Jan Bill

Professor, Curator of the Viking Ship Collection
Museum of Cultural History
University of Oslo


I wrote my PhD on medieval Danish shipbuilding at the Centre for Maritime Archaeology (CMA) under the National Museum of Denmark and defended it at the University of Copenhagen in 1998. Subsequently I worked as researcher, senior researcher and deputy director at CMA until moving to the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde in 2003 as a department director. In 2007 I became Professor and Curator of the Viking Ship Collection at the Museum of Cultural Heritage (MCA), University of Oslo. My research today mainly focuses on the Oseberg and Gokstad ship burials, but also in the development of archaeometric methods that can be applied to the rich material from the ship graves, especially dendrochronology. Viking Age and medieval seafaring has remained a core interest, and I am also responsible for the (few) maritime excavations at MCA. 

The most relevant publications 

Bill, Jan. 2009. "From Nordic to North European. Application of multiple correspondence analysis in the study of changes in Danish shipbuilding A.D. 900-1600." In Between the Seas. Transfer and Exchange in Nautical Technology. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Boat and Ship Archaeology, Mainz 2006. ISBSA 11, edited by Ronald Bockius, 429-438. Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseums.

Bill, Jan. 2015. "Vikingetidens monumentale skibsgrave." In Et fælles hav - Skagerrak og Kattegat i vikingetiden, edited by Anne Pedersen and Søren M. Sindbæk, 152-167. Copenhagen: Nationalmuseet.

Bill, Jan. 2016a. "Ambiguous Mobility in the Viking Age Ship Burial from Oseberg." In Materialities of Passing: Explorations in Transformation, Transition and Transience, 207-220. Routledge.

Bill, Jan. 2016b. "Protecting Against the Dead? On the Possible Use of Apotropaic Magic in the Oseberg Burial."  Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26 (1):141-155. doi: http://dx.doi.org10.1017/S0959774315000438.

Bill, Jan. 2017. "Skipsgrav eller skipsgraver på Rolvsøy? ; om Tuneskipets utgravningshistorie."  Viking 80:89-106.

Bill, Jan, K.S. Dalen, A. Daly, and Ø. Johnsen. 2012. "DendroCT - dendrochronology without damage."  Dendrochronologia 30 (3):223-230.

Bill, Jan, and A. Daly. 2012. "The plundering of the ship graves from Oseberg and Gokstad: an example of power politics?"  Antiquity 86 (333):808-824.

Bill, Jan, and Christian Løchsen Rødsrud. 2017. "Heimdalsjordet: trade, production and communication." In Viking-Age Transformations. Trade, Craft and Resources in Western Scandinavia, edited by Ann Zanette Tsigaridas Glørstad and Kjetil Loftsgarden, 212-231. London: Routledge.