Viking Age Swords from Telemark, Norway (Innbundet)

An Integrated Technical and Archaeological Investigation


Irmelin Martens, Eva Elisabeth Astrup, Kjetil Loftsgarden and Vegard Vike

Forfatter: , , og
Innbinding: Innbundet
Utgivelsesår: 2022
Antall sider: 152
Forlag: Cappelen Damm Akademisk
Språk/målform: Engelsk
ISBN: 9788202742775
Kategori: Arkeologi
Fag: Arkeologi
Nivå: Akademisk
Om utgivelsen Viking Age Swords from Telemark, Norway

Viking Age Swords from Telemark, Norway. An Integrated Technical and Archaeological Investigation provides a metallographic analysis of 21 Viking Age swords found in the county Telemark in southeastern Norway. The book is the result of a collaboration between archaeologist Irmelin Martens and chemist Eva Elisabeth Astrup.

The metallographic investigations revealed five construction types for sword blades, of which four, requiring different technical levels of smithing, may well have been mastered by Norwegian blacksmiths at that time. Combined with x-ray radiographic studies, the metallographic investigations indicate that new techniques, including inlay decorations, were introduced and disseminated among weaponsmiths during the Viking Age, findings that are also probably representative for the more than 3000 swords found in all areas of the country. The majority of them are domestic types, and their great number obviously reflects the organization of sword production and influenced blacksmiths’ social standing.

Issues relating to origin and production places in a societal context are highly relevant to international research. Viking Age Swords from Telemark, Norway questions the dominant role of the Carolingian realm and suggests it is high time to search for other innovation centres. The book’s investigations demonstrate that detailed studies on typology and decoration schemes are important for future research on these problems.

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Irmelin Martens (born 1932) holds a in archaeology and is a former professor in Nordic Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. She has carried out comprehensive fieldwork and research on iron extraction, house-sites and settlements, and have a wide experience in museum and fieldwork administration.

Eva Elisabeth Astrup (born 1940) holds a Dr. philos in chemistry and is former head of the Conservation department at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. Astrup has been a lecturer on conservation of wood at UNESCO’s conservation courses in Rome. She has a vast experience in investigating objects of different materials and of production techniques, i.a. «Goldworking Techniques» in the publication The Hoen Hoard (Norske Oldfunn XX, 2006).

Kjetil Loftsgarden is an associate professor at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. His main area of expertise is the Late Iron Age – Early Middle Ages, focusing on iron and iron production, trade, meeting- and market places, as well as the consequences of climatic and environmental changes in Iron Age Scandinavia. Loftsgarden is chief editor of the journal Viking and chair of the editorial board of the international book series, Viking Special Volumes.

Vegard Vike is an archaeological conservator at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. He has 20 years of experience in the preservation and care of archaeological finds. Vike is specialised in the study of Viking Age weapons, as well as the use and experimental production of these, and is co-author of Vikings at war (Casemate Publishers, 2016).