In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith

17  Download (0)

Full text


In the workshop of the Viking age goldsmith : gold- and silverwork at Borgeby in Scania, southern Sweden

Brorsson, Torbjörn Fornvännen 4, 225-239 Ingår i:


In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith

Gold- and silverwork at Borgeby in Scania, southern Sweden

By Torbjörn Brorsson

Brorsson, T. 1998. In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith. Gold- and silverwork at Borgeby in Scania, southern Sweden. Fornvännen 93. Stockholm.

During the 197()'s it was suggested that Borgeby was the location of a royal Viking Age fortress {trelkborg). There is no archaeological evidence thereof, except a possible mintage from early llth century. An exeavation in the courtyard 1993 yielded a small number of artefacts. Despite their paucity, careful and detailed registration and scientific analyses produced a unique discovery. The presence of inter alia a goldsmith's workshop with several kinds of metal craft was confirmed.

This artide contains all of the Viking Age find material from the exeavation in the courtyard during 1993.

Torbjörn Brorsson, Laboratory for Ceramic Research, Department of Qiialernary Geology, University of Lund, Tomavägen 13, SE-223 63 Lund, Sweden.

Löddeköpinge is today a small community be- side the river L ö d d e å, only two kilometres away from the Sound. Place-names in Scania which e n d in köpinge indicate a Viking Age-Early Medieval Scandinavian märket place. This fact together with the nearness to the Sound a n d the river has intrigued many re- searchers who have tried to locate a märket at Löddeköpinge.

In the 1970's archaeologists discovered fairly strong evidence in favour of such a hypothesis (Ohlsson 1976). Löddeköpinge probably flour- ished in the 9th century, but the prosperity of the märket town decreased towards the end of the Viking Age. Interest shifted to Borgeby, a town farther away from the S o u n d , on the o t h e r side of the Lödde å River.

Borgeby nowadays bears witness to a long history with, e.g. a 13th century church and a great estate which is m e n t i o n e d in the written sources from the 14th century. Borgeby was an important town in the Middle Ages but its most prosperous period may well have been m u c h

earlier than today's visible remains would sug- gest (Fig. 1).

In 1993 the courtyard at Borgeby was exca- vated by archaeologists from the Cultural Mu- seum in L u n d (Kulturen). This p a p e r reports on the artefacts, particularly the ceramics, from the layers b e l o n g i n g to the Viking Age a n d Early Medieval period. Apart from EDS, t h e registration and the analyses, were performed at the Laboratory for Ceramic Research, De- p a r t m e n t of Quaternary Geology, University of Lund. T h e EDS-analysis was carried o u t by Monica Carlsson at the R & D d e p a r t m e n t , Hö- ganäs AB, Höganäs.

In o r d e r to trace and visualise the histories of Borgeby and Löddeköpinge it is essential to study the artefacts carefully. T h e results will be placed in a social and chronological framework in o r d e r to try to answer four main questions:

(1) Was Borgeby socially c o n n e c t e d to Löd- deköpinge d u r i n g the Viking Age? (2) Are the ceramics h o m o g e n e o u s as regards t h e ware and the manufacturing technique? (3) Are the

Fornvännnen 93(1998)


Fig. 1. Borgeby Manor. Late medieval building in the older part of the manor. (Photo T. Brorsson). — Borgeby gård. Senmedeltida byggnad tillhörande gärdens äldre del.

ceramics imported or locally made? (4) Which different types of craft are represented a m o n g the artefacts?


T h e find material from layers 50, 51 and 52 consists of ceramics, b o n e , artefacts of metal a n d flint. T h e ceramic artefacts comprise sherds, crucibles, moulds and soldering plates with a weigh of 314 g. T h e osteological mater- ial is limited to an equine b o n e weighing 35 g.

T h e metal artefacts are iron rivets, a b r o n z e rod, a metal wire, metal d r ö p s a n d several unidentified fragments. T h e metal piéces have a total weight of about 34 g. Only o n e flint arte- fact was found, the weight of which is 21 g.


In order to extract as much information as pos- sible from the ceramic material several para- meters were recorded. Weight, number, sherd thickness, firing effects (inside, outside a n d c o r e ) , t e m p e r (kind, a m o u n t , largest g r a i n ) , surface t r e a t m e n t , vessd-shaping t e c h n i q u e , shape of sherds, part of vessel and, when ap- propriate, decoration. T h e original diameters of rims a n d bases were calculated a n d recorded. T h e ceramics were g r o u p e d by func- tion a n d vessel type, e.g. black e a r t h e n w a r e .

AlV-ceramics, stoneware, redware a n d techni- cal ceramics.

O d i e r artefacts were subjected only to a gen- eral examination. T h e weight, size and type of material were registered.

J\11 the artefacts were scrutinized in a stereo microscope with u p to 40 x magnilication. In the case of the ceramics, the ware quality, the presence of pattern on the moulds and a for- tuitously introduced material were examined.

Ceramic thin sections (thickness 30 fim) were analysed u n d e r a polarising microscope, at magnifications from 25 to 1000 x, in both par- a l l d a n d transverse light. T h e clay structure, the proportion of the coarse fractions (sand, silt), the kind and a m o u n t of t e m p e r and the presence of accessory minerals were analysed.

EDS-analyses were m a d e on the metal dröps on soldering plates, on the glaze of a crucible, on the coating of a silver wire and on a bronze rod. These analyses give the chemical compo- sition of the material.

The history of Borgeby

T h e oldest historical record to m e n t i o n Borgeby is a coin, struck d u r i n g the reign of the Danish King Swein Estridsen. Its inscrip- tion reads "LIFVIN I BORB". Estridsen ruled Denmark between 1047 and 1074 AD. Another coin marked "BVRHI" which was minted dur- ing the reign of Saint Canute (1080-1086) was presumably struck at Borgeby. It c a n n o t be ex- d u d e d , however, that the coin was struck at Borrby in south-eastern Scania ( H o l m b e r g 1977 p. 41).

T h e r e are strong indications that Borgeby was an important place at the beginning of the eleventh century. Although the archaeological material is limited, it supports the hypothesis that the place was closely connected with Löd- deköpinge. Two coin balances were found at Borgeby, one of which is from the eleventh cen- tury a n d the o t h e r probably somewhat older (Strömberg 1961 p . 61).

Using older maps, written sources a n d aerial p h o t o s , R. H o l m b e r g has i n t e r p r e t e d the topography of Borgeby (Fig. 2). H e discerned an O-shaped construction, with an inner dia- meter of about 156 m. T h e ring-rampart may

Fornvännnen 93 (1998)


In the workshop of lhe Viking Age goldsmith 227

\ To Löddeköpinge 1000 m

Fig. 2. Borgeby Manor. A hypothetical circular ram- part has been added on maps from 1722 and 1836-1838 (after Holmberg 1977, Fig. 6). — Borgeby gård. En hypotetisk ringformad borgvall har tillagts pä kartor frän 1722 och 1836-1838.

have b e e n o p e n toward the L ö d d e å River where a bridge may have b e e n built. O n the o t h e r side of the River is a place called Lille- b o r g e n (Minor earthwork) n a m e d by the people who live nearby. A m a p printed in the 19th century marks the field as an old earth- work. H o l m b e r g believes that Lilleborgen was an outer earthwork to the O-shaped construc- tion. It is about 10 meters higher than the sur- r o u n d i n g terrain (Holmberg 1977 p. 42).

T h e castle complex of Borgeby bears witness that the place had a special significance. T h e fortress by the river may have served as a con- trol point for the bridge. T h e road may have been important, since the highway from Dalby a n d L u n d probably passed close to Borgeby, maybe even alongside it. T h e ring-rampart could also have been used as an obvious power indicator at the bridge. An administrative, or even royal, c e n t r e may have b e e n located within the protection of the rampart.

T h e r e has been little archaeological activity at Borgeby, despite the site's potential. In 1983 an exeavation was carried out 300 meters south of the b a r n on the Borgeby Estate (Lindeblad

& Wihl 1984 p. 10). T h r e e pit houses a n d a few o t h e r structures were found. T h e ceramics were presented and interpreted at a research- seminar at the D e p a r t m e n t of Archaeology at L u n d University (ibid.). Sixty-four per cent of the ceramics were black earthenware a n d 36 per cent AfV-ceramics (based on the n u m b e r of units). T h e black earthenware was dassified according to D. S d l i n g ' s system from 1955 (Selling 1955). T h e shapes are AII:2a, AII:2b, and AII:3al which indicate a date in the first half of the l l t h century. Lindeblad and Wihl m e n t i o n that a lid was found in the exeavation (Lindeblad & Wihl 1984 p. 3). T h e lid probably belongs to the Bobzin-group defined by E.

Schuldt (Schuldt 1956 p p . 30 f f ) . Bobzin is dated to the late lOth through late 12th cen- tury. ÄfV-ceramics are represented by the shape AIV:3al, c o m m o n in s o u t h e r n Seandinavia.

This vessel type is dated by Selling to 800-1200 (Selling 1955 p . 226).

The material from the 1993 exeavation

Pottery. T h e pottery consists of AlV-ceramics and black earthenware showing a Slavonic in- fluence. According to the n u m b e r of units, 69 per cent are AJV-ceramics. T h e medium sherd thickness for the black earthenware is 7.4 m m and for AIV 7.9 mm. AfV-ceramics and black earthenware represent two different craft tra- ditions.

T h e AfV-ceramics cover a wide r a n g e of dates, normally 800-1200 AD (Selling 1955 p . 226). In southern Sweden most of the pottery type dates from 700 to 1025 AD. T h e type was found in large quantities (Ohlsson 1976, 1980;

Brorsson 1996) at the sites Löddeköpinge I and II, a n d at Löddeköpinge 90:1. T h e pottery has characteristic thick walls a n d r o u g h t e m p e r

(Fig. 3). A typical p r o t r u d i n g edge was ob- served on the base of sherds from Borgeby.

T h e black earthenware is, in its extent, a sign of contacts with Slavonic territory. Slavonic ce- ramics m a n u f a c t u r e d outside L ö d d e k ö p i n g e were found at L ö d d e k ö p i n g e I (Vikhögsvä- g e n ) , although t h e r e are strong indications also of locally m a d e black e a r t h e n w a r e

( H u l t h é n 1976 p p . 135 f f ) . Moreover exten- sive material came to light at Löddeköpinge II

Fornvännnen 93(1998)


Fig. 3. Scandinavian AfV vessel found at the Viking Age settlement at Kosel-West in Schleswig, Germany. Scale 1:6 (Meier 1994, Taf. 10:4).

The same vessel type occurs at Borgeby and Löddeköpinge in Scania.

— Ett kärl av typ AJV påträffat i den vikingatida boplatsen Kosel-West i Schleswig, Tyskland. Samma kärltyp har påträffats i Borgeby och Löddeköpinge i Skåne.

and 90:1 (Ohlsson 1980; Brorsson 1996). West- e r n vessel shapes such as Badorf and Kugellopf (Al-ceramics) a n d o t h e r s are poorly repre- sented at L ö d d e k ö p i n g e . It seems likely that Borgeby tended to use the same pattern of ce- ramics as at Löddeköpinge.

T h e material from Borgeby is limited to the remains of live distinguishable vessels of black earthenware. Only in one case was it possible to reconstruct the shape of a vessel. This is a Garzer-rype (Schuldt 1956 p p . 49 f f ) , found in layer 14 (Fig. 4). Garzer-ceramics consist of bowls which are rare in Scania, except in Early Medieval cities. They occur with a n d without decoration. T h e decoration often consists of oblique lines on, and paralld lines below the rim. T h e vessel from Borgeby does not have the oblique lines, but, as far as can be seen, has par- alld lines on the body. Garzer bowls are nor- mally dated to between 1000 and 1200. In Old- e n b u r g they a p p e a r e d sporadically in layers from 975-1000 (Kempke 1988 pp. 90 f f ) . T h e type has also been found fairly frequently on the Isle of Rugen (Schuldt 1956 Karte 12). T h e dating of the bowl from Borgeby is uncertain

because it was found in a Medieval layer. T h e Slavonic Garzer-bowl differs from the Early Me- dieval bowls from Lund in that the latter some- times have stånds. T h e L u n d bowls with stånds are interpreted as oil lamps. Unfortunatdy, the bowl from Borgeby is too fragmented to allow a decision on w h e t h e r or not it had a stånd.

Layer 50, which c o n t a i n e d mainly Viking Age ceramics, yielded fragments of a vessel, the ware of which is similar to stoneware. A sherd of redware is also present. T h e stoneware-like sherds are not completely sintered a n d match C l according to Selling. T h e thickness varies between 2.5 and 5 mm, and the vessel was prob- ably globular. T h e stoneware-like pottery which first r e a c h e d Seandinavia from the manufac- turing sites in G e r m a n y consisted chiefly of Pingsdorf, Paffrath a n d Siegburg vessels. It is most likely that the sherds from Borgeby may be interpreted as Pingsdorf ware. Selling dates the Pingsdorf ware to the centuries between 900 and 1200 (Selling 1968 p p . 262 f f ) .

T h e redware sherd was thin, approx. 5 mm.

T h e sherd, which can only be described as a BH-type is glazed both inside and outside. T h e


Fig. 4. (A) Garzer bowl found at Kowall, Germany. Scale 1:3. (Schuldt 1956, Abb. 916). (B) Sherd from a Garzer bowl found in layer 14 at Borgeby. Scale 1:2. (Drawing F. Svanberg.) — (A) Garzer-skål påträffad i Kowall, Tyskland. Skala L3. {B) Skärva av Garzer-skål påträffad i Borgeby, lager 14.

Imnvännnen 93(1998)


In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith 229 early glazed ceramics from L u n d are mostly

glazed on the outside, but patches of glaze can be seen on the inside. Early redware is dated to the latest part of the l lt h century. T h e sherd from Borgeby is smaller than 1 cm2, which makes it impossible to d e t e r m i n e vessel shape.

Crucibkfragments. Layer 50 yielded a total of 11 fragments of crucibles. It was n o t possible to reconstruct the shape of any. T h e fragments could easily be mistaken for soldering plates, but d u e to the high t e m p e r a t u r e and the long time in the fire, the crucible is sintered t h r o u g h o u t . A soldering plate is usually sin- tered only on the u p p e r side. Fragments of slag which, d u e to the m a n u f a c t u r i n g t e c h n i q u e , will n o t occur on the soldering plates, were found on the crucible. Some of the crucibles were coated with a red glaze, which has been analysed by EDS. T h e results show that in all probability the bronze had b e e n melted in the crucible and thus caused the glaze.

Moubis. Layer 50 yielded three fragments from at least two different moulds. After macroscopic analysis, one of them is d e t e r m i n e d with cer- tainty to be Hiddensee style (Svanberg 1998).

T h e second fragment may also c o m e from a mould of the same style. T h e third fragment could only be generally described as a mould.

Not only the decoration, but also the quality of the ware are important for the dassification.

Mould No. 1 has a two-layer ware and was prob- ably a matrix. T h e inner layer is m a d e of fine clay to give a smooth surface, a n d the outer is coarser to prevent tensions in the mould. T h e melt has affected the i n n e r layer, which has been heated at a higher t e m p e r a t u r e than the outer layer. Moulds No. 2 and No. 3 are heated u p to the limit of sintering (high temperature över a long p e r i o d ) .

T h e casting of a piece of jewellery is a com- plicated process, p e r f o r m e d t h r o u g h several steps. At first, the jeweller produced a matrix of the jewellery and then a matrix of day. T h e n a patrix, a positive model of t h e artefact, was fashioned within the matrix. Around the patrix the matrix of clay was built u p . T h e matrix is the mould. In prehistory there were two kinds

of patrices a n d matrices, which could be merged in the casting process.

T h e older m e t h o d of casting is known from the Bronze Age, ä d r e perdu—löst wax. T h e jeweller created a patrix of wax. This patrix was coated with clay a n d the m o u l d took shape.

O n e p r o b l e m was that the matrix was closed except for a small c h a n n e l . T h e m o u l d was fired, the wax melted and could be p o u r e d out.

T h e metal was h e a t e d a n d p o u r e d into the mould. To prevent segregation it was essential that the mould was warm when the melt was p o u r e d in. If the t e m p e r a t u r e gradient is too steep there is a risk that the moulds will crack.

T h e moulds could be kept warm d u r i n g the casting process by means of an e m b e r vessel.

T h e moulds were placed in the vessel and sur- r o u n d e d by glowing charcoal. When the metal had been p o u r e d into the mould it left to cool;

finally the jeweller gently broke the mould to remove the object.

T h e jeweller also used a n o t h e r m e t h o d which had its origin in the Bronze Age, but was most c o m m o n d u r i n g the Viking Age. T h e pa- trix was formed of wax or metal, but the mould was m a d e in two halves and could easily be sep- arated and re-used. T h e metal patrix too could be used several times. This mould had a n o t h e r advantage: the inside of the mould could be lined with a thin piece of cloth to prevent ad- hesion.

T h e third m e t h o d using patrices a n d ma- trices did not partain to casting. Instead of cast- ing a thin sheet of gold, silver or bronze was fixed on the matrix and p u n c h e d into position.

T h e sheet thereby assumed the shape and pat- tern of the matrix. This m e t h o d was primarily used for exclusive jewellery such as ring-shaped buckles. T h e fine jewellery made by means of matrix No. 1 were probably p r o d u c e d in this way. T h e hardness of moulds Nos. 2 a n d 3 sug- gest that the artefacts made therein were also p r o d u c e d by this means. However, the o t h e r methods cannot be e x d u d e d . When the coiner niinted coins he also used t h e p u n c h i n g - m e t h o d .

As shown in Figs. 5 and 7 the jeweller had several different types of tool. B. Lonborg re- marks that they were probably m a d e by the

Fornvännnen 93(1998)


Hammer Anvil I J


Filé Wire-drawer Pliars



Tweezers Crucible

Fig. 5. Tools used for punching jewellery during the Viking Age (after I.0nborg 1982). — Vikingatida guldsmedsverktyg.

gold- and silversmith himself (Lonborg 1982 p.

38). T h e skill of such smiths must have been very great.

T h e archaeological linds showing the incid- ence of casting are patrices, moulds a n d cru- cibles. T h e fact that patrices were sometimes made of metal enables their identification. T h e most famous find is from Hedeby, where a jew- eller löst 42 patrices in the sea sometime dur- ing the Viking Age (Schietzel & Crumlin- Pedersen 1980).

It was possible, with difficulty, to use an al- ready existing artefact as a matrix. D e p e n d i n g on the casting m e t h o d the new artefact would be approximately 6 per cent smaller than the original, because the wax used, beeswax, shrinks about 4 to 5 per cent when it dries a n d the wet clay will also shrink, a b o u t 0.2 to 0.4 per cent (L0nborg 1994 p. 154).

Soldering plates. T h e material from layer 50 in- cluded fragments of several soldering plates.

T h e ware is poriferous and in some areas has red and blue glazed layers. Some of the frag- ments could be fitted together into small con- cave plates with approx. 6 cm diameter. T h e

convex underside is s u r r o u n d e d by a straight strip (Fig. 6). Twenty fragments were found, but only two are definitdy from the same sol- dering plate.

This artefact is relatively rare a m o n g ar- chaeological materials. T h e artefact is so in- conspicuous that many soldering plates have probably escaped notice. It is confined to a single category of craftsmen, viz., the gold- and silversmith. T h e ware in the soldering plate should be fairly soft O n e of the plates from Borgeby was exposed to high t e m p e r a t u r e s during the soldering, which has caused the sur- face to sinter. Semiparabolic o p e n pores may be seen on the surface; these appeared when dröps of melted metal were spilt onto the plate.

T h e soft surface thus served as a trap för the precious metal, which could låter be collected a n d re-used. When the soldering plate had sin- tered ( h a r d e n e d ) it could no longer fulfil this important task and was therefore replaced by a new, soft plate.

T h e glazed surface ensued from a chemical reaction between t h e metal a n d e l e m e n t s in the clay. Red colour, such as e m p e r o r red, could for instance have resulted from solder- Fomvännnen 93 (1998)


In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith 231

^ 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 2 ^

Fig. 6. (a) Soldering plate from Fyrkat, Jutland, Denmark. Scale 1:2. (Roesdahl 1977, Fig. 526). (6) Soldering plate from Borgeby. Scale 1:2. (Drawing T. Brors- son.) — (Ö) Lödningskavalett från Fyrkat på Jylland. Skala 1:2. (6) Löd- ningskavalett frän Borgeby. Skala 1:2.

ing with gold, or copper. A chemical analysis is necessary for identification. As silver alloys of- ten contain copper o n e such could have caused the red colour.

A chemical analysis was p e r f o r m e d on sol- d e r i n g plates with t h e same red colour from Fyrkat in Denmark. T h e colour was caused by c o p p e r protoxide a n d a l u m i n i u m silicates in tlie clay. T h e copper protoxide can derive from a bronze melt. T h e analysed plates had been exposed to t e m p e r a t u r e s between 800° a n d 900°C on the u p p e r side while the base which h a d n o contact with the hot flame h a d only b e e n h e a t e d to 500°C ( H u l t h é n 1977 p . 52).

Analyses of metal dröps found on four o t h e r soldering plates at Fyrkat show that silver sol- d e r i n g actually h a d taken place. T h e d r ö p s were mainly silver, but c o p p e r too was found

(Roesdahl 1977 p. 53).

Several dröps of gold (max 0 = 0.33 mm) found on two of t h e soldering plates from Borgeby were studied in a stereoscopic micro- scope at a magnification of 16 to 40 x. T h e gold was spilled on the surface of the plate d u r i n g t h e soldering process. A n o t h e r plate showed small spheres ( 0 = 1-2 m m ) of a substance which could not be d e t e r m i n e d in the micro- scope. An EDS-analysis was p e r f o r m e d . T h e spheres were slag p a r t i d e s which probably re- sulted from iron soldering with silver solder.

T h e Borgeby material also included a silver coated wire. T h e wire had probably been used for soldering. T h u s both gold- a n d silver- smithing and iron soldering were practiced at Borgeby by the e n d of the lOth century.

Soldering was used for filigree or granula- tion, in gold, silver or bronze. T h e principle of soldering is still m o r e or less the same. A sol- dering wire of gold or silver is heated beyond its melting point. T h e melting point of gold is 1063°C a n d of silver 961 "C, but the tempera- ture can be lowered by using a n o t h e r metal as an alloy or a flux. In view of the high tempera- tures, these smiths have been masters of their craft a n d possessed excellent tools.

Besides the soldering plate the smith used blowpipes of b o n e with m o u n t i n g s of thin bronze, pewter or tin plate, metal wire, the ob- j e c t which was to be soldered, and finally char- coal (Fig. 7). Such a collection of tools was found at H ö g o m (Hulthén 1995 p p . 21 f ) . A soldering e x p e r i m e n t was performed by silver- smith H. Ottoson and Professor B. H u l t h é n at the Laboratory for Ceramic Research.

A copy was m a d e of o n e of the soldering plates from the H ö g o m finds. T h e plate was dried but not fired. A b o n e from a bird was used as a blowpipe (length 5 c m ) . Several pipe- shaped bones with b u r n t ends came to light at H ö g o m . To prevent b u r n i n g cornet-shaped m o u n t s were m a d e from triangulär brass tin- plates and fastened on to the pipe. T h e mounts also c o n c e n t r a t e the air flow which creates a very narrow flame with a high t e m p e r a t u r e .

T h e object was placed on the soldering plate, with small piéces of glowing charcoal r o u n d the edge. T h e smith blew into the pipe and concentrated the flame from the charcoal to t h e object on the soldering plate. A suffi- ciently high t e m p e r a t u r e was attained and sol-

Fomvännnen 93 (1998)


Fig. 7. Tools used for soldering. Most of the artefacts were found in a richly endowed Migration Period grave at Högom. The Viking Age goldsmith may have used the same type of tools. — Verktyg använda för lödning. De flesta föremålen påträffade i den rikt utrustade folkvandringstida graven i Högom, Medel- pad. Den vikingatida guldsmeden har sannolikt an- vänt samma typ av verktyg.

d e r i n g with the metal wire was possible. T h e r o u n d e d base m a d e it easy to rotate t h e sol- dering plate, and the jeweller could sit to work.

T h e result of the e x p e r i m e n t showed that a t e m p e r a t u r e of 300°C was reached in the sol- d e r i n g plate itself, a n d that small d r ö p s of metal e n d e d u p in the ware.

Soldering plates are usually dated to t h e Viking Age b u t also to t h e Migration period (Holmquist 1970; H u l t h é n 1995). No solder- ing plates from the Vendel Age have yet been found.

Apart from the finds at Borgeby, Viking Age soldering plates came to light elsewhere in

Seandinavia, at Hedeby, Ribe, Trelleborg (Den- m a r k ) , Fyrkat a n d Birka (Fig. 8 ) . Soldering plates have also been found in Holstein, in Ire- land a n d in England (Roesdahl 1977 p . 54;

Brinch Madsen 1984 p . 27).

Osteological material. T h e osteological material consists of a sawn-off fragment of a distal m e t h a p o d of a horse (pers. c o m m . Dr. J. Ek- ström). T h e b o n e was found in layer 50 a n d is an indication of some craft, p e r h a p s comb- making. This craft is closely c o n n e c t e d with that of the jeweller. T h e small rivets used to fit the different parts of the Viking Age combs to- gether were most probably m a d e by a jeweller.

Evidence of a c o n n e c t i o n between these two crafts was found at H ö g o m (Hulthén 1995 p . 23).

Silver wire with coating. T h e find material from layer 50 included a silver wire (silver wire 0 = 0.7 m m , with coating 0 = 1.8 m m ) weighing 0.75 g. T h e microscopic analysis established that t h e wire was silver. T h e coating was analysed by the EDS-technique. T h e silver wire was found in the same layer as were the other smith's tools, a n d was most probably used for soldering. T h e tip of the wire was heated a n d t h e metal d r o p p e d on the object to b e sol- dered.

Bronze rod. Layer 51 yielded a 20 m m bronze rod. It comprised two halves (2.8 x 3.4 m m ) which were probably soldered together. It pos- sibly functioned as a rivet for a c o m b . T h e bronze in the rod contains a high proportion of lead, which, according to Professor B. Arr- henius, is typical for Viking Age bronze. (Pers.

comm. Prof. B. Arrhenius.)

Rivets. Four iron rivets with square heads were found in layer 50. Their length varied between 4 a n d 5 cm. Rivets normally occur in house construction, b u t the context may suggest a somewhat different usage. Some of them were found a m o n g the j e w d l e r ' s tools; they a p p e a r untised a n d could be newly made. At least o n e of the rivets has been used, because the tip is b e n t T h e blacksmith, who usually made horse-

Fornvännnen 93 (1998)


In the uunkshop of lhe Viking Age goldsmith 233

Fig. 8. Important centers in southern Seandinavia dur- ing the Viking Age, and sites where soldering plates were found. — Sydskandi- navien. Betydelsefulla orter under vikingatiden samt fynd av lödningskavaletter.

shoes, weapons a n d various h o u s e h o l d arte- facts, probably also m a d e the rivets.

Other metal objects. Several small iron fragments from layer 50 are n o t defmable, b u t two of them may be. O n e of these is long, narrow a n d almost cylindrical. T h e sides have been folded in on a rectangular piece of iron with flaps, and the shape is m o r e or less cylindrical. T h e piece could have been used as a key or a handle. T h e o t h e r object was U-shaped and may be part of a buckle. Buckles were accessoires of dress and of equine e q u i p m e n t

T h e find material includes a piece oifireslone with a length of 74 mm. It was found in layer 52.


Ceramic thin sections. Microscopic analyses were m a d e on seven ceramic thin sections from two vessels of black earthenware-type, two AlV-ves-

sels, two soldering plates and o n e mould. T h e results are presented in Fig. 9.

T h e analyses show that several types of craft are represented in the ceramics material. Apart from the crucibles and the other technical arte- facts, moulds and soldering plates are m a d e of a sorted, silty, coarse clay, which is u n t e m p e r e d . They were probably p r o d u c e d by a different craftsman from the o n e who m a d e the vessels, perhaps even by t h e jeweller himself. Consid- ering that this was a specialised, precision craft with high r e q u i r e m e n t s for ware quality it is logical to assume that the jeweller m a d e his own tools for casting a n d soldering. Previous examinations of raw clay, loom weights a n d daub-clay have shown that most of the days in the L ö d d e k ö p i n g e area are coarse a n d un- sorted (Brorsson 1996). T h u s it is likely that the ceramic artefacts n e e d e d for soldering and casting at Borgeby were manufactured locally.

T h e o r d i n a r y pottery represents at least

Fornvännnen 93(1998)


S h e r d i d e n t i f i c a t i o n c


i 2 3 4 5 6 7


AIV vessel Mould All vessel All vessel AIV vessel Soldering plate Soldering plate


« E


or 13

11 4 19 20 24 24



s s s s s s s

0) tf) 0)



o c c


• o






x X

s X o c g ++


+ ++


t 2




0 s



a D + ++






« fl)


Z i , o Z i , o Zi, o - Zi, O o Z i . 0 - Z i , o + Zi. 0 °

T e m p e r


• o


>f x-






x x



E (U O j r



ro S iS o>

ro N 3 0 5

1 2,5 6 1 1




15 18 21

Q u o t a t i o n s

'Granitic rock rich in ore

'Pegmatitic rock 'Pegmatitic rock 'Sericitized granite ' O n e grain

Fig. 9. Results of petrographic microscopy of ceramic artefacts from Borgeby, Borgeby parish, Scania. Sym- bols: S = Sorted, C = Coarse, M = Medium, F = Fine, X = Occurance, N.O = Not observed, ++ = Rich, + = Abund- ant, o = Medium occurance, - = Scarce, Zi = Zircon, O = Ore.

three different vessel productions and the tech- nical ceramics constitute a separate group (Fig.

10). T h e AII, black e a r t h e n w a r e , is m a d e of sorted medium-coarse, silty, micaceous clay, rich in iron oxide. Conglomerates of ferro-ox- ihydroxide occur. Zircon a n d ore as accessory minerals were observed. T h e clay was tem- pered with between 15 and 18 per cent crushed pegmatitic rock with a m a x i m u m grain size of 2.5 mm.

T h e AIV pottery (in all probability locally made) occurs in two qualities. O n e (No. 13) is made of a sorted, coarse, sandy and silty clay, very rich in iron oxide and mica. Zircon and ore occur as accessory minerals. C r u s h e d granitic rock, 13 per cent, was used for tem- pering. T h e maximum grain size is 3 mm.

AIV pottery sample No. 20 is of a n o t h e r quality. T h e raw materials consist of a sorted, fine silty clay, rich in iron oxide and mica. It is t e m p e r e d with 21 per cent crushed sericitized granite with a m a x i m u m grain size of 6 mm.

It is not likely that the ATV-vessels were made by the same potter. T h e two All-vessels on the o t h e r hand, would seem to originate from the same pottery production.

Slag and metal. Four of the artefacts have been subjected to spectroscopic and chemical ana- lyses in o r d e r to d e t e r m i n e their constituents.

Concerning the analytical methods reference is m a d e to M. Carlsson (in this p a p e r ) .

1. Red glazing on the surface of a crucibk.

T h e main constituents of the glaze are silicon

a n d a l u m i n i u m (42.5%). Iron, lead, c o p p e r a n d a small p r o p o r t i o n of silver a m o u n t to 29%. T h e percentages of calcium a n d phos- phorus are relatively high ( 1 1 % each). T h e red colour of the glaze is most probably d u e to the presence of iron or copper. T h e comparativdy high p e r c e n t a g e of lead (11%) is a typical property of a Viking Age bronze. Although the occurrence of tin is not proven the crucible was probably used for bronze melting

2. T h e above findings should be compared with the result of the investigation of a bronze rod with a length of 20 mm. T h e latter analysis showed that the rod was m a d e of an alloy con- sisting of copper, tin, iron, aluminium and lead (24%). Like the glaze the alloy also contained a fairly high percentage of p h o s p h o r u s and of calcium (20%).

T h e r e is substantial evidence of a connec- tion between the glaze on the crucible and the bronze rod and consequently also in support of a bronze-casting craft at the location.

3. T h e silver wire with coating was in all prob- ability an essential part of the silver soldering p r o c e d u r e . This coating h a d two plausible functions. Firstly it had an insulating effect which enabled the jeweller to handle the hot wire with his bare h a n d s d u r i n g the soldering.

T h e second, n o less i m p o r t a n t function was lluxing. T h e coating contained a flux, which may indeed have lowered the melting-point of the silver wire but was chiefly i n t e n d e d to re- move oxides and adjust the surface tension of the molten solder a n d the metals to be sol-

Fomvännnen 93 (1998)


In lhe workshop of the Viking Age goMsmilh 235

Ware type I:

Soldering plates and a mould.

Ware type II: Ware type III:

One AIV vessel (No. 13) Both All vessels

Ware type IV:

One AIV vessel (No. 20)

H H Coarse clay ^ Medium coarse clay I ] Fine clay ^ Added granitic or pegmatitic rock

Fig. 10. Four different types of ware were distinguished through thin sections. The technical ceramics (sol- dering plates, moulds) are untempered. — Genom tunnslip har fyra helt olika keramiktyper kunnat kon- stateras. Den tekniska keramiken (lödningskavaletter, gjutformar) är helt omagrad.

dered. This is a fairly sophisticated technique which is also used by the silversmith of today (pers. comm. H. Åström). T h e coating of mod- e r n silver wire consists of a complex potassium- fluorine-borate c o m p o u n d and silver. T h e coat- ing on the Viking Age wire was p r o d u c e d in two phases. T h e elements are mainly b r o m i n e , chlorine, calcium and silver.

4. Spherical d r ö p s ( 0 = 1-2 m m ) of slag were found on o n e of the soldering plates. T h e EDS analysis detected, besides silicon and alu- minium (10%), which may originate from the clay of the soldering plate, the following com- ponents a m o n g others: potassium c. 2%; iron c.

40%; nickel c. 2%; calcium c. 6%; p h o s p h o r u s c. 4 % ; silver c. 5 % . This composition corres- p o n d s fairly well with the content of slag, which is normally formed when iron is soldered by sil- ver solder. Thus, the silversmith most probably soldered also e.g. the iron buckles etc.

T h e o u t c o m e of the analyses gives a glimpse of t h e activities inside a workshop för gold-, silver- a n d b r o n z e - m d t i n g a n d casting, a n d for j o i n i n g together iron artefacts. They also bear witness to the special skills of the master of such a workshop.

The excavations at Borgeby

What was found below the courtyard at Borgeby is unique and constitutes the remains of a goldsmitfTs workshop from the late Viking Age. Both the raw materials and the tools are preserved in the find material.

At least two different m o u l d s were identi-

fied. O n e of t h e m was i n t e r p r e t e d as Hid- densee-style. This jewellery probably d e n o t e high rank in the Viking Age society. T h e tech- niques of p r o d u c i n g jewellery in m o u l d s varied at Borgeby. For e x a m p l e the casting method is known to be the same as for minting.

T h e goldsmith probably had the technical knowledge to p r o d u c e coins. It is of great im- p o r t a n c e however to observe that the work- shop is dated to the late lOth century, while the possible mintage d u r i n g Swein Estridsen's reign o c c u r r e d in the mid l l t h century. De- spite the latest metal finds in Borgeby, mintage c a n n o t be confirmed.

Soldering plates for gold, silver and iron have been identified in the material. A silver wire with coating was analysed with the EDS- technique, which gave an amazing result. T h e actual wire was used for soldering, while t h e coating acted as a flux and insulation which al- lowed soldering without h a n d protection. This is a sophisticated t e c h n i q u e also used today.

Thanks to EDS-analyses of a bronze rod and a crucible it was possible to confirm b r o n z e moulding at Borgeby. T h e chemical composi- tion of the bronzes is roughly the same, which implies a local p r o d u e t In view of the discovery of a piece of an equine m e t a p h o d , it is possible that the rod and the b o n e were used to pro- duce combs. T h e metal finds from Viking Age Borgeby are m a t c h e d only by finds from im- portant centres such as Hedeby, Birka, Fyrkat and in Trelleborg ( D e n m a r k ) . This indicates that Borgeby held a unique position in western

Fornvännnen 93 (1998)


Borgeby n = 45

36% f ^

Borgeby courtyard n = 16

y ^ m . 3 1 %

69% \ ^ _ ^ y

• Black Earthenware

• AlV-ceramics

Fig. 11. Distribution of AIV ceramics and black earthenware from the 1983 exeavation, 300 m to the west of Borgeby Manor, and from the 1993 exeavation in Borgeby courtyard. — Utbredning av ATV-keramik och svartgods i undersökningen 1983, 300 m väster om Borgeby gård, och från 1993 års undersökning av gårds- planen.

Scania d u r i n g the late Viking Age.

T h e composition of the ceramic vessels is also interesting. Four different types of ceram- ics have been recognised. T h e presence of Garzer ceramic at Borgeby suggests special sta- tus. No o t h e r examples of this vessel type have b e e n found anywhere outside the Medieval towns in Scania.

T h e distribution of AJV-ceramics a n d black earthenware which came to light at the two ex- cavations at Borgeby d o not correspond (Fig.

11). This discrepancy may d e p e n d on the fact that the investigations dealt with two different periods—albeit only 25 years apart. It may also spring from different needs. Besides the tech- nical ceramics, the jeweller also required ves- sels for water to cool his artefacts. These ves- sels may have been of ATV-type. If we accept the hypothesis that the jeweller used the local type of ceramics, this indicates that he too was a na- tive.

According to Sdling's dassification the A1I- ceramics from the exeavation in 1983 date from the early l l t h century. It is mainly the type AII:2a, dated by Selling from 1020 onward, which determines the dating. T h e a m o u n t and presence of j\TV-ceramics ( r a r d y occurring af- ter 1000 AD) indicates a dating to the end of the lOth century, which is also supported by a find of a bead which is d e t e r m i n e d as no older than 950 (Lindeblad & Wihl 1984 p. 11). T h e relative distribution of black earthenware and AIV respectivdy at Löddeköpinge would con- firm such a dating. Sometime between 960 and 980 a radical change occurred within the pot-

Fornvännnen 93(1998)

tery craft: the AfV-ceramics was replaced by the black earthenware.

Most of the ceramics from the exeavation in 1993 date from the e n d of t h e lOth century.

T h e relationship between black e a r t h e n w a r e a n d .ATV-ceramics provides the chief evidence for this dating. Layer 50, which mostly contains Viking Age finds, also yielded sherds of the western Pingsdorf ware and glazed red earth- enware. This c o m b i n a t i o n may be d u e to a låter mixture, or indicate that the layer was ac- cumulated into the l l t h century. This is o n e of the very first sites where early glazed ceram- ics and stoneware-like pottery have been found outside Lund.

T h e ceramics which were examined in thin sections showed that the technical ceramics and the j\TV-ceramics were most probably pro- d u c e d locally. T h e two sherds of black earth- enware which were analysed, are similar to each o t h e r but differ from the rest. This may mean that they are imported, but could as well indicate a n o t h e r craft tradition.

Borgeby - lhe site of a trelleborgfört in lhe Danish empire?

Considering the rich find material at Borgeby a n d the local topography, t h e r e is a strong probability that Borgeby was the site of a Dan- ish trelleborg fortress. Harald Bluetooth initi- ated the construction of these ring-shaped for- tifications in 950-975. T h e dating of the finds from the courtyard at Borgeby support this hy- pothesis.

A trelleborg fortress at Borgeby (Holmberg


In the workshop of lhe Viking Age goldsmith 237 1977 p. 41) enabled the Danish king to control

the area a r o u n d the L ö d d e å river, as well as the roads a n d the seaways going n o r t h - s o u t h . T h e trade routes between what are now Poland, Eastern Germany a n d Norway may also have passed through the Sound. T h e main highway from the continent to n o r t h e r n Sean- dinavia, however, generally went t h r o u g h Hedeby (ibid. p. 17).

T h e Viking Age märket place at Löd- deköpinge m a d e Borgeby even m o r e interest- ing. By placing a trelleborg fortress in Borgeby, the king could control the märket place. While Löddeköpinge's main function was trade a n d o t h e r civilian pursuits, Borgeby was probably an administrative c e n t r e for the king's m e n . T h e relation between the two places could be considered as dualistic.

If we accept that Borgeby was the site of a Danish trelleborg fortress some interesting re- sults e m e r g e from the find material. T h e dif- ferent craft traditions in the Danish Empire show that east a n d west were influenced by dif- ferent cultures. T h e moulds and the soldering plates point to a j e w d l e r ' s workshop which in t u r n indicate a power centre, while the pottery shows m o r e far-reaching connections.

T h e artefacts made of the technical ceramics were mainly Western in style. O n the o t h e r h a n d , the pottery is of local origin. Both Borgeby a n d Löddeköpinge seem to have been influenced by Slavonic culture. In the lOth cen- tury the local AJV-ceramics were replaced by the Slavonic-inspired black earthenware, which was in t u r n superseded by Western redware and stoneware. T h e pottery at Hedeby has its origins in J u t l a n d , the western part of conti- nental Europé a n d the Slavonic area. T h e same is t r u e for Fyrkat, t h e ceramic tradition of which is different from that of Scania. T h e ce- ramics are mainly Jutlandic with some Scandi- navian a n d Slavonic features. Trelleborg o n Zealand, on the other h a n d , has a stock of pot- tery which resembles that of Borgeby-Löd- deköpinge (Roesdahl 1977 p. 20).

T h e pottery from the different regions of early Denmark suggests the presence of two dif- ferent cultures, a western a n d an eastern. Sta- tus objects on the other h a n d show a m o r e uni-

form origin. It is probably n o t correct to say that the western imports out-dassed the east- e r n d u r i n g the late Viking Age since the Slavonic-inspired black e a r t h e n w a r e existed into the Middle Ages. Status objects of Western origin on the other h a n d indicate that the d i t e were in close touch with the Frankish empire.

A cknowkdgements

With d e e p gratitude to Birgitta Hulthén, whose knowledge a n d enthusiasm proved invaluable.

I am also very grateful to Monica Carlsson who carried out the EDS-analyses. T h e results were essential for t h e interpretation of Borgeby. I would also like to thank Professor B. Arrhenius, Archaeological Research Laboratory at Stock-

holm University, Dr. J. Ekström, Department of Quaternary Geology at Lund University a n d H.

Äström, metallurgist a n d expert on gold a n d silver soldering in G o t h e n b u r g for g e n e r o u s personal comments. Vibeke Vandrup Mårtens, Bengt Söderberg and Joakim Thomasson made valuable remarks on my work.

Appendix. Electron Diffraction Spectroscopy (EDS) on Viking Age artefacts from Borgeby, Scania, per- formed at the R & D Department at Höganäs AB,


When using EDS for element analysis a complete X- ray spectrum (mostly 0-10 KeV) is obtained within a very limited time since the X-ray quanta stemming from the entire energy range can be analysed simul- taneously.

In practice the elements are determined quanti- tatively by comparing the energy levels reflected by the recorded peaks with the known (tabulated) values. This compilation is today carried out by means of fully automated computer-based systems for X-ray analysis.

The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is combined with the EDS-system, thus allowing the analysis of the X-rays generated when the electron beam reaches the targeted sample.

Two different set-ups were deployed for the EDS- analyses of the archaeological artefact samples. A slag and a glaze of a soldering plate and a bronze rod were analysed using a Philips SEM 515 with an EDAX-EDS-system, whereas the silver thread ( 0 = 1.8 mm) was analysed by means of aJEOL 5800 SEM with a LINK ISIS-EDS-system. In contrast to the old EDAX EDS-system the LINK EDS represents the latest state-of-the-art technology where a germanium

Fornvännnen 93 (1998)


detector offers a far better statistical foundation than the EDAX Si-detector.

T h e samples were coated with a very thin layer of carbon (C) to achieve the correct surface conductiv- ity—a crucial property on which lhe entire analytical m e t h o d rests.

M o n i c a Carlsson


Brinch Madsen, H., 1984. Metal-casting. RibeExcava- tions 1970-76, Vol. 2. Esbjerg.

Brorsson, T , 1996. Ostersjökeramik som arkeologiskt b e g r e p p . - En u n d e r s ö k n i n g av d e n vikinga- t i d a / t i d i g m e d e l t i d a keramiken från Lödde- köpinge 90:1. U n p u b l i s h e d seminar p a p e r (D- uppsats) at the Institute of Archaeology, L u n d University. Lund.

H o l m b e r g , R., 1977. Den skånska Öresundskustens medeltid. Acta j\rchaeologica Lundensia. Series al- tera in 8", Nr 11. Lund.

Holmquist, W., 1970. Excavations at Helgo III. Report for 1960-1964. Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och An- tikvitets Akademien. Stockholm.

H u l t h é n , B., 1976. Technical Investigation of A II Pottery. Meddelanden från Lunds Universitets His- toriska Museum 1975-1976. Lund.

— 1977. Varmeplader. Fyrkal. En jysk vikingeborg. II.

Oldsagerne. og gravpladsen. K ö p e n h a m n .

— 1995. Ceramics and CUiys at Ancient Högom. Kungl.

Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien.

Antikvariskt arkiv 77. Stockholm.

Kempke, T , 1988. Zur Chronologie der Keramik von S t a r i g a r d / O l d e n b u r g . Bericht der Römisch-German- ischen Kommission 69. Mainz am Rhein.

Lindeblad, K. & Wihl, L., 1984. Svartgods från

Borgeby och L u n d - en jämförelse. Unpublished seminar paper (Guppsats) at the Institute of Ar- chaeology, L u n d University. Lund.

L0nborg, B. 1982. Teknikken bag s0lverspaendet fra N o n n e b a k k e n . Fynske Minder 1991. O d e n s e .

— 1994. Fremstillingen af vikingetidens skålformede fibler. KUML 1991-1992. Årbog for Jysk Arkaeo- logisk Selskab. Arhus.

Meier, D., 1994. Die Wikingerzeitliche Siedlung von Kosel (Kosel-West), Kreis Randsburg-Eckenförde. Offa- Biicher, Band 76. Neumunster.

Ohlsson, T , 1976. T h e Löddeköpinge Investigation I.

T h e Settlement at Vikhögsvägen. Meddelanden från Lunds Universitets Historiska Museum

1975-1976. Lund.

— 1980. T h e L ö d d e k ö p i n g e Investigation II. T h e N o r t h e r n Part of the Village. Meddelanden frän Lunds Universitets Historiska Museum 1979-1980.


Roesdahl, E., 1977. Fyrkat. Enjysk vikingeborg. II. OUi- sagerne og gravpladsen. K ö p e n h a m n .

Schietzel, K. & Crumlin-Pedersen, O., 1980. Havnen i Hedeby. Skalk nr. 3, 1980. Hojbjerg.

Schuldt, E., 1956. Die Shwische Keramik in Meckknburg.


Selling, D., 1955. Wikingerzeitliche und fruhmittelalter- liche Keramik in Schweden. Stockholm.

— 1968. Pingsdorf ware: Its most northerly outposts.

Res Mediaevaks. Archaeologica Lundensia 3.


S t r ö m b e r g , M., 1961. Untersuchungen zur jungeren Eisenzeit in Schonen. Band II. Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series in 4", No 4. Lund.

Svanberg, F. 1998. Exclusive jewellery, Borgeby and western Scania c. JAD 950-1050. Fornvännen 93.


I guldsmedens verkstad - guld- och silverhantverk i Borgeby

B o r g e b y i v ä s t r a S k å n e h a r u t i f r å n ä l d r e k ä l l o r o c h t o p o g r a f i n i o m r å d e t f ö r e s l a g i t s h a v a r i t p l a t s e n för e n v i k i n g a t i d a t r e l l e b o r g . Y t t e r l i g a r e s t ö d f ö r e n s å d a n h y p o t e s ä r n ä r h e t e n till d e n v i k i n g a t i d a m a r k n a d s p l a t s e n L ö d d e k ö p i n g e .

N å g r a a r k e o l o g i s k a b e l ä g g för e n t r e l l e b o r g i B o r g e b y h a r t i d i g a r e i n t e påträffats. I o c h m e d e n u n d e r s ö k n i n g s o m u t f ö r d e s p å p l a t s e n u n - d e r 1 9 9 3 f r a m k o m e n u n i k s a m m a n s ä t t n i n g av fynd. B l a n d f y n d m a t e r i a l e t k a n n ä m n a s e n sil- v e r t r å d , l ö d n i n g s k a v a l e t t e r , g j u t f o r m a r o c h d e g l a r - a r t e f a k t e r s o m avslöjar e n a l l d e l e s s p e - ciell v e r k s a m h e t i B o r g e b y , e n g u l d s m e d j a . A n d r a fynd s o m k a n n ä m n a s ä r e n b r o n s t e n ,

A l V - k e r a m i k o c h O s t e r s j ö k e r a m i k . K ä r l e n in- d i k e r a r e n d a t e r i n g till s l u t e t av 9 0 0 - t a l e t

F y n d m a t e r i a l e t h a r varit f ö r e m å l f ö r e n d e - t a l j e r a d s t u d i e , m e d b l . a . m i k r o s k o p a n a l y s av k e r a r n i s k a t u n n s l i p o c h EDS-analys. D e n s e n a r e a n a l y s e n syftar till a t t g e d e n k e m i s k a s a m m a n - s ä t t n i n g e n i m a t e r i a l e t D e k e r a r n i s k a t u n n s l i - p e n k a n , f ö r u t o m p r o v e n i e n s , b e r ä t t a o m h a n t - v e r k e t i s t o r t .

I o c h m e d d e p å t r ä f f a d e a r t e f a k t e r n a k a n d e t v i k i n g a t i d a s m y c k e t s t i l l v e r k n i n g s p r o c e s s p r e s e n t e r a s . I d e g l a r n a h a r b r o n s , silver o c h g u l d s m ä l t s . S m ä l t a n h a r s e d a n h ä l l t s i e n gjut- f o r m , d ä r s m y c k e n av h ö g kvalitet gjutits. I Bor- Fomvännnen 93(1998)


geby har klensmeden dessutom använt sig av s.k. punsteknik. En teknik där ett metallbleck punsas ut till ett smycke.

Det som gör fyndet i Borgeby unikt är bl.a.

20 fragment från lödningskavaletter och en sil- vertråd med hölje. Lödningskavaletter är små r u n d a skålar av keramik och har tidigare på- träffats i bl.a. Birka och Hedeby. Vid u n d e r - sökning i mikroskop av lödningskavaletterna observerades ett betydande antal d r o p p a r av guld i godset. Guldet h a r h a m n a t i löd- ningskavalettens ytskikt i s a m b a n d m e d löd- ning av guld, vid t.ex. applicering av filigran el- ler granulation. Silvertråden fanns i samma la- ger som k l e n s m e d e n s redskap och h a r sannolikt använts vid lödning. Det analyserade höljet avslöjar att det varit avsett som främst f l u x m e d d . Samma teknik används än i dag.

De kerarniska tunnslipen visar att d e t san-

In the workshop of the Viking Age goldsmith 239 nolikt inte var samma person som framställde de olika kerarniska föremålen. Troligen tillver- kade smeden sina egna föremål, m e d a n kärlen framställdes av en keramiker.

Deglar och lödningskavaletter kan m e d lätt- het förväxlas. Skillnaden är att höga tempera- turer och förhållandevis långa stunder i elden medför att degeln blir helt genomsintrad. En lödningskavalett är n o r m a l t endast sintrad på ovansidan.

Fyndmaterialet från Borgeby indikerar en alldeles speciell miljö, en miljö som förmodli- gen kan kopplas till det högsta samhällsskiktet i det dåvarande danska riket. Utifrån de tolk- ningar som lagts fram av forskare u n d e r 1970- talet och d e n nu påträffade guldsmedjan är sannolikheten stor att d e t u n d e r slutet av vi- kingatiden låg en trelleborg i Borgeby.

Fornvännnen 93(1998)





Related subjects :