to display them in a new gallery at another of our sites, the House of Manannan, in the autumn.  Some artefacts were found twenty years ago, some only a few months ago, and it’s a great opportunity to show our visitors the variety of material from this forgotten kingdom.

Creating an exhibition is a long process from ideas to opening day and it involves colleagues from all corners of the organisation.  It’s also one of the most rewarding aspects of being a curator and a great excuse to get hands-on and up close to some fantastic artefacts.

If you’re passing the Isle of Man, do call in see us – the Vikings did and seemed to like it!

Chill out

After such day full of adventures and hard work, it’s time for rest.

Chill out in Old Pub Jaszczur in Elbląg, the most archaeological pub in this town 🙂 Old bricks and arches all around with nice atmosphere. Have a nice party!


Ok. Olaf has gone. His cell phone rang (he has a cell phone!? how???) he has sent me MMS few minutes ago…

There is quite nice party at the Museum 🙂 Hope we don’t need to clean after it!

I wish you all good weekend!


Typical day in our Museum


Today is Day of Archaeology so let’s sail through this day on our ship with Olaf 🙂

Sculptures from Elblag’s Biennial looks like huge dragons, and are located all around Elbląg. You can walk around city and watch different monument. On my way to work I see just few of them. Art installations gives my home town artistic look.

Church path with beautiful arcs makes everyone feel really medieval. I think It is the most charming place.

At the Museum I usually document artefacts. Measuring, taking pictures, preparations for exhibitions… It takes a lot of time, but work with such beautiful things makes you feel special.

but sometimes…. Olaf is messing with our work… (this picture almost got published in our book) 🙂

Visitors can have guided tours with Museum staff. Olaf and archaeologists talk about different sites and exhibitions in Museum. You can see exhibitions about History of the Goths, The Amber -Truso-Emporium and Elbląg – a recovered testimony of the past.

Museum lessons held in reconstruction of long house on Museum yard are very interesting.

Well… not that interesting for Olaf, who has huge problems with drawing… 😀


Children could play medieval games, learn history and get little bit dirty while making clay pottery. When the weather is nice everyone can see how medieval women made food for their families (and how it tasted).

Introduction to Day of Archaeology in Elbląg :)

We couldn’t wait till tomorrow so we decided to start earlier. 🙂

Truso Team with cooperation of Enthusiasts of Truso Association and Archaeological and Historical Museum in Elbląg has the honour to introduce to you ……


Our brave and sweet and handsome Viking Ghost – OLAF! 🙂


Truso was known only from Wulfstan’s account, who described his way from Danish Haede (Hedeby) to Truso. In 1981 Truso was discovered by Marek F. Jagodziński.


He used to live in Truso – early medieval Vikings’ settlement located in the Slavic-Estian borderland, but he decided to move to our Museum.





Now he sleeps in the reconstruction of Viking hut, and he hopes to find a beautiful ghost girlfriend, because he is really lonely  (oh and he needs new cloak).



Tomorrow we will sail with him through rough waves of Day of Archaeology. I hope that You will like my job as I love it.