The Bayeux Tapestry Mysteries

The Bayeux Tapestry Mysteries

Science at the service of History
The advent of the Knights, the end of the Viking era

The Bayeux Tapestry, still preserved in Normandy, is part of the World Heritage of UNESCO. It is a huge tapestry, or more exactly an embroidery of nearly 70 meters long recounting the invasion of the kingdom of England in 1066 by William, Duke of Normandy.

The conquest of the English throne by William the Conqueror is a key date for English historians. It is the last time that the Kingdom will be invaded. After subduing the country, and in less than 20 years, Norman nobles will replace more than 80% of Anglo-Saxon chiefs of Viking descent in positions of power. Moreover, for three centuries, the Anglo-Norman nobility did not understand the language spoken by their subjects. This English “Alesia” is known to all British schoolchildren.

A date that marks the birth of “modern” England as a state, but the Tapestry is not the only chronicle of a founding act.

However, the Tapestry is not the only chronicle of a founding act. The embroidery retains its share of mysteries, intriguing for centuries with its many apparent inconsistencies and its share of enigmas that have yet to be solved. Thanks to the pooling of many disciplines, archaeologists, experimental archaeologists, historians, paleographers, multi-spectral imaging technicians… researchers manage to make the Tapestry “speak”. Solving the persistent enigmas takes on the appearance of a police investigation, a “cold case” that has crossed the centuries. In the light of these latest discoveries, the Tapestry invites us to a real journey through time. An unprecedented odyssey through a period of major upheavals in a broader history, but still very poorly known. That is the High Middle Ages and the advent of the feudal system in Europe. That is the end of the last Vikings.

Partner(s) : France 5 - SVT - RTBF - DR

Broadcaster(s) : France 5

Director(s) : Alexis de Favitski

Author(s) : Jonas Rosales

Year : 2021

Duration : 52 & 90 minutes

Vimeo Link