VIKING AGE SITES IN NORTHERN EUROPE
Last week the nomination document for the serial transnational property Viking Age Sites in Northern Europe was delivered to the World Heritage Office in Paris. The nomination is an ensemble of seven component parts, from five States Parties, all of which are monumental archaeologicalsites or groups of sites dating from the 8th– 11th centuries AD.
The nomination comprises land-, sea- and townscapes stretching from the North Atlantic to the Baltic Sea. In the Viking Age the Norse peoples - the Vikings - developed a maritime culture which had an enormous impact on Northern Europe and beyond. Within Scandinavia the Viking Period witnessed the transformation from tribal to state societies and a change of religions.
The three Christian kingdoms that developed from this transformation, and out of which the present Nordic States evolved, were by the end of the Viking Age an integral part of Europe. Thus, in modern times, Viking culture has contributed significantly to the creation of cultural coherence, symbolic values and cultural identity in the Nordic region, and it continues to hold immense public appeal world-wide.
The sites which are part of the this nomination are:
Þingvellir in Iceland.
Hedeby and Danevirke Germany.
The Grobiņa burials and settlements in Latvia.
Jelling and the Trelleborg fortresses in DenmarkT
The Vestfold ship burials and the The Hyllestad quernstone quarries in Norway
Each country is responsible for its component part in the nomination work. The staff at Thingvellir National park has worked on the Þingvellir part. This project has been complex but also attracted interest due to its new approach to making a transnational serial nomination. The Cultural Heritage Agency of Iceland was responsible for the coordination of the project but it is steered by an international steering committe with members from each participating country.
The nomination will now be reviewed by the World Heritage Office and ICOMOS but the final decision on the nomination will be taken at the World Heritage Committee meeting in the summer of 2015.
Further reading on the nomination can be found here.
On the picture: Ragnheiður H. Þórarinsdóttir Chair of Steering Committee Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in Iceland, Kishore Rao Director of UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and Claus van Carnap Bornheim State Archaeologist of Schleswig-Holstein Germany.