Saaremaa Museum

The history-changing findings of Salme ship burials offer a look into how vikings lived 1300 years ago and this award winning exhibition tells the story they revealed.

Client:

Saaremaa Museum

Location:

Saaremaa, Estonia

Exhibition area:

70 m²

Year:

2021

Scope of work:

Exhibition graphic design, exhibits solution and production, interactive exhibits concept, accessibility solutions and production, installation and project management.

Interior architecture:

KOKO architects

Award:

Best Temporary Exhibition 2022

Photography:

Kairi Rand, Aron Urb, Taniel Vare

www.saaremaamuuseum.ee/en

About

The exhibition features 150 original objects, which were placed as grave goods along with the Viking warriors, who were hoping for a continuation of life in Valhalla. 

The main attraction is a 1:10 model of the Salme II ship, the finding of which acted as a starting point for this exhibition.

An animation on the big screen tells the story of the battles which took place 1300 years ago in Salme, while interactive exhibits like a rowing simulator and a projection of the buried king alongside his belongings offer educational fun for all guests.
 

 

History

The beginning of the Viking Age is usually considered to be the year 793, when the Norwegian Vikings looted the Lindisfarne monastery in England. 

Salme ship burials changed history and are a direct proof that the Scandinavian sea warriors did expeditions earlier than that. 

Challenge

The exhibition was planned from the beginning as a traveling exhibition, which allows the Salme shipwrecks and the archaeological objects to be introduced to the entire world. 

The challenging part for this turned out to be the exhibits themselves. While the centuries old objects are historically important, they are also worn out and often broken. Showcasing them in a way that honors their importance and makes it easy to understand for visitors meant we had to first take special care of the items by installing techniques for transporting the items and preserving their condition. 

After their preservation was taken care of, we needed to come up with modern solutions to show their importance for all visitors. 

Highlight

After the exhibition traveled on to Lennusadam, we took a lot of measures to ensure that everyone can enjoy the exhibits and introduced additional accessibility solutions. Visually impaired visitors can enjoy the exhibition with the help of an audio guide and easy-to-read guidebooks help everyone grasp the history of the exhibits. 

The exhibition is a strong combination of scientific research, engaging visitors from all countries, and a good cooperation between the museum and the academic world. 

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