The Vikings: A Myth between Pop Culture and Culture of Remembrance

The Vikings are omnipresent in pop culture. Most people will recognize a Viking – for example by a horned helmet – or will be able to identify a Viking ship: The long and narrow shape, the shields on the railing, rudders as well as sails, often with red and white stripes, and the dragon's head attached to the front of the ship (on the stem) – these are the typical attributes. These pictures often illustrate the idea of explorers, plunderers and conquerors who ravaged the world on their warships. These portrayals, however, tell more about our view of history than about historical realities. But where do these stereotypes come from and how authentic are they? This is what this exhibition is about, presenting the Viking myth as a brand, as a place of longing and as a source of identity.

Exhibition: https://museum-ressourcenkulturen.de/en/exhibition/

Moving Materials?

Trade has connected distant regions throughout human history. It is hardly ever a simple exchange of material goods (raw materials, food, tools), but also involves the transfer of knowledge, practices and technologies (intangible resources). By looking at objects, archaeologists, geographers and anthropologists can understand the complexity of these exchange relationships. Thus, the following objects from the fields of economy, culture and food show the influence of trade on the development of social structures – and how the mobility of goods and people can be traced through time.

Exhibition: https://museum-ressourcenkulturen.de/en/exhibition/

Symbols of Power - (In)Visible Representation

The Bronze Age palace in Qaṭna, Syria symbolizes it, as does the imperial crown in the Viennese treasury or a tumulus on Gotland: Power.

Power relations structure modern and pre-modern societies. Power is demonstrated - in objects and buildings, in insignia, or in weapons. These symbols of power have survived as remnants in the ground, as references in historical writings, and in pictorial works. If one wants to understand the diverse nature of power and rulers in past epochs, these objects are valuable sources. That is what this exhibition is about: How did power manifest itself in different times and spaces? What symbols represent it in Antiquity and the Middle Ages in Western Syria, Northern Europe, and the Swabian Jura?

The exhibition is part of the virtual museum of the SFB 1070 ResourceCultures: https://museum-ressourcenkulturen.de/en/exhibition/

Course and Blessing of Resources 16.10.2015 – 31.01.2016


Being more than just ores and energy, ‘resources’ also include intangible, spiritual and intellectual goods. How are they used and to which effect? May the ‘blessing’ of resources lead to negative effects (because there is too much, too much of one thing only, leading into a dependence)?

Questions like these are scrutinised by more than sixty researchers from various disciplines within the collaborative research centre SFB 1070 – ResourceCultures – worldwide and in past and present times. Not only raw-materials are considered to be resources, but knowledge and human skills – technological, social and even religious - as well. The methods used, amongst many others, include archaeological digs, strontium-isotope-analysis and anthropological field research. This diversity is reflected by objects on display: soil samples and bazar purchases, burial gifts and sacred idols, flint stones and movie clips. A variety of cultures – from palaeolithic to modern times – is studied in an innovative and interdisciplinary way in order to detect and understand unknown dynamics in the use of resources.

The exhibition takes place in Museum der Universität Tübingen im Schloss Hohentübingen.