The Lewis Chessmen (or, more correctly: gaming pieces) are currently on tour for the Exhibition “The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked. Currently they are in The National Museum of Scotland. On their website you can find loads of interesting information concerning the pieces and current research.
On the website you can also discover the history and stories concerning the pieces and you can even learn to play Hnefatafl 🙂
During the tour interesting events are taking place, on September the 5th you can for example carve your own chesspiece:
Medieval Soap Sculptures
Date: Sun 5 September
Venue: Hawthornden Court, National Museum of Scotland
Carve your very own chess piece inspired by the Lewis Chessmen. Look closely at the Chessmen to create your own queen, bishop or humourous beserker. Or invent your own chessboard character to add to the board.
On september 11th (my birthday) a seminar is held – very very interesting, I wish I could go there. If anyone does attend, please take extensive notes for me! You may even write a guestblog.
Unmasking the Lewis Chessmen
Date: Sat 11 Sep
Venue: Bute Room, National Museum of Scotland
Cost: £20 / £15 book your place by telephone 0131 225 7534 or online by clicking here (select the September 2010 calendar to access seminar booking page).
To accompany the important exhibition tour of the Lewis Chessmen, this interdisciplinary seminar will highlight recent research into the origins, history and making of these iconic figures from a range of perspectives. There will also be an opportunity to visit the exhibition during the day. This seminar will appeal to students, academics and those with a general interest in the period and subject areas.
10.45: Registration (tea and coffee on arrival)
11.00-11.45: The Lewis Chessmen – their place in the Kingdom of the Isles.
Dr David H Caldwell, Keeper of Scotland and Europe, National Museums Scotland
11.45-12.30: The Lewis Chessmen: Art and Avatar
Dr Heather Pulliam, Lecturer, History of Art, University of Edinburgh
12.30-13.30: Lunch (not provided)
13.30-14.15: Facial Analysis of the Chess Pieces – the use of forensic science techniques for archaeological investigation.
Dr Caroline Wilkinson, Senior Lecturer in Facial Anthropology, University of Dundee
14.15-15.00: The Norwegian Empire, Fantasy or Fact?
Alex Woolf, School of History, University of St Andrew’s
15.15-16.00: ‘To you he left … his brown ivory chessmen’, Ships, play and cultural value in the Lewis gaming hoard.
Mark A Hall, History Officer, Perth Museum & Art Gallery