ORKNEY VIKING WEEK, 7-15 September 2024

The fifth Orkney Viking Week will be held on 7-15 September 2024, in indoor and outdoor venues around Orkney,

Orkney Viking Week is jointly organised by Orkney Archaeology Society and Orkney Time Travel, in collaboration with Orkney International Science Festival and Orphir Community Council.

More information will be added to this page as the time gets nearer and plans are finalised.

Talk - Viking Graves in Orkney, by Prof James Graham-Campbell

Organised by Orkney Archaeology Society

Date: Tuesday 10th September, 7.30 pm

Venue: Birsay community Hall

Cost: Free, with donations welcome to Orkney Archaeology Society

We are very excited to welcome Professor James Graham-Campbell as the main speaker of the 2024 Orkney Viking Week.

James Graham-Campbell is Emeritus Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UCL), and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has a degree in archaeology from the University of Cambridge – and undertook postgraduate research at UCL and in Norway.

He spent a couple of years teaching at University College Dublin, before joining UCL as Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology in 1973. He worked at UCL until his retirement, after which he was a Visiting Professor at both Nottingham University and the University of Aarhus in Denmark.

During the 1970s, he was the assistant director on the excavation of a major Pictish/Norse site in North Uist  – and also served as the academic consultant for the British Museum’s major international exhibition on ‘The Vikings’, which was shown in London and New York in 1980.

Professor Graham-Campbell has published widely on the art and artefacts of the Vikings. His books include The Viking World and The Viking Age Gold and Silver of Scotland – and, together with Colleen Batey, Vikings in Scotland: An Archaeological Survey. His most recent book is an introduction to Viking Art (now in its second edition).

For many years he has been engaged on a major research project (together with Caroline Paterson) to catalogue The Pagan Norse Graves of Scotland – with his current focus on the Orkney graves arising out the preparation for publication of a multi-authored monograph on the important Pictish and Viking cemetery excavated at Westness in Rousay

The talk is hosted by Orkney Archaeology Society and will be held in-person in the Birsay Community Hall.

Birsay whalebone and Brough of Birsay
Birsay whalebone and Brough of Birsay

Family Day

Sunday 8th September will be a family day, with activities and fun for all ages.

Where – Skaill House gardens

When – 10 am to 2 pm

Cost: Free entry, some activities may have a charge.

Falconry, mini axe throwing, storytelling, tablet weaving, butter making, create your Viking name, Hnefatafl Viking board game, treasure hunt. Toss the head of Cubbie Roo the giant! And much more.

Falconry & storytelling show at 1 pm.

From Lint & Yarn workshop 2021

Craft day

We are planning to repeat last year’s success of having a day of craft workshops, with a mixture of sign-up and drop-in workshops.

Date, time and venue to be confirmed.

Individual workshops to be announced nearer the time.

The Eagle God

Where: Skaill House Falconry, Sandwick

Sunday 8th September, 1 pm

Storytelling and falconry are woven together in this flight with Odin and Freyja. Meet Odin the Eagle Owl, his falcon friend, and the other birds at Skaill House Falconry, while hearing tales from Norse mythology where gods shape-shift into birds in dramatic twists of tale, performed by Raggie Ljosland.

Skaill House Falconry was awarded Best Hands-On Experience 2022 by Destination Orkney.

Keith demonstrates falconry in the Viking Age. Skaill House Falconry.

Meet the sheep

Day and time to be confirmed

A chance to meet Jane Cooper’s flock of Boreray sheep for real! As well as seeing the sheep who star in The Lost Flock, you can also see the display and learn more about Viking sheep and wool.

For further details and directions to the farm, see Jane’s website http://www.visitburnside.co.uk/VikingWeek