Virtual Reality and Storytelling for Viking Archaeology


Wednesday 17 January 2018, 4.15PM

Speaker(s): Dr Gareth Beale, University of York

The emergence and increasing use of mixed reality and interactive media for cultural heritage has opened the door to new forms of interpretation and visitor experience. However, the development of compelling experiences that are sufficiently robust for use in a museum setting has been challenging.

From 19th May to 5th November 2017 VikingVR, a bespoke VR installation designed by the University of York DiNAR project and York Museums Trust was installed at the Yorkshire Museum. VikingVR formed part of the York Museums Trust/British Museum exhibition “Viking: Rediscover the Legend” and was based on research into the winter camp of the Viking Great Army at Torksey in Lincolnshire, UK (Hadley et al 2016). VikingVR is an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional project which seeks to experimentally engage with the use of VR in a museum setting and to address some of the fundamental design challenges for immersive digital experiences.

The project champions the use of VR within the museums sector and examines the potential for VR to present archaeological findings to public audiences whilst also addressing the strategic needs of the museum. C.82,000 visitors engaged with VikingVR and qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation have been used to establish how far the VR has supported the agenda for both the museum, researchers, and visitors. For the first time, this paper will present the initial findings of this proof of concept project.


Gareth Beale is Research Fellow at the Department of Archaelogy at the University of York.  He is based between the Department of Archaeology and the University of York's EPSRC/AHRC funded Digital Creativity Labs. His research interests include the use of digital technologies within archaeology and the archaeology of Britain during the 17th and 18th Centuries. 

Location: The Philip Rahtz Lecture Theatre (K/133), King's Manor

Admission: This is part of the York Seminar series and is free to attend and open to all.