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Smiths, Myths and Viking Age Stones

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Regin the Smith

The next lecture in the Isle of Man College’s History & Heritage lecture series takes place on Wednesday 4 May, when Professor Howard Williams of the University of Chester will be talking about “Smiths, Myths and Viking Age Stones”

Professor Williams will be examining depictions of smiths from Norse mythology on Viking Age stones in the British Isles, as well as on rune-stones and picture-stones from Scandinavia. 

In northern England and southern Scotland, archaeologists have long been fascinated by scenes depicting the mythological smiths, Regin and Weland, which have been found on a number of Viking Age stones. In many cases, the scenes include the image of the smith alongside a range of associated items. 

By exploring these scenes, Professor Williams will examine the complex identity of the mythological smith, and the role of the smith in early medieval life and society. He will also suggest that by viewing the figure of the smith as a part-human and part-mechanical ‘cyborg’, we can more easily understand the smiths’ role in Norse mythology as transformers of both people and things. 

Professor Williams’ talk on “Smiths, Myths and Viking Age Stones”, will take place in the Lecture Theatre at Elmwood House at 6pm on Wednesday 4 May. All are welcome, and no booking is required. Parking for the lecture is at Thie Ushtey (off Greenfield Road).  

Howard Williams is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Chester. His research focuses particularly on death, burial, and commemoration. You can find out more on his blog, Archaeodeath: Archaeology, Death and Material Culture, including his latest research about Weland the smith. 

The History & Heritage lecture series showcases new research in history and heritage, both on the Isle of Man and further afield. Further details about the lecture series can be found online at

The first three lectures in the series are now available to view online

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