Lofotr Viking museum has, with its large and varied outdoor area and the reconstructed chieftain lodge, boathouse, smithy and boats, a very good base for further commitment in experimental archaeology. The museum conduct different projects in experimental archaeology during the summer season. Most of these projects are hand craft projects, but experimental archaeology can be tied to all aspects of the past as long as it's possible to perform searching experiments to learn more about the chosen topic. However, not all hand craft projects are experimental archaeology.

Experimental archaeology is a new way to gain new insight and knowledge about how man lived in prehistoric time. Researchers use empathy, several types of technique , analyses and approaches to form and test hypotheses based on archaeological source material. Reconstructing items and structures from archaeological sources can give new insight and knowledge about history.

Hand craft is, because of this a common approach to experimental archaeology.

 The word reconstruction is of Latin origin and combined from the words re- and constructio which directly translates as “putting back together” with the meaning “recreation”, cf. Bodil Peterssons discussion of the terms reconstruction, experiment and recreation (Petersson 2003:17-23).

The chieftains lodge was initially a nearly empty shell where the furnishing has come to be from recreation of hand crafting for an audience. Petersson categorise different levels of recreation (signs, marking, contours, buildings, buildings with museum, furnished building, furnished and actively mediated, inhabited building and historical theatre) with the Viking hall Borg as an example of a building with museum (Petersson 2003:354). Conducted hand craft projects after her visit to the museum in 1995 has changed the hall to a “furnished and actively mediated building”.


Videos of earlier projects

Wood turning(Lathe)


More ironworks. Here you can find more videos about reconstruction and iron production with ironworks:

Starting fire with flint

Viking loom (A film made by re-enacters in the 70's!) part 1, part 2, part 3

Sewing of fur

Viking cuisine with Daniel Serra

Here you can find more videos on iron production, smithing and beer brewing:


Links to other websites about experimental archaeology:









Finished projects

You can read more about the finished projects in the archive, and find reports in our publication series “Lofotr”.

2010: Cuisine from Viking time, w. Daniel Serra

2010: Oil glycols as light source in the chieftain lodge, w. Lars Erik Narmo and Gøril Nilsen

2002-2010: Experiments with coal burning and ironwork, in cooperation with Kittilbu utmarksmuseum.

2010-2011: Sewing of fur, w. Sunniva Henriksen

2010-2011: Needle binding, woolworks, w. Bernhard Dankbar

2007-2010: ”Osebergrevle” with edge of piece band, w. Nille Glæsel and Karin Sliper

2010: Construction of a Skjelterskjå(storage shed)

2010: Fences by the Skjelterskjåen, w. Arthur Johansen

2009-2010: Experiments with wool sails and sailing, cooporation between Lofotr and Fosen folk high school

2009: Pearlmaking, w. Jannika Gimbe.

2007-2009: Construction of stone fence, w. Arthur Johansen.

2009, 2011: Reconstruction of Skjoldehamn costrume, w. Dan Halvard Løvlid.

2009: Reconstruction of bridle, w. Laura Bunse.

2009: Oil production in flagstone ditch, w. Lars Erik Narmo and Gøril Nilsen.

2009: Light from “kole”, w. Fredrik Larsson.

2007: Casting of decorative tack pieces in bronze and casting of oval buckles in bronze (Sundbuckle).

2007: Carving of a dragon head for the Vikingship "Lofotr", a three-dimensional interpretation based on tent poles from the Gokstad found.

2007: Hewing stone and carving a rune stone - a copy of the Gimsøy stone from late 900's.

2007: Painting with bone black and gold leaf (dragons head)

20007: Production of Viking shoes.

2007: Construction of contents for a herb garden with angelica, russian chives and victory onion.

2007: Attempt to create an oriental belt with fittings of whale toot.

2007: Production of two  leather helmets hardened with beeswax as an alternative to steel helmet in norwegian Viking time. Penetration experiments were also conducted using axes and arrows.

2007: Hewing and grinding of whetstones using rock from Eidsborg (Eidsborg whetstones)

2007: Attempt to create a comb made of reindeer antlers

2007: Construction of a coracle – an Irish skin boat of Rowan branches and a large cow rawhide.

2007: Reconstruction of a double-acting pointed bellows for use in the smithy and ironworks