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Home Boundless meetings Family and hierarchy Midgard Belief and traditions The living and the dead Divine craftwork 19: Objects changed form and function 20: Viking era art – stylised animals 21: High quality goldsmithery 22: Iron ore for weapons and tools 23: Ornamented everyday implements 24: Remarkable tools in wetland 25: Weaving – associated with the Norns 26: Different objects made of bone and antler 27: Recycling of bronze and silver Trading and raiding Waterways Town-like centres Christian monuments

High quality goldsmithery

Artisans used their artistic skill to create elegant necklaces, bracelets, brooches, strap mountings and buckles out of gold and silver. These artefacts gave status to leaders and aristocrats and the goldsmithery was also present in rituals. Many of the products were of such high quality that they are difficult to copy, even today.

The artisans mastered everything from casting and smithery to the gilding of bronze and filigree technique. For the precision work, carried out in gloomy interiors, it may have been that lenses ground from rock crystal were used as magnifying glasses.

The craftspeople often worked in dangerous, unhealthy conditions. This has made researchers ponder over whether they belonged to the free or the unfree in society. It may be that craftspeople wandered from place to place, offering their services to whoever paid the most. Did that mean, therefore, that they did have some degree of personal freedom after all?

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Sword

  Sword

Tortoise brooch

  Tortoise brooch

Tortoise brooch

  Tortoise brooch

Ring brooch

  Ring brooch

Ring-headed pin

  Ring-headed pin

Ring brooch

  Ring brooch

Ring brooch

  Ring brooch

Bowl

  Bowl

Chape

  Chape

Box-shaped brooch

  Box-shaped brooch

Round brooch

  Round brooch

Lens

  Lens

Lenses

  Lenses

Spear head

  Spear head