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Legacies of Viking longships explored during free talk

April 1, 2011

The simple but mighty vessels used by the Vikings during a period of great exploration will be discussed during a free lecture on Tuesday, April 12 at 8 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium. John R. Hale, Ph.D., archaeologist and faculty member from the University of Louisville, will present “Dragons of the North: The World of Viking Longships.”

Hale is the director of liberal studies for the College of Arts and Sciences and adjunct professor of archaeology in the department of anthropology at the University of Louisville. He has traced the ancestry of Viking ships all the way back to sewn-plank canoes of the Scandinavian Bronze Age, and shows the links between these remarkable ships and the watercraft of the Pacific and central Africa.

According to Hale, Viking ships are among the most remarkable artifacts in the entire realm of archaeological discovery, dominating European history for the three centuries between 800 and 1100 A.D.

“As warships, they terrorized coasts from Scotland to the Mediterranean; as trading craft they ventured down the rivers of Russia to Byzantium, and as vessels of exploration and colonization they crossed the open Atlantic to Ireland, Iceland, Greenland and ultimately America,” said Hale. “Yet all these amazing achievements were accomplished by open, undecked ships with a few oars and a single square sail.”

This lecture is co-sponsored by Loyola’s Classical Studies program and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

For more information, contact Sean Snyder in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at smsnyder@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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