Sound, Movement, and Emotion: An Historically-Informed Performance at a Viking Burial Site

Shane McLeod, Frances Wilkins, Carlos Galan-Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Launched in 2014, the aim of the Funeralscapes project is to explore the interplay between landscape, music and emotion by conducting re-enactment fieldwork at pre-modern burial sites in Scotland. In 2014 re-creations of aspects of a Viking funeral at an archaeologically attested Viking burial site was conducted with adult and primary school aged community volunteers on the Isle of Eigg. The aim was to investigate how Viking Age funeral music and movement (such as processions) could have worked in their immediate environment, and what emotional responses the modern-day participants had to the landscape and music. Following a brief outline of the site and performance choices, this paper draws upon fieldwork and interviews conducted with the participants following the re-enactments. It particularly comments upon the dramatic performance of heritage as a method through which the past is taught and remembered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalNorthern Scotland
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

Kirsty L. Holstead, who at the time worked as a researcher at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen. In addition to Kirsty, we would like to thank the How to Collaborate Virtually fund from the Centre for Academic Development (University of Aberdeen), The North Small Project Funding (University of Aberdeen), Public Engagement with Research Unit (University of Aberdeen), the researcher's respective departments, Glasgow Vikings and Asgard Crafts for lending us shields, all of the participants, and those who offered advice along the way, including the reviewer.


  • Hebrides
  • re-enactment
  • skaldic poetry
  • Viking age funerals
  • Viking age music


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