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Since the Viking Museum at Ladby has such a unique find as a Viking ship grave and all of its luxury grave goods, what could be more natural than bringing them "to life" by creating a new exhibition and thus offer visitors an experience above and beyond the usual museum visit. Enter Dødeskibet - the Dead-Ship
It began when carpenter Arne Jensen built the ship itself. It is not built "correctly", like a real Viking ship. But it is a beautiful piece of scenery! We saved the real shipbuilding energy for the full-size sailable replica of the Ladby Ship that we and the Ladby Ship Guild began to build in the summer 2011, with help from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde.
Much more than a ship
The Dead-Ship is much more than the ship itself and its furnishings. On the back wall, an impression of the captivating landscape that one would see by the viking ship grave on the day around 925 AD on which the Ladby chieftain was laid to rest in his ship, ready for the final journey. Artist Ole Vedby Jørgensen's big mural painting has made this a reality.
Another artist, Jens Bohr, has created a little movie envisioning the journey that the ship will take to the Kingdom of the Dead. That is, he shows us an idea of how the Vikings pictured this final journey, as far as we know.
Woodcutter Poul Kjer is the man behind the "inhabitants" of the exhibition and the 11 horses and the dogs - and the chieftain.
The chieftain's bed was carved out på Arne Jensen. The chieftain's kaftan is sewn by Manja Erlenkeuser. Annette Nørgaard Bogulski has made the bedding for the chieftain and the clothes for the grave followers. Of course they must all be dressed in their finest, right down to the shoes that Manja Erlenkeuser has sewn.
Then there is the large anchor with chain and cordage and all the loose objects, including silver buckles and plates with gold on the edges, bronze platters, a bronze bowl, a wooden bucket with iron fittings, a sword, a shield, a bow and arrows, tackle for the horses and much more. In the near future, they are all being recreated by Arne Jensen and various craftsmen.