Ulike prosjekter brynje-element

Misc. projects

Bead making

In the late 1980s, 30 assorted glass beads were found during the excavation of the Chieftain’s House (Borg I). The occurrence of melted glass here has been to some extent proven, but we have no evidence of the manufacture of beads at Borg. The majority of these beads are most likely imported, but the bead material found at Borg has not been thoroughly examined beyond an account of the finds written by Ulf Näsmann in the main publication about Borg: “Beads of amber, carnelian, glass, jet rock-crystal and stones,” pp. 231-240.

Jannika Grimbe built a bead making furnace of clay in the living quarters of the Chieftain’s House and demonstrated bead making as we believe it was done in the Viking Age.

Viking Age Fare

Taste and the sense of smell are equally as important to your experience of the Viking Age as your eyesight or hearing. In collaboration with food researcher Daniel Serra, the museum arranged a food exhibition with food samples, permanent and shifting exhibitions, and culinary activities for the public.

Part of the project also involved experiments and documentation using a cooking pit.

Replica of the Skjoldehamn Costume

Over the course of two seasons, Dan Halvard Løvlid has made a replica of the Skjoldehamn costume.

It can be found in our permanent exhibition. The Skjoldehamn costume probably dates back to the 1000s or 1200s.

Building a Dry Stone Wall

For several years, Arthur Johansen has been building dry stone walls near the Chieftain’s House.

Apart from reintroducing dry stone walls into the cultural landscape at Borg, the walls are a necessity around the pig sty in order to keep the pigs in place – they do not always respect electric fences.

Replica of a Horse’s Bridle

During the excavation of the Chieftain’s House, the buckle from a horse’s bridle dating back to the early Merovingian Period was found. The find is from the oldest phase of the house, i.e. the 67 metre long hall that was in use during the period from c. 600-700 AD. Similar fastenings have been found in graves (Vendel amongst others), and the large fastenings were found in pairs together with a couple of smaller ones. Laura Bunse, student of archaeology in Tromsø, wanted to reconstruct a leather bridle and its fastenings.

Woodcarving of a Horse’s Head

As part of a new exhibition in the prospective new building, the replica of the bridle will be mounted on a full-scale wooden sculpture of a horse’s head. One of the horses at Borg was model for the sculpture which was crafted by Doreen Wehrhold.

Oil Production in a Melting Pit

Lofotr Viking Museum carried out experiments with the burning of seal and whale blubber in reconstructed Iron Age melting pits in Kvænangen, Nord-Troms in 2008.

Oil Lamps as a Source of Light in the Chieftain’s House

Lofotr Viking Museum’s Lars Erik Narmo and Gøril Nilsen from Tromsø University’s Institute of Archaeology have carried out successful experiments with the production of oil from seal and whale blubber in reconstructed Iron Age melting pits. The results were pursued further in a project where the oil was used for lighting. An assortment of oils from seal, whale and cod were tested in oil lamps with a variety of wicks.

Coal burning, iron smeltery and the further development of bloomery iron

Lofotr Viking Museum has been experimenting with coal burning and iron smelting for a number of years. Since 2007, the experiments have been carried out in association with Kittilbu Utmarksmuseum (Wilderness Museum) in Gausdal (a branch of the Randsfjord Museum).

At the museum we have constructed a replica of a bloomery from the 700s. In our experience with the use of such a bloomery, the chimney of burnt clay disintegrates during the winter, before the material itself is worn out. This indicates that the furnace must have been placed under a roof of some kind. Part of our work on the bloomery in 2010, involves building a roof (of staves) over the furnace/bellows.

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Sewing Fur Rugs

Sunniva Henriksen from Myrland in the borough of Flakstad has sewn two fur rugs to order from the skins of local free range sheep.

The ”Oseberg Tapestry” with edges of woven band

A version of the Oseberg Tapestry has been made by Nille Glæsel and Karin Sliper. A tapestry is a long, narrow piece of thick textile fabric illustrated with pictures, the most famous one being the Bayeux Tapestry. Tapestries told of heroic deeds or recounted mythology, easily recognisable to those who could interpret the codes.

The tapestry weaver and the skald presented the same content using different methods. The tapestries were probably part of the ceiling in the Chieftain’s House and Lofotr Viking Museum has been working on the weaving of a tapestry for several years. It was started by Nille Glæsel, who was also responsible for the design. The motifs are taken from the fragments of the Oseberg Tapestry that were preserved in the Oseberg Grave, but are by no means a direct copy. Glæsel has interpreted the figures in free composition. Furthermore, the tapestry is twice as wide as the one from the Oseberg grave.

Building a Shelter Shed

In winter 2010, the manufacturing company SISO-vekst in Sørfold produced a 45 m2 shelter shed in accordance with instructions from the museum. Such shelters combine log and skeletal construction techniques, and have walls of vertical panelling which can be removed. This technique was common in Northern Norway and was used to build boathouses, barns and outhouses. There is plenty of available evidence documenting the use of such buildings, including the burial chamber at Oseberghaugen and buildings from Skiparkrok in Nidaros dating back to the 900s. The shelter shed at Lofotr Viking Museum is largely used for the serving of food and drink.

Experiments with Woollen Sails and Sailing

Students from the sailing class at Fosen Folk High School and teacher Vegar Heide made a woollen sail for the “Femkeipingen” - a ten oared rowing and sailing vessel. The “Femkeipingen” is our full-scale replica of the biggest of the boats that accompanied the Gokstad ship which dates back to the 900s. The woollen fabric was woven by Nille Glæsel as part of an earlier project at Lofotr (NORCE).

Lofotr lacks the expertise to make sails and outsourced the job to the sailing class at Fosen Folk High School. The sailing class also tried out the untreated sail. Sailing experiments are carried out by Lofotr’s Terje Bøe in collaboration with students from the sailing class at Fosen.


Completed Projects

You can read more about completed projects in our archives and find reports in our series of publications entitled “Lofotr”. Should you wish to learn more about the projects, please contact the museum c/o: Curator Vegard Kaasen Engen..

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  • 2010: Oil lamps as a source of light in the Chieftain’s House, by Lars Erik Narmo and Gøril Nilsen
  • 2002-2010: Experiments with coal burning and a primitive iron smeltery, in collaboration with Kittilbu Utmarksmuseum (wilderness museum).
  • 2010-2011: Sewing fur rugs, by Sunniva Henriksen
  • 2010-2011: Single needle knitting, by Bernhard Dankbar
  • 2007-2010: The “Oseberg Tapestry” with edges of woven band, by Nille Glæsel og Karin Sliper
  • 2010: Erecting a shelter shed
  • 2010: Fences at the shelter shed, by Arthur Johansen
  • 2009-2010: Experiments with woollen sails and sailing, collaboration between Lofotr and Fosen Folk High School
  • 2009: Bead making, by Jannika Gimbe.
  • 2007-2009: Building dry stone walls, by Arthur Johansen.
  • 2009, 2011: Replica of the Skjoldehamn costume, by Dan Halvard Løvlid.
  • 2009: Replica of a horse’s bridle, by Laura Bunse.
  • 2009: Oil production in a melting pit, by Lars Erik Narmo og Gøril Nilsen.
  • 2009: Light from oil lamps, by Fredrik Larsson.
  • 2007: Casting bridle buckles and oval clasps in bronze.
  • 2007: Carving a dragon’s head for the Viking ship "Lofotr", a three dimensional interpretation based on tent poles from the Gokstad find.
  • 2007: Hewing and carving a rune stone – a replica of the Gimsøy Stone from the late 900s.
  • 2007: Painting with bone black and gold leaf (dragon’s head)
  • 2007: Manufacturing Viking shoes.
  • 2007: Setting up a herb garden with Norwegian angelica, Russian chives and victory onions.
  • 2007: Attempt at making an oriental belt with fastenings made from whale tooth.
  • 2007: Production of two leather helmets hardened with beeswax as an alternative to Norwegian Viking Age steel helmets. Penetration experiments using axes and arrows were also carried out.
  • 2007: Hewing and grinding of whetstones using stone from Eidsborg.
  • 2007: Attempt at making a comb from reindeer antlers.
  • 2007: Building a coracle, an Irish skin boat, from rowan branches and a large cow hide.
  • 2007: Replica of double-acting bellows for use in the smithy and smeltery.


TEL: +47 76 15 40 00

EMAIL: vikingmuseet@lofotr.no

WEB: www.lofotr.no