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Pirates or Peace-Lovers?

New Vikings exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah Goes Beyond the Legend of the Early Norse People

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY, May 24, 2017 – Mysterious seafarers, farmers, traders and plunderers who explored Europe more than 1,000 years ago – this is the legend of the Viking. Utahns will have the opportunity to look beyond the Viking myth and discover the adventurous and ingenious lives of the ancient Scandinavian people through a new immersive exhibit, Vikings. The new guest exhibit opens May 27, 2017 at the Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah.


Ever wonder what kind of bread Vikings ate? The exhibit features an actual piece of 1,000-year-old Viking bread as well as hair from a real Viking beard. Guests will discover these and over 500 artifacts, some never seen outside Scandinavia, including jewelry, funeral urns, weapons, game pieces, clothing and more. Interactive displays allow guests to experience the daily life of the Norse people and better understand their traditions and influence.


When visiting Vikings, guests will:

-        Imagine a Viking voyage and explore a full-scale replica of a Viking ship

-        Step into the mind of a Viking and play a digital version of a popular Viking strategy game that pre-dates chess

-        Test the balance between the blade and handle of a replica Viking sword

-        Excavate a spectacular Viking burial boat, layer by layer, on an interactive touch table


“The exhibit debunks myths about Vikings being uncivilized pillagers wearing horned helmets,” said Museum Executive Director Sarah George. “Visitors will get an in-depth look into the culture, traditions and beliefs held by the ancient Scandinavian people. We are thrilled to have this beautiful and insightful exhibit at the Museum and encourage our community, especially those with Scandinavian heritage, to explore the exhibit in the months to come.”


Special events and workshops related to the exhibit will be featured at the Natural History Museum of Utah through January 1, 2018. The Museum also features 10 permanent galleries for discovery including Past Worlds, Great Salt Lake, Native Voices, Land and much more. Entrance into Vikings is included in the Museum’s price of general admission.

For additional information, visit or call 801.581.4303.

Vikings was made possible through the joint efforts of:

·       The Swedish History Museum, Sweden

·       MuseumsPartner, Austria


Presenting Sponsor:

·       George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation

Exhibit Sponsors

·       Emma Eccles Jones Foundation 

·       ZAP


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About the Natural History Museum of Utah

The Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the leading scientific research and cultural institutions in the country. Established in 1963, the Museum‘s collections contain over 1.6 million objects and offers innovative exhibitions and educational programs to thousands of residents and visitors each year, including traveling and permanent exhibits, special events and other programs. With an expected attendance of 180,000 visitors a year, the Museum also offers a variety of outreach programs to communities and schools throughout Utah, reaching every school district in the state annually. The Museum has an active science program with more than 30 scientists and 10 field exhibitions each year.