Scandinavian iron forges found
Thu, 31 Dec 2009
|Some forge beads from the forges found in
Archaeologists have stumbled upon the oldest and most
complex Scandinavian group of iron forges in a rural
Ruth Iren Oien and her team from the Norwegian University
of Science and Technology's Museum of Natural History and
Archaeology found a cluster of tiny iron beads south of
Trondheim in Norway.
Only 1 to1.5 millimeters in diameter, the beads were
found to have belonged to a smithy, ScienceDaily
"We found three different types of forges,"
Oien said. "Some were small and circular, some were
indoors, and a third type was in the shape of a figure
eight. Findings suggest the smiths used one half of the
figure-eight shaped forges for the rough work before
refining the iron in the other forges."
The beads were first found in November 2008, but the
excavation was stopped due to seasonal weather conditions.
The team returned in July of 2009 and found over 200
artifacts, including post holes, forges, fireplaces and
wall ditches dating back to 400-500 CE. "Even though
we have only uncovered half of the area, we have already
found seven forges," says the museum's project
manager for the site Preben Ronne. "This cluster
suggest some kind of early industrial activity, in the
sense that clearly they had large scale production."
"These are rare and exciting results, and unique in
a Scandinavian context," he adds.
The forges belong to 0-500 CE and are considered the
first evidence of where and how Iron Age Scandinavians
refined their iron.