Have you ever been to the Discovery Times Square? If not, pay a visit. There will be one popular culture exhibit [Harry Potter or Star Wars] and one historical exhibit with British Museum level artifacts. I have seen the original Dead sea Scrolls and outlines of people covered by volcanic ash from Pompeii on my visits there.

Approximately two weeks ago I visited their Vikings exhibit. The artifacts were up to their usual standard particularly the iron work. But the tone from the opening film on with happy families sitting and crafting by the fire shouted ‘The Vikings have been misunderstood.” The exhibit carefully explained that there was no unified Viking ethnicity; that a person was a Viking only for the time they were on a Viking, that there was a strong Christian tradition, that the “vikings” were farmers and craftspeople and as a “The End” that the Vikings didn’t wear helmets with horns.

At the end of the exhibit, I felt appropriately scolded for my negative stereotyping and racist assumptions about the Vikings.But, and here’s where I might get into trouble, why turn revision of our ideas about people who lived 1000 years ago into a crusade.

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