At very short notice, in January of this year, the fabulous Blueaxe Reproductions sold my Department (and therefore me) some fabulous Viking-period replica kit for use in my teaching and open days. I’ve already deployed it in final-year undergraduate ‘Vikings’ classes, and for an applicant day activity surrounding the interpretation of grave-goods. It is only a small selection, but it is a good start for what we hope is a burgeoning collection of replica objects, to join the genuine archaeological collections we deploy in our teaching. Here are some pictures of the stuff in action on the admissions day.

Thanks again to Adam at Blueaxe for his help and support.


And here are some close-ups of the items: many are replicas of items from early Viking-period furnished graves and other contexts from northern and central Britain.

IMG_3519IMG_3518IMG_3517IMG_3516IMG_3514However, I’ve got the Blueaxe blues and here are 3 reasons why:

  1. the stuff is just so good, I want to wear it/use it/wield it all the time. And yet I’m not really a reenactor and I don’t have the clothing to go with it! I’ve already had suspicious looks from security when wearing the helmet around campus…
  2. the Dept really needs to get more of this stuff to fully deploy it in a range of teaching contexts: I have the thirst for acquisition – to hoard more replica items like a greedy dwarf!
  3. while the items are great, they bring back bad memories of the one time as a student I was persuaded by a reenactor fellow digger at West Heslerton to spend an evening trying to battle him. I tried my hand at it but almost got slain on multiple occasions when the reenactor due got angry at my ineptitude. I think I’m just too annoying for re-enactors, and this gets me down.

But I need to cheer up. After all, even if I don’t have a full teaching assemblage or reenactors’ kit, at least the helmet, spear and knife might come in handy in the event of the zombie apocalypse, or perhaps worse still, a no-deal Brexit.