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A workshop for the king

Arne Jouttijärvi


Through the use of single context planning, combined with archaeobotanical and dendrochronological investigations and extensive sampling for archaeometallurgical analysis, it was possible to reconstruct the use of the workshop at Viborg Søndersø in detail. The investigations were made in close cooperation between an archaeologist (Turi Thomsen), an archaeobotanist (Annine Moltsen), a dendrochronologist (Aiofe Daly) and an archaeometallurgist (the author), the last three now members of the Danish Center for Environmental Archaeology. The workshop was erected in 1018 and used a range of different crafts including smithing, casting of silver, bronze and probably lead and comb making. Extensive silver refining apparently took place in nearby workshops. The use of the excavated workshop was a seasonal activity in the winter months and during summer only occasional repair work was done to the building. After three years of activity, the building was kept in repair for another two years and then finally torn down. It is argued that the workshop was probably established in connection with the crowning of King Canute to king of Denmark in 1018 and the minting of the Dane-geld to Danish coins. The workshop might have been used during the yearly meeting of the Thing in Viborg.


workshop, king, Denmark

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Submitted: 2014-04-23 17:17:44
Published: 2014-06-06 14:23:36
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