BOZEMAN — The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is bustling this summer with activities including their brand-new rotating exhibit The Vikings Begin which will run through Sept. 26.
The new exhibit features rare Scandinavian artifacts uncovered about 50 miles north of Stockholm, Sweden in a boat burial ground.
“There are some incredible pieces that you may be really surprised that landed in the hands of the Vikings that you may not see anywhere else...”
According to Sidrah MG Watson from the Museum of the Rockies, the original archaeological dig happened in the 1920 and 1950s and has a mix of rare Viking artifacts that range from helmets, swords, and jewelry to a replica Viking boat.
“This is right before they began so we get an idea of who they are and why they did what they did,” MG Watson explained. “What we are looking at is a mound from about 300 to 1150 A.D.”
“There are some incredible pieces that you may be really surprised that landed in the hands of the Vikings that you may not see anywhere else,” MG Watson said. She explained that while the Vikings were typically known as traders and raiders during their time, they were also settlers and they put down roots in many parts of the world.
As you might suspect, The Vikings Begin has been very successful at the Museum of the Rockies, and attendance is up.
Marketing Director Alicia Harvey said that MOR is seeing July attendance in mid-June, which is great for the museum that was impacted severely during the COVID-19 shutdown and beyond.
Right now, there are no significant restrictions or COVID protocols in place. While the staff is still cleaning the museum as they did during their COVID protocol, they are operating like normal. You no longer need to make special reservations to the museum anymore, and there is no cap on numbers to enter the museum.
As with most non-profits during the pandemic, keeping operating funds rolling hasn’t been easy over the last year. Benefit events have always been a mainstay at the Museum of the Rockies to keep special exhibits like The Vikings Begin and children’s programs running.
This summer the Museum of the Rockies will have their first-ever Taste of the Rockies on July 8 on the museum grounds according to Harvey.
“We will have numerous food and beverage vendors and caterers as well as live music” Harvey explained. “We will have games that the Vikings played, and our paleontologists are out talking, and you can dig for a cast fossil.”