Viking Ship Museum (Oslo)
The Viking Ship Museum (Norwegian: Vikingskipshuset på Bygdøy) is located at Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway. It is part of the Museum of Cultural History of the University of Oslo, and houses archaeological finds from Tune, Gokstad (Sandefjord), Oseberg (Tønsberg) and the Borre mound cemetery.
The main attractions at the Viking Ship Museum are the Oseberg ship, Gokstad ship and Tune ship. Additionally, the Viking Age display includes sledges, beds, a horse cart, wood carving, tent components, buckets and other grave goods. Many fully or nearly fully intact Viking ships are on display. The museum is most famous for the completely whole Oseberg ship, excavated from the largest known ship burial in the world.
In 1913, Swedish professor Gabriel Gustafson proposed a specific building to house Viking Age finds that were discovered at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The Gokstad and Oseberg ships had been stored in temporary shelters at the University of Oslo. An architectural contest was held, and Arnstein Arneberg won.
The hall for the Oseberg ship was built with funding from the Parliament of Norway, and the ship was moved from the University shelters in 1926. The halls for the ships from Gokstad and Tune were completed in 1932. Building of the last hall was delayed, partly due to the Second World War, and this hall was completed in 1957. It houses most of the other finds, mostly from Oseberg.
Moving the ships
On 20 December 2000 the University of Oslo supported a proposal by the Historical Museum to move the ships and all the grave goods to a proposed new museum in Bjørvika, Oslo. There has been much debate about this suggestion, both in the museum and archaeological community as well as in the media. Opponents to the move have raised concerns that the ships are too fragile and that they will not survive the move undamaged, while proponents claim that it is far more risky to leave the ships in their current location due to the hazards of fire and overcrowding. A risk assessment has been carried out on one side of the Oseberg ship, suggesting a move could go ahead without inflicting serious damage to the finds.
- Brøgger, A. W. and Schetelig, H. Osebergfundet (Oslo. 1917)
- Brøgger A.W. and Shetelig, H. Vikingskipene deres forgjenger og etterfølgere (Oslo. 1950)
- Christensen, Arne Emil Kongsgårdens håndtverkere, Osebergdronningens grav, vår arkeologiske nasjonalskatt i nytt lys (Oslo. 1992)
- Ingstad, Anne Stine Hva har tekstilene vært brukt til? Osebergdronningens grav (Oslo. 1992)
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