Vikings: Life and Legend


In the ninth and tenth centuries, the Vikings created a cultural network that spanned four continents: from the Caspian Sea to the North Atlantic and from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean. The Viking Age was a period of major change as a result of the Vikings’ impact on neighboring areas and the introduction of external influences into Scandinavia. This book explores Viking culture from a global perspective, examining the influences of their varied contacts from around the world and how Viking Scandinavia drew from both Christian Europe and the Islamic world.

The book focuses on the core period of the Viking Age, from the late eighth to the early eleventh centuries. New discoveries by archaeologists and metal detectorists highlight the interconnected nature of the cultures of Europe, Byzantium, and the Middle East.

Vikings accompanies a major exhibition developed jointly by the British Museum, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Museum for Prehistory and Early History in Berlin. Edited by the exhibition curators Gareth Williams, Peter Pentz, and Matthias Wemhoff and with contributions from a number of key experts, the book, with its strong, flowing narrative and integrated illustrations, draws on a wealth of Viking objects to provide a rich and vivid account of the impact of Viking expansion throughout the world.

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Myths & Legends

‘L’enlèvement de Proserpine’ (The Rape of Proserpine) (circa 1636) by Peter Paul Rubens.
Who were Demeter and Persephone? And why did their myth resonate so strongly with women of ancient Greece? The story of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, and her daughter Persephone, queen of the underworld, has inspired many.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)