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Beyond Wayland: thoughts on early medieval metal workshops in Scandinavia
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeological Research Laboratory.
2012 (English)In: Historical Metallurgy: Journal of the Historical Metallurgy Society, ISSN 0142-3304, Vol. 45, no 2, 20-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reflects on and summarises the current state of research on early medieval (750-1100 AD) metal workshops in Scandinavia by way of examples from workshops and metalworking sites recovered via archaeological excavations and surveys over the last 30 years. A critique is presented of a number of features which occur perennially in Scandinavian archaeometallurgical presentations, such as the tendency to overemphasise the importance of written accounts and the common habit of over-interpreting archaeometallurgical finds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Leeds: Maney Publishing, 2012. Vol. 45, no 2, 20-31 p.
Keyword [en]
Viking Age Scandinavia, Metalworking, Workshop, Gotland
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79510OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79510DiVA: diva2:549700
Available from: 2012-09-05 Created: 2012-09-05 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Casting Identities in Central Seclusion: Aspects of non-ferrous metalworking and society on Gotland in the Early Medieval Period
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Casting Identities in Central Seclusion: Aspects of non-ferrous metalworking and society on Gotland in the Early Medieval Period
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and interpret late Iron Ageand Early Medieval traces of non-ferrous metalworking on the islandGotland, Sweden. Gotland was not, based on the archaeological record, anintegrated part of the common Scandinavian culture. Instead a local,endemic cultural expression had developed; a seclusion which lasted forcenturies despite the islands central position in the Baltic Sea. In thepast, key elements for the understanding of local settlement- and burialpractices as well as the local material culture were mainly recovered andreported by local farmers. A specific category of such finds – so-called‘bronze slag’ is discussed and partly reinterpreted in the first study ofthis thesis. Two further studies treat different aspects of metalworkingand metalworkers – one discusses common archaeological notions ofScandinavian workshops, production sites and metalworkers from a criticalperspective while the other mainly focuses on the Gotlandic finds frommetal-detector surveys carried out over the last 35 years. Based on whereand to which extent, both from a quantitative and a qualitative point ofview, these finds occur a hierarchical classification into four sub groupsis presented – ordinary farm sites with traces of non-ferrous metalworking,workshop sites, potential workshop sites and last, extrovert harboursettlements. A fourth study presents an attempt to evaluate the usefulnessof magnetometry in delimiting extant traces of high-temperature crafts,such as metalworking. The last study of the thesis presents an attempt touse trace elements analysis of skeletal lead in human bone to identifypotential non-ferrous metalworkers.

As the wearing of endemic Gotlandic jewellery appears to have been centralin the manifestation of the local identity it is argued that themetalworking artisans played a crucial role in defining how this identitywas signalled and displayed via the jewellery and dress-related metalobjects. It is further suggested that these artisans might have played animportant role in upholding the local economy before the advent of localminting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University, 2013. 175 p.
Series
Theses and papers in scientific archaeology, ISSN 1400-7835 ; 15
Keyword
Archaeometallurgy, Non-ferrous, Archaeological prospection, Metal detection, Geophysical survey, Sweden, Magnetometry, Gotland, Iron Age, Viking Period
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeological Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-95380 (URN)978-91-7447-804-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-12-18, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 5: Manuscript.

Available from: 2013-11-26 Created: 2013-10-28 Last updated: 2013-11-25Bibliographically approved

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