This week is your last chance to see the Vikings! exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland.

The National Museum of Scotland is the only UK venue for Vikings!, an outstanding exhibition of more than 500 objects, including jewellery, weapon fragments, carvings, precious metals and household items, from the world-renowned collections of the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.

The exhibition brings together fascinating objects, archaeological evidence, hands-on displays and innovative interpretation. It, reveals who the Vikings really were and creates a vivid picture of how they lived more than 1,000 years ago, dispelling a number of myths in the process, not least about those famous horned helmets (which they never really wore).

The term ‘Viking’ is a modern invention of 19th century Scandinavian scholarship and technically should not be used to refer to a race or a people but rather to an activity. Men and perhaps even women and adolescents, would go out ‘on a Viking’, which could be the sort of pillaging raids that we commonly think of, but it could also refer to a more peaceful trading expedition.

Amongst the relics on display are numerous intricate pieces of jewellery including the oldest surviving Swedish crucifix, from the 9th century AD, depictions of Norse Gods such as Thor and Odin, excavations from grave sites, craftsmanship in various forms including bone, wood and metal work and a representation of a Viking burial boat made entirely of the rivets from an original burial site.

The exhibition runs until Sunday 12 May 2013, open daily from 10am to 5pm. Admission: £9 adults, £7.50 concession, children (age 12-15) £6. Entry is free to National Museums Scotland Members and children under 12. For tickets and further information visit www.nms.ac.uk/vikings.

Photo courtesy of Swedish History Museum