SwedenCore Course Week Study Tour | Vikings & Power Program

Required Course(s)
World of the Vikings
Spring semester

On the short Study Tour during Core Course week, we take our newfound knowledge of the Viking Age and examine its continued presence in the Swedish landscape: in burial mounds, runestones, and town plans. Explore the area that was home to important kings even before the Viking Age and continued to be so after its end. Amongst the royal grave mounds in Gamla Uppsala, the cultic center and supposed site of the Old Norse temple described by Adam of Bremen, we experience a virtual reality image of the place 1,500 years ago. The rise and fall of nearby Birka as a commercial center and the foundation of Sigtuna, the royal Christian town where the Viking Age ended, can be experience here in the landscape of Uppland.

Uppsala University, the oldest university in Scandinavia, founded in 1477, is now home to one of the major research programs on Vikings. It is also prominent in archaeology, runology and the study of the Old Norse language and texts.

Tour Objectives

  • Gain insight into the material aspects of the Viking Age and into the archeological research that today provides the most new finds in Viking Studies
  • Deepen knowledge of current research projects and practices in Viking Age studies on academic visits
  • Analyze how current curatorial practices in museums contribute to representing and recreating the Viking Age in the contemporary imagination

Possible Activities

  • Experiencing the grave mounds and museum at the Vendel Age site Gamla Uppsala, religious center and burial place of kings in the 6th century
  • Visiting Uppsala University and the collections of the Museum Gustavianum
  • Going by boat to the Viking Age trading town Birka, the 8th-century commercial center, nowadays an important archaeological and historical reenactment site
  • Walking the streets of the thousand-year old royal town of Sigtuna, the place where the Viking Age ended in Sweden, where runestones and ruined Christian churches demonstrate the transformation from Viking to Middle Ages