Longest ever Viking ship to arrive in Britain in ‘flat pack’

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The longest Viking ship ever found will arrive in Britain in a “flat pack”, it has been revealed.

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According to BBC News the 37-metre-long warship, never seen before in the UK, will be packed in individual boxes and shipped to the UK.

There, it will be re-assembled for display in the British Museum’s newly-built Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery.

The warship, known as Roskilde 6, is the centrepiece of the museum’s Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition, which opens in March 2014.

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The ship was excavated from the banks of Roskilde fjord in Denmark during work undertaken to develop the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum in 1997.

Since the excavation, the timbers have been conserved and analysed by the National Museum of Denmark.

The surviving timbers – approximately 20 per cent of the original ship – will be re-assembled for display in a specially made stainless steel frame that reconstructs the full size and shape of the original ship.

“As you might expect of a Scandinavian-designed ship, it comes flat packed,” curator Gareth Williams told BBC News.
“It’s massive by the standards of the time. It’s longer than the Mary Rose.”

The construction of the ship has been dated to around AD 1025, the high point of the Viking Age when England, Denmark, Norway and possibly parts of Sweden were united under the rule of Cnut the Great.

The size of the ship and the amount of resources required to build it suggest it was almost certainly a royal warship.

The ship will be displayed along with artefacts from 6 March until 22 June 2014.

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