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Catch up National Museum of Scotland

Rediscovering Viking-age Scotland with Michael Wood

26 Oct 2021


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Acclaimed historian and broadcaster Michael Wood joined Dr Adrián Maldonado, Glenmorangie Research Fellow, to discuss Adrián’s new book, Crucible of Nations: Scotland from Viking Age to Medieval Kingdom. The book reassesses the museum’s 912th century collections, uncovering an exciting new vision of Scotland’s diverse and creative past. 

Adrián and Michael took a fresh look at some of the iconic objects on display in the National Museum of Scotland and discussed new research on objects in the museum’s stores. Live Q&A was chaired by writer and broadcaster, Sally Magnusson. 

Crucible of Nations is the culmination of the Glenmorangie Research Project Creating Scotland: Making a Medieval Kingdom, exploring objects from the National Collection dated 912th centuries AD, covering the arrival of the Vikings to Scotland, the last days of the Picts, and the rise of the medieval kingdom of Scotland.

Crucible of Nations is now available to pre-order from our shop.

Silver terminal of a ball-type or ‘thistle’ brooch, with engraved ornament and brambling, from the Skaill Hoard, Orkney, 10th centurySilver terminal of a ball-type or ‘thistle’ brooch, with engraved ornament and brambling, from the Skaill Hoard, Orkney, 10th century

A silver penannular ‘thistle’ brooch, arm rings and a neck ring from the Skaill hoard

Meet the speakers

Michael Wood is Professor of Public History at the University of Manchester, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Arts and the Society of Antiquaries. For over 30 years, he has brought history alive for viewers and readers in Britain, the US and further afield. He is the author of In Search of the Dark Ages, Domesday, and In Search of England, and well over 100 documentary films.

Dr Adrián Maldonado is Galloway Hoard Researcher at National Museums Scotland. He has previously lectured in Archaeology at the University of Glasgow and University of Chester, and from 2018-2021 was Glenmorangie Research Fellow. His research focuses on early medieval and Viking Age Scotland, especially the archaeology of Christianity and burial practice. Find out more about the Glenmorangie Research Project.

Sally Magnusson is an author and broadcaster. Her debut novel, The Sealwoman’s Gift, is set in Iceland in the seventeenth century. In her memoir Dreaming of Iceland: The Lure of a Family Legend she traces, by way of several generations of her own family, the country’s development from an impoverished, isolated colony of Denmark to the self-assured independent nation it is now.

Glenmorangie 'single malt Scotch whisky' logo

Further information

Taking part

  • A recording of the event will be made available if you’re not able to join us on the night.   
  • The event will be hosted on Zoom. To book, please register your name and e-mail address via Eventbrite in the link at the top of this page.    
  • Please note that you need only book one ticket (either an attendee ticket or an attendee with donation ticket) per household/e-mail address.  Prior to the event you will receive a confirmation e-mail with instructions on how to join.   
  • Following the talk there will be a Q & A session.   
  • Please note this event will be recorded but your cameras and microphones will automatically be switched off.  


If you have any queries surrounding this event please contact


This event includes live captioning delivered by Stagetext.

Header image: Rectangular gilt-bronze mount depicting a lion, reused as a brooch in the grave of a woman and infant from Westness, Rousay, Orkney, length 66mm, X.IL 730

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