Manx Museum

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Things to do


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August, 2019

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This is one of a series of more detailed reviews about the Manx Museum, describing the Viking gallery.

The Vikings arrived at the end of the C8th, first as traders but later as settlers. Silver was the everyday currency of the Vikings and the amount of silver needed for each transaction was weighted out on portable scales carried by the merchants. Ring money was worn as bangles not only to show off wealth but it was also practical as parts of the bangle could be hacked off and traded for goods. Gradually silver coins appeared in circulation

They intermarried with the native Celts. The language of the home was Celtic, although Norse was used for place names.

In troubled times, family wealth was buried, usually in churchyards, and examples of Viking treasure hoards are on display.

Important male Vikings were buried in ship burials along with possessions needed for the afterlife, which included bridle, saddle, spurs and his sword, and then covered with a mound of earth. The ere is a model of the ship burial from Balladoole along with artefacts found when it was excavated.

The Vikings brought their Norse Gods and with them and images of Norse gods and mythology appeared on the carved crosses used as grave markers. Gaut is thought to be responsible for carving many crosses found on the Isle of Man, and his design of closely interlaced patterns has been widely copied on other crosses.

Again there is a wealth of artefacts and the hordes of silver were particularly impressive as well as examples of viking carvved crosses. There is a model of the Balldoole ship burial along with many of the nails used in the construction of the ship and grave goods.


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