The Myklebust findings
The large ship graves from the Viking age are unique and some of the world’s most spectacular treasures. The Myklebust findings stands out in this context because the grave was burnt, and it was discovered in one of the richest and most important areas in the Viking Age, Nordfjord. The Myklebust mound was excavated in 1874, several years before Gokstad (1880) and Oseberg (1904), but has been completely overshadowed by these.
It is also unique that the grave can be tied directly to historic sources and named persons. The grave also contained what is believed to be the largest Viking ship that has ever been found traces of in Norway. The rich findings and the circumstances around this grave allows for dissemination of both regional and national history.
Sagastad should have an overview of all the findings in the grave and their purpose for use. There will be a map of Myklebust showing the locations of the different grave mounds, and what they contained. This can be visualized through interactive screens, so the audience can for example “dig” in the mounds and see what they can find, what it is, – what it has been used for etc.
A story to tell
Sagastad will have a message to the audience, and tell the story about the Viking Age by the fjords. The center will convey knowledge, encourage amazement, reflection, and make impressions through entertainment and experiences.
There has been several large archeological discoveries in Nordfjord from the Stone Age and until today. The Myklebust findings from the younger Iron Age will however be the foundation for Sagastad, which through exhibitions, activities and stories will give us a insight into this historically interesting time period. Sagastad should also be able to house information and exhibitions from other time eras and findings in Nordfjord, but the main focus will be the Viking Age in Nordfjord from about 800-1100 AD.
Sagastad will be a combined knowledge and activity center, and will be built by the fjord in Nordfjordeid. A central piece of the exhibition in Sagastad is the Myklebust ship, which most likely is the largest Viking longship which has been found traces of in Norway. The ship will be built in full scale, approximately 100 foot (30m) long and 21 foot (6,5m) wide. It will be possible to sail the ship on the fjord, but it will mainly be exhibited in Sagastad as one of the main attractions. The center will have a set main exhibition based on the following themes: the Myklebust findings, the Myklebust ship and the Nordfjord. In addition to this there will also be guest exhibitions with different themes, this way there will always be new experiences even for guests who visit the center regularly.
Sagastad will have two basic pillars:
- Dissemination of facts and knowledge about the Viking Age (community and people; trade, infrastructure, farming, economy, social activities, craftsmanship etc.)
- Dissemination of findings in Nordfjord
All facts will undergo quality control by approved authorities, amongst others the University Museum in Bergen.
- Dissemination and visualisation of how the Viking Age could have looked like, based on professionally approved knowledge and findings.
Sagastad will use different visual aids in the dissemination, and the exhibitions will be professionally designed. Sagastad will disseminate the history of the region. This region has a very rich history from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages.From rich Stone Age settlements, petroglyphs such as the largest petroglyph site in Norway in Vingen in Bremanger, the Middle Age monastery on the island Selja, a large number of burial mounds from the Iron Age, with both the grave of the Evebø chief and the biggest grave monument in western Norway “Karnilshaugen” in Gloppen. In addition to these there is also churches from the Middle Ages and prehistoric traces of settlements. The center during the Viking Age was however in Nordfjordeid with the Myklebust grave as the absolute highlight.
Sagastad will tie the region together as a destination, something that will be very favorable considering how the traffic flows through the region today.