The Lost Norsemen Exhibition

Nuuk, known to the Danes as Godthåb, is the capital of Greenland. Located near the mouth of Godthåb Fjord, the town was founded in the 1790s by a Danish-Norwegian Lutheran missionary called Hans Egede, and built near a 10th-century Norse settlement called Vesterbygden.

Hans travelled to Greenland because he had heard about the Norse travellers who had settled there, centuries earlier, but who for some reason had dropped off the radar. Among numerous reasons, this may have been due to climate change, which made farming more challenging, and drift ice, which made navigation dangerous.

 

A yes to footstep tracing

Hans obtained permission from Denmark’s King Frederik IV to track down ‘The Lost Norsemen’. He had piqued the Kings interest by stating there was no telling what had happened to the settlers: they might have clung on to their Christian faith, or discarded it completely. They might even have reverted to paganism.

When Hans Egede arrived in Greenland in 1721, he found only ruins of Viking-age settlements; the hundreds of farms and thousands of Norse settlers really had vanished. And so, he made it his mission to convert the Inuit to the Christian faith. He also established the first of many Danish trading stations in Greenland.

According to Greenlandic folklore, the locals thought Hans had come to punish them for killing the Norse. The question is: Did the Norse meet the Inuit at all? Most historians think not.

 

Not finding the Lost

The Lost Norsemen Exhibition, scheduled to open in November in Nuuk, will open a window to the lives of the lost Norsemen, with stories supporting the theory that Inuit from the North American Cape Dorset did indeed meet the Norse settlers at some stage.

In November it will be time to jump into NTP’s 360-degree VR experience in real life, in collaboration with Trida Media. The exhibition’s main attraction will be a huge map of Greenland, offering a visual ‘Safari’ through areas once populated by Norse settlers. At the nine touch points they’ll be able to plug into 360-degree visual and storytelling experiences. Meanwhile, other attractions will include the film-crew’s photo travel log in a podcast; NTP’s VR Unreal fantasy Viking Game, as well as fun pastimes for school children and families.