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E1 of 3
Series 1 - Episode 1
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Dashing archaeologist Neil Oliver is in York, or Jorvik as it was named by the
when they annexed it as part of Scandinavia, at the start of his latest voyage into the past.
Oliver is on the trail of the Vikings, those ravening beasts of legend, with their longboats and their silly pointy hats and their love of violence, fire and plunder. Of course, the real story is much more complex and subtle. Oliver dons white gloves to caress Viking artefacts in Norway before he gingerly steps on to a frozen lake to see some astounding underwater carvings on the Swedish island of Gotland.
The aim of this first episode is to establish what it was like for the Vikings’ Bronze Age ancestors, so he drinks some Bronze Age-recipe booze (“fantastic, it tastes like fruit juice”) and nibbles on some meat, preserved the Bronze Age way.
Neil Oliver explores the history of the Norse warriors, delving into their customs and searching for the truth behind their fearsome reputation. He begins by telling the story of their origins, and investigates the world of their ancient ancestors. The programme charts Scandinavia's prehistoric landscape, from the Baltic Sea to Norway's Atlantic coast, and Neil examines archaeological evidence to create a portrait of the society from which the Vikings emerged.
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