Curator's Choice: A ghostly reconstructed Viking ship at National Museum of Scotland

Jenni Davidson | 13 February 2013

Curator's Choice: Communications Officer Bruce Blacklaw picks his favourite object from the new Vikings! exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh...

A photograph of a man looking at a museum display
© Jenni Davidson
It is a reconstruction of a Viking ship based on just the rivets. Because the wood had rotted away, all that was left when the ship was found by archaeologists were the iron rivets that would have held the planks together.

A close up photograph of the nails from a Viking ship held in place by nylon threads
A close up of the floating rivets© Jenni Davidson
Rather than just display the rivets in a pile, the museum has recreated the boat by hanging the rivets from nylon threads in the shape they were found to form the shape of the boat as it once was and the effect is rather spooky.

"I guess I like the piece because it's a really evocative and imaginative way of using the most basic, plainest objects to depict something so vividly and it's kind of a cross between a museum object exhibit and an art installation at the same time.

"It's also just fun."

Vikings! runs at the National Museum of Scotland until May 12 2013. Read our preview.

A photograph of the iron nails from a Viking ship held in place by nylon threads
© Jenni Davidson
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