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Goldsmith Mysteries

Archaeological, pictorial and documentary evidence from the


1st millennium AD in northern Europe

Edited by
Alexandra Pesch and Ruth Blankenfeldt

Papers presented at a workshop organized by the


Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology (ZBSA)
Schleswig, October 20th and 21st, 2011

Wachholtz Verlag

SCHRIFTEN DES ARCHOLOGISCHEN LANDESMUSEUMS


Ergnzungsreihe
Band 8

Herausgegeben vom Archologischen Landesmuseum


und dem Zentrum fr Baltische und Skandinavische Archologie
in der Stiftung Schleswig-Holsteinische Landesmuseen
Schloss Gottorf
durch Claus von Carnap-Bornheim

Der Fritz Thyssen Stiftung fr Wissenschaftsfrderung sei fr die freundliche finanzielle Untersttzung gedankt.

ISBN 978 3 529 01878 7


Redaktion: Isabel Sonnenschein
Satz und Bildbearbeitung: Jrgen Schller
Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation
in der Deutschen Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet ber <http://dnb.d-nb.de> abrufbar.
Alle Rechte, auch die des auszugsweisen Nachdrucks, insbesondere fr Vervielfltigungen, der Einspeisung und Verarbeitung
in elektronischen Systemen sowie der photomechanischen Wiedergabe und bersetzung vorbehalten
Wachholtz Verlag, Neumnster 2012

In memoriam Maiken Fecht

Table of Contents
Alexandra Pesch and Ruth Blankenfeldt
A Golden October . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Alexandra Pesch and Ruth Blankenfeldt
Some ancient mysteries on the subject of goldsmiths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

The elusive smithies


Torsten Capelle
An insight into the goldsmiths workshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Nancy Wicker
The elusive smith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Alexandra Pesch
The goldsmith, his apprentice and the gods. A fairy tale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Workshops in theory and cultural anthropology


Charlotte Behr
The working of gold and its symbolic significance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Barbara Armbruster
Feinschmiedewerkzeuge vom Beginn der Metallurgie bis in die Rmische Kaiserzeit . . . . . . . . . 59
Iris Aufderhaar
What would a goldsmiths workshop look like in theory? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Archaeological sources: Roman period to Viking Age


Hans-Ulrich Vo
Die Suche nach den namenlosen Meistern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Gnther Moosbauer
Goldschmiedehandwerk im Rmischen Kaiserreich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Morten Axboe
Late Roman and Migration Period sites in southern Scandinavia with
archaeological evidence of the activity of gold and silver smiths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
Kristina Lamm
Helg as a goldsmiths workshop in Migration Period Sweden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

Eva Hjrthner-Holdar
The metal workshop at Skeke in Uppland, Sweden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Siv Kristoffersen
Brooches, bracteates and a goldsmiths grave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Heidemarie Eilbracht
Edelmetall in der Wikingerzeit: Die Werksttten und ihr archologisches Fundgut
mit einem Beitrag von Michal Baranski zum Neufund eines Pressmodels aus Gramzow . . . . . 177
Barbara Armbruster
Wikingerzeitliches Goldschmiedehandwerk in Haithabu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

Smiths in religion, literary sources and pictures


Bernhard Maier
Schmied und Schmiedehandwerk in der alteuropischen Religionsgeschichte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
Edith Marold
Mythische Schmiede in deutscher und skandinavischer Sagentradition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Lydia Carstens
Might and Magic: the smith in Old Norse literature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
Matthias Hardt
Edelmetallschmiede in erzhlenden Quellen der Vlkerwanderungszeit und
des frhen Mittelalters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Sigmund Oehrl
Bildliche Darstellungen vom Schmied Wieland und ein unerwarteter Auftritt in Walhall . . . . 279
Torsten Capelle
Final remarks and summary of the workshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333

Publications referred to in this volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

Late Roman and Migration Period sites in southern Scandinavia


with archaeological evidence of the activity of gold and silver smiths
By Morten Axboe, Copenhagen

Keywords: Central places, metal-detector finds, workshop remains, Gudme, Uppkra, Torstorp
Vesterby, Kvrndrup
Abstract: Although the presence of gold and silver smiths at central places is revealed by drops of metal,
crucibles, etc., actual workshops are difficult to identify. This is partly due to the large size of the sites,
of which just small areas have been excavated, and partly due to the fact that only preliminary results
have yet been published. Possible workshops have been identified at Gudme and Lundeborg, while
Grubenhuser (pit houses) with positive evidence of workshop activities have been found at smaller
sites like Kvrndrup and Torstorp Vesterby. Smiths who worked with gold and silver were most likely
also skilled in working with bronze and iron.

This paper is a presentation of sites with archaeological evidence of gold and silver-working during
the Late Roman and Migration Periods in southern Scandinavia (Fig. 1). Such evidence can primarily
be expected at the so-called central places and is, in fact, among the criteria used by Fabech and
Ringtved to characterize their second level of Late Iron Age settlements (Fabech/R ingtved 1995;
Fabech 1999, 40f.). However, quite a few other sites of lower status must be considered, too.

Aristocratic sites
According to Lars Jrgensen (2009, 332ff.), the large high-status Iron Age sites under aristocratic
control can be divided into two groups, or generations, whereby Gudme, Sorte Muld and Uppkra
together with Helg (and possibly Avaldsnes in Norway) make up the first generation. This paper
will concentrate on sites from this generation, both the aristocratic sites discussed by Jrgensen and
smaller settlements. Jrgensen defines a first generation aristocratic site as an accumulation of craftsmens farms or dwellings grouped around an elite residence; a structure and organization that they
retain over the subsequent centuries. The chieftains farm at least as found at Gudme had neither
utility buildings nor smaller dwellings or workshops, and Jrgensen assumes that the chieftains
wealth was based on the levying of tribute, not only in kind from dependent settlements, but also
in the form of crafted items from the workshops he controlled (Jrgensen 2010, 275; 2011, 84; cf.
Jrgensen 2001, 73f.). The craftsmen in question were not only the gold and silver smiths who are the
focal point of this symposium but also other tradesmen who worked in central places: bronze casters
and blacksmiths, comb makers, amber carvers, carpenters, etc.
123

22
23

12
1

16

19

4
9
26

3
2

18

14

4a
5

11

13

15
10

21
24

25

20
17

Fig. 1. Sites mentioned in the text. 1. Bejsebakken; 2. Dankirke; 3. Darum; 4. Dejbjerg; 4a. Engelsborg; 5. Gudme;
6. Hardenberg; 7. Herflge; 8. Hgsbrogrd; 9. Hrup; 10. Hstentorp; 11. Kvrndrup; 12. Lindholm Hje; 13. Lundeborg;
14. Odense (Granly, Lundsgrd S); 15. stervang; 16. Postgrden; 17. Sandegrd; 18. Simmersted; 19. Slinge; 20. Sorte
Muld; 21. Stoftegrd; 22. Stavad; 23. Stentinget; 24. Torstorp Vesterby; 25. Uppkra; 26. Vorbasse.

As second generation aristocratic sites Jrgensen lists Tiss, Lejre and Toftegrd in Zealand and
Jrrestad in eastern Scania. These were founded during the 6th and 7th centuries and do not have the
surrounding permanent craftsmens farms, which seem to have been superseded by seasonal market
places with Grubenhuser (pit houses) and other small houses or market booths (Jrgensen 2009,
337f.; cf. also Nrgrd Jrgensen et al. 2011). Neither these later aristocratic sites to which the
site at Stavnsager (Fiedel et al. 2011) in eastern Jutland may be added nor the more or less seasonal
market places will be considered here.

Searching for the craftsmen


It is, however, no simple task to review the traces of precious-metal workshops of the Roman
and Migration Periods. One problem is that the most prominent central places cover very large
areas: both Gudme and Sorte Muld measure about one square kilometre; Uppkra is more than
600.000 m (Fig. 2). While contemporaneous rural settlements like Vorbasse consisted of some
812 farms, the three Migration Period central places mentioned are estimated to have had 30, 50
or even more households each, and may have had at least 500 inhabitants (Jrgensen 1994, 60;
Watt 2009, 25; A xboe/Jrgensen 2010, 117f.). In fact, the occupation layers at Uppkra cover an
area about half the size of late-medieval Lund, which was the seat of the archbishop and one of
the most important towns in medieval Denmark (Larsson 2003, Fig. 8). While Uppkra seems
to be a single coherent settlement area, both Gudme, Sorte Muld and the slightly later Boeslunde
settlement (which will not be considered here; see Nielsen 1997) consist of many smaller units,
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due to the many wet areas in the undulating


landscape (see maps in Jrgensen 2011, Fig. 3
and Lund Hansen et al. 2009, 187).
On the other hand, only tiny parts of the
settlement areas have been excavated, e.g.
around 30.000 m at Gudme. Given the fact
that the sites have been ploughed for centuries, much of the find material consists of
metal-detector finds from the top soil. This
means we may have large numbers of gold
drops and bronze or silver sprues from fine
metal working but, unless they were found
in a closed context, we cannot date them
more precisely than to the general period in
which the settlement was active. As far as
the central places are concerned, this means
just the first millennium.
It is also necessary to point out that most
of the sites have only been published as interim reports, survey papers or popularscience books. It is therefore difficult to pin
down exact facts, and I have had no time
Fig. 2. The central places Gudme, Uppkra and Sorte Muld
to consult the actual find material, field
compared to the Migration Period Vorbasse village (adapted
from L arsson 2003).
reports or excavation plans for the present
paper. We will have to wait for the final
publications to learn more about possible
well-dated finds from pits, wells or cultural layers, which may indicate actual workshop buildings
or structures.
We do, however, have some evidence of gold and silver working, together with more extensive remains
from bronze work-shops, and I believe that some of the bronze-casting waste may have been left by
craftsmen who also mastered gold and silver working. Not that every bronzesmith would have been
able to make gold or silver jewellery the reverse is more likely: I cannot imagine a goldsmith who
would not have been able to make his own tools, especially the more delicate and personal ones like
punches or matrixes. The maker of gold bracteates will also have made his own dies, as well as the
tools for making the rim wire and punches for the borders. Some brooches combine bronze and gold,
not only the very intricate types such as rosette or swastika brooches, where cooperation between
several specialists is conceivable, but also the less complex brooches from Kitns and Elsehoved
with a bronze core covered in gold sheet and decorated with filigree, granulation and inlays. Because
of its higher value, I presume that any gold or silver waste would have been carefully collected for
recycling, while bronze scraps and sprues were more likely to be discarded.
Consequently, unfinished gold or silver objects are seldom found. A rare example is the gold bracteate
IK 570, where the striking was so uncuccessful that the gold blank had been folded over to be melted
down (Hauck /A xboe 1990). It was found at Sylten, which is part of the Sorte Muld settlement complex on Bornholm. Drops of gold and silver may reasonably be taken as evidence of precious-metal
working, and scrap metal can possibly be considered as raw material for the smiths. This also applies to Roman coins, although these may have been just valuables: preliminary metal analyses do
not confirm that Scandinavian silver jewellery was made from denarius silver (Horsns et al. 2005;
Horsns 2010, 188f.).
125

Fig. 3. Map of the principal excavation areas at Gudme (adapted from Horsns 2010; courtesy L. Jrgensen).

Gudme
A closer look at Gudme reveals that the distribution of finds can tell us something about the
different functions of various parts of the settlement. For practical reasons, Gudme has been divided
into several sectors, called Gudme IV, or with farm or field names (Fig. 3). As demonstrated by Lars
Jrgensen, the finds of 4th5th century hack silver and silver ingots which may be considered as raw
material for the silversmiths are concentrated in the southern part of the settlement, to the south of
the Gudmehallerne site, where the manor with a royal hall of the late Roman period and the possible multi-phased cult house next to it were excavated (Jrgensen 2011, 82, Fig. 5). Much less scrap
silver has been found in the northern part of the settlement area, while important gold hoards were
found outside the silversmiths area (Jrgensen 1998, Fig. 7). We may therefore presume that, from
the 3rd to the 6th century, Gudme was divided into a southern section with workshop activities and
small hoards, mostly of raw materials, and a northern and eastern section with the aristocratic farms
and high-status gold hoards weighing 300600 g each. Excavations in the areas where the large gold
and silver hoards were found, in the northern section of the Gudme settlement site, have shown that
these were buried in or near the remains of houses (see, for example, AUD 1991, 149f.; 1994, 152; Kjer
Michaelsen 1995,12f., Fig. 12).
According to Lars Jrgensen, neither the manor with the large late-Roman hall, which was replaced
in the first half of the 5th century by a smaller N-S oriented hall some 30 m away, nor the cult house
have yielded significant traces of agricultural or craft activity. The magnates wealth appears to have
126

depended on the levying of tribute, and presumably both the craftsmen of Gudme and the coastal site
at Lundeborg will have contributed (Jrgensen 2011, 83f.).
It should be noted that the southern part of the Gudme settlement was not just a workshop area with,
for example, Grubenhuser as workshops. The houses found there were farmsteads with longhouses
and one or two smaller post-built buildings, as can be found in many other settlements. But in addition
to the normal find material, crucibles, melted-down debris, tuyres and other workshop-related finds
also appeared, and Jrgensen (2010, 82) calls these houses workshop farms.
A very special group of finds consisted of seven gold nails or rivets for 6th century sword pommels.
These were found in a limited section of the Gudme II area, directly to the south of the manor, and
it seems that two or three farms here actually manufactured such high-prestige pommels, which
have not yet actually been found in Denmark (Jrgensen 1998, 1215 with Figs. 46; 2011, 82). The
Gudme II bracteate hoard (IK Vol. 3,1, No. 51,3, 391393, 455,2; A xboe 1987; Poulsen 1987) was
found in a posthole belonging to a small house on a neighbouring farm, where fine metal smiths also
seem to have worked (Jrgensen 1994; Vang Petersen 1994, 34f. Fig. 12; A xboe/Jrgensen 2010,
115ff.). The finds from the Gudme II sectors of Gudme indicate that these areas were settled from the
beginning of the late Roman period to the 12th century, with a high point in the Migration Period;
the finds include gold, silver and bronze workshop material (Jrgensen 1994 Figs. 23). Among the
surface finds is what is presumed to be a stone mould for ingots (Thrane 1992, 332 Fig. 18).
The Bjrnebanken site is situated to the east of Gudme II N. Here as in other parts of the Gudme
area excavations were undertaken because metal-detectorists had revealed a hoard of Roman hack
silver, which mainly came from a large, ornamented, partly gilt and niello dish. The hoard had been
dispersed by ploughing but had apparently been deposited originally inside a small house that was
part of a fenced farm complex. Fragments of other dishes were also found, as well as three 4th century
solidi and fragments of Scandinavian gold jewellery, which indicated that the hoard was not deposited before the 5th century (Kjer Michaelsen 1995, 11f.; AUD 1995, 153; 1996, 161; stergaard
Srensen 2003c).
Some 200 m to the west of the manor, the Gudme III/Strkrvej settlement area was located on a
small hill surrounded by meadows and wetlands (Vang Petersen 1994, 3234; stergaard Srensen
1994, 4144; 2000). The three farms located here could be followed through nine building phases that
approximately covered the period AD 200650. The most spectacular finds were a siliqua hoard,
deposited near the fence of one of the farms (K romann 1988; Vang Petersen 1994, Fig. 5; Horsns
2010, 98), a concentration of hack silver and debris from molten silver, and a small hoard of gold-foil
fragments with animal style ornaments; all of which were found in the top-soil ( stergaard
Srensen 2000, 24ff., Figs. 23). Very similar ornamented gold foil was found at Gudme II (Thrane
1992, Fig. 20). Some denarii were found in the same area as the Gudme III siliquae and may have
belonged to the same hoard (stergaard S rensen 1989, 65). Farm 1, the only one of the farms
that was almost completely excavated, included a longhouse and one or two smaller houses. At least
two of the occupation phases of one of the small houses yielded evidence of fine metal working:
fragments of thimble-shaped crucibles ( stergaard S rensen 2003a, Figs. 7, 10a), clay tuyres
and vitrified clay/sand that most likely came from the melting pits. A well near this possible workshop (Vang Petersen 1994, Figs. 56) contained a quantity of similar slag, tuyre fragments and
possible mould fragments. It has not been established what metals were processed. The fine metal
working seems to have been carried out in the 5th century, but may have started earlier (stergaard
Srensen 1989, 949). Among the finds from the top-soil were a Style I/II ornamented patrix die
for purse-shaped pendants (Thrane 1992, Fig. 17a) and some lead weights, but most were drops
of bronze and silver. A concentration of silver-smelting debris and hack silver just to the east of
the excavated area may indicate metal working in connection with Farm 2 (stergaard Srensen
1989, 6469).
127

Attention was also first drawn to the Gudme V/Stenhjgrd sector by a spectacular hoard, in this
case 1,282 kg of hack silver: fragments of ingots, rings and decorated Roman tableware, together
with a number of spiral wire clasps, which indicated that the treasure was not deposited before the 5th
century (K romann Balling/Vang Petersen 1985, 202f., Fig. 7; Munksgaard 1987, Fig. 30; stergaard S rensen 2003b, 433; cf. H ines 1993, 48). Excavations revealed house remains from one
or two farms with several building phases (Vang P etersen 1994, 35ff., Figs. 1416; stergaard
Srensen 1994, 45ff., Figs. 67); the silver hoard was located outside a house, close to the fence. A
small collection of molten silver, gold, and blue glass (beads?) was found in the hole of a roof-bearing
post, possibly a hidden (scrap metal?) hoard damaged by the fire that destroyed the house (K romann
et al. 1991, Fig. 3; Vang Petersen 1994, 36f., Fig. 14). The finds from Stenhjgrd included a large
number of crucibles, some with gold drops adhering to them (Thrane 1993, Pl. 14), which in several
instances were found together with Migration Period potsherds, numerous drops of molten silver
and glass, hammer-scale iron slag, and small thin strips of gold foil with a black coating on one side
perhaps waste from the manufacture of gold-plated ornaments, etc. (Vang Petersen 1990, Figs.
57; 1994, 36f., Fig. 15). Among the metal-detector finds from the top-soil was a small bronze die
for making gold-foil rosettes for brooches (Vang Petersen 1994, Fig. 10), and a late-Roman rosette
brooch with glass inlays (K romann et al. 1991, Fig. 5; Thrane 1993, Pl. 14) that was found in a pit,
had perhaps been made on the site.
A special feature found at Gudme V/Stenhjgrd are hearths or ovens surrounded by a structure
with two pairs of posts, which were located close to the longhouses (stergaard Srensen 1994,
45f., Figs. 67). These were perhaps metal workers sheds; but no further details have yet been published. However, similar structures at Lundeborg have been interpreted as working areas (Thomsen
1989, 11f., Fig. 6; Thomsen et al. 1993, 83).
The adjacent sector, Gudme I, has been known for many years because a number of denarii and
4th century solidi were found on various occasions between 1885 and 1941. Since 1980, the use of
metal detectors has increased the numbers to 37 denarii, 8 siliquae and 11 solidi, one of which is a
multiplum. The solidi seem to constitute a dispersed hoard, while the other coins were much more
scattered and are best interpreted as single finds (K romann 1987; Horsns 2010, 95). Excavation
revealed several 4th5th century type houses, but no datable finds in pits or postholes. Finds from the
top-soil include a bronze punch with an unidentifiable stamp face, scrap silver that included a rim
fragment of a Roman dish and a hook from a ladle, melted-down silver, a gold ring, and a fragment of
a crucible with drops of gold, which testified to precious-metal working on the site (Vang Petersen
1987, 5055; 1994, 30f.). Further excavations, called Gudme I Vest, were undertaken after the discovery of more dispersed scrap silver that included Roman dish fragments, ingots with cut-marks and a
fragment with Style I decoration, but no house remains were found (Kjer Michaelsen 1995, 9ff.).
To the east of Gudme II and south of Bjrnebanken lies the Gudme IV area. Numerous settlement
remains with houses have been excavated, but no evidence of fine metal working has been reported
other than the torso of a Roman bronze figurine, which can perhaps be considered as bullion, and a
Merovingian Period die to make patterned gold foils (Jrgensen 1994, 54; Kjer Michaelsen/stergaard Srensen 1996).
However, further to the east, at Gudmelkken and Eisemoselkken, fragments from more than one
Roman bronze statue (and an additional finger made of silver) may indicate a workshop area. Excavations have revealed two farm complexes, but no actual workshop remains have so far been reported
(Kjer Michaelsen 1994; stergaard Srensen 2005). The statue fragments were possibly imported
as scrap metal for recycling from Period C2 onwards, hoards of scrap silver and bronze looted from
Roman villae near the Limes become numerous in Germanic areas (Lund Hansen 2001).

128

Lundeborg
Together with Gudme the coastal site of Lundeborg must, of course, also be mentioned (Thomsen et
al. 1993). Lundeborg is generally regarded as the trading port of Gudme, with seasonal market activity
and the building and/or repairing of ships. There is evidence of iron working, as well as of bronze
casting: ingots, scrap metal, crucibles, moulds and unfinished brooches. Forge slags could be
associated with bronze casting; in at least some cases, crushed flint had been added, perhaps to
increase the temperature (Thomsen et al. 1993, 82; Thomsen 1998, 27; cf. Srensen 2000, 36f.). Gold
and silver were also worked, as testified by ingots, scrap metal, drops and crucibles with traces of
gold or silver. Around 140 denarii have been found scattered over the site: these may have been used
for trading purposes or as raw material for precious-metal smiths. In our workshop context, it is
important to note that two touchstones have been found at Lundeborg, although no indication
of their date has been published (Thomsen et al. 1993, 79, 83; Jrgensen/Vang P etersen 1998,
Fig. 153). The traces of precious-metal working were close to the bronze-working area, and the tools
found there may be linked with both activities: a pair of smiths tongs, punches, small hammers, etc.
(Thomsen et al. 1993, 83f.; Jrgensen/Vang Petersen 1998, Fig. 152). Two small roofed structures,
possibly working sites, were found; each consisted of a hearth surrounded by four thick posts, similar
to the structures found at Gudme V/Stenhjgrd. Both were located in the southern part of the site,
and both were rebuilt several times (Thomsen 1989, 11f., Fig. 6; Thomsen et al. 1993, 83).

Uppkra and Sorte Muld


Like Gudme, the Scanian site of Uppkra was active during the whole of the first millennium. In fact,
Uppkra already existed in the Pre-Roman Iron Age and crucibles have been found in the early layers
(Hrdh 2002, 126). Again, only minor parts of the site have been excavated and, given the more than
3 m of cultural layers in some parts (Lindell/Thomasson, 2003, 31ff.), the analysis of the metaldetector finds also poses problems as early finds, in layers that are as yet undisturbed, are probably
underrepresented compared with the Late Iron Age finds turned up by the plough. Although publication is proceeding at a laudable speed, there has been little focus on gold and silver smiths possibly
due to lack of finds. It is evident that bronze jewellery was produced at Uppkra, possibly already
during the late Roman period or even earlier. Metal slag and tuyre fragments have been found in
late Roman refuse layers, as well as ceramics tempered with plant material or bone, which are interpreted as evidence of metal working (Stilborg 2003, 127132). During the Migration Period, a series
of bronze cruciform brooches was presumably produced at Uppkra (Lund/Larsson 2007, 33), and
Vendel Period brooches and moulds testify to a massive production of beaked brooches (H rdh
2001, 197f.). Fragments of crucibles were reported from the famous cult house, both in the floor layer
of the earliest phase (Late[?] Roman Iron Age), which also contained some metal slag, and in later
layers dating through the Migration Period (Larsson/Lenntorp 2004, 18, 31). A crucible with traces
of gold was found just to the south of the cult house, possibly dating to the Vendel Period (Larsson/
Lenntorp 2004, 7). Early in the Vendel Period, gold-foil figures were manufactured at Uppkra,
as proved by the gold strips and four patrix dies that were found there (Larsson/Lenntorp 2004,
24f.; Watt 1999; 2004). Metal analyses of copper alloy objects seem to indicate that deliberate metalworking experiments were performed during the Vendel Period, thus testifying to the permanent
presence of bronze casters at Uppkra (K resten et al. 2001, 163). In such an active metal-working
milieu, at a site with a definite aristocratic presence, gold and silver smiths must also have been
present, but proof of this is still rather elusive at Uppkra.

129

Sorte Muld, on Bornholm, is as aristocratic and long-lasting as Uppkra (Adamsen et al. 2008; 2009).
The up to 1.5 m of cultural layers date back as far as the Pre-Roman Iron Age and the finds indicate
that Sorte Muld, like Uppkra, had a religious function, at least in the Vendel Period when more
than 2000 gold-foil figures were deposited there. The site is not as extensively published as Gudme
or Uppkra but, according to Ulla Lund Hansen, the distribution pattern of the metal-detector finds
shows that craftsmen who worked with gold, silver and semi-precious stones were located in the
central part of Sorte Muld, while bronze and iron smiths worked in the satellite settlements (Lund
Hansen 2009, 83f.). On the other hand, it should be remembered that the unfinished gold bracteate
IK 570 mentioned above was in fact found at Sylten, which is one of the satellite sites (Hauck /A xboe
1990); the satellites Kanonhj and Dalshj have also yielded drops of gold and silver as well as evidence of bronze casting (Thorsen 2008, 113). The evidence of gold and silver smiths at Sorte Muld
consists of crucibles, ingots, gold drops and silver sprues; from the Vendel Period, there are not only
the gold-foil figures their production is proved by the patrix dies and cut gold strips but also
patterned gold foil for cloisonn work, patrix dies to produce the foil, and roughly shaped unmounted
garnets. The fragmented cloisonn objects found at Sorte Muld may well have been produced on site.
As at Uppkra, moulds are proof of the production of bronze beak brooches.

Smaller sites. Hrup


Gudme, Uppkra and Sorte Muld are the largest central places known. With their aristocratic and
religious functions, they are obvious places for gold and silver smiths to work. But there are other
sites to be considered, too.
The oldest is the settlement at Hrup in northern Zealand (Srensen 2000; 2006a). Here, on the
slope of a hill, is a workshop site with cultural layers dating from the early Roman Iron Age to the
Migration Period. The area that yielded metal-detector finds extends over c. 20,000 m with a distinct concentration in an area approximately 75 x 75 m; c. 2000 m have been excavated. There is clear
evidence of activity by blacksmiths, bronze casters and comb makers, while the presence of gold or
silver smiths is only indirectly suggested by fragments of finished objects, e.g. clasp buttons. Patches
of clay, 0.50.6 m in diameter, with heat-reddened centres measuring c. 0.2 m and small burnt stones
close by, are interpreted as forges; the postholes near them as wind-break fences (Srensen 2000,
12f.; 2006a, 174). Vitrified clay was found both near the forges and elsewhere. One pit contained
burnt flint, which, in the light of the findings at Lundeborg (see above) and at Kvrndrup (below),
may have been used in the forges (Srensen 2000, 14). Six kilns were excavated, but there was no
indication of their purpose (Srensen 2000, 1012; 2006a, 174). Some of the c. 50 brooches found had
been deliberately folded, as though intended to be recycled indeed, one was actually partly melted
down. These scrap fibulae seem to date to the late Roman and early Migration Periods (Srensen
2000, 25; 2006a, 173). Sheet bronze and fragments of vessels also appear to have been cut up ready
to be melted down (Srensen 2000, 38; 2006a, 173). Fifteen Roman coins have been found; the most
recent was minted under Valentinian I (364367) (S rensen 2000, 33; 2006a, 171, 177; Horsns
2010, 108, 117). Like the weights (Srensen 2000, 34; 2006a, 172f.), the coins may have been linked to
workshop activities. Secure evidence of fine metal working is furnished by more than 70 fragments of
crucibles, two of which were almost totally preserved, and a fragment of a mould, while tuyre fragments may be ascribed to both fine metal smiths and blacksmiths, who also were active at Hrup
(Srensen 2000, 3638; 2006a, 175).
Hrup is obviously not a central place in the same sense as Gudme or Uppkra, but it seems to be
part of a central landscape with an open-air sacrificial site at Lrkefryd, where denarii, whole and
deliberately fragmented gold rings, high quality late Roman/Migration Period weapons and horse
130

gear as well as fragmented jewellery dating from the late Roman period to early in the Viking Age
have been found; presumably this is also where the gold bracteates IK 7779 and 94,2 Hjrlunde
were found. The site is on a plateau on top of a pronounced hill, and excavations have revealed no
structures other than cooking pits, which have not yet been dated. The wetlands around the hills have
yielded sacrificial finds, e.g. wagon fragments etc. in Rappendam Bog and skeletons in Jrlunde Lake
(S rensen 2000, 6673; 2006a). Some 11 km from Hrup lies the settlement of Stoftegrd with
Roman and Migration Period bronze brooches, denarii, hack gold (including half a bracteate, folded
up ready for melting down) and silver (including fragments of Roman dishes) as well as other
Roman imports. On the slope below the settlement, metal-detector finds from the cultural layers
include bronze sprues, and melted-down metal lumps and drops. The site may be a contemporaneous
parallel to Hrup: it definitely had bronze working and, most likely, silver and gold working, too
(Srensen 2000, 65). Iron Age settlement in the area appears to have consisted of individual farms,
and besides wealthy late-Roman graves are also known. Thus the organisation of power and religion
does not seem to have been the same as in the Gudme/Uppkra/Sorte Muld model.

Northern Jutland
There is perhaps another multi-partite centre in the lborg area in northern Jutland. Several sites
are known on both sides of the best place to cross the Limfjord. To the north of the fjord, there is
not only the large Lindholm Hje burial site but also several productive sites that were discovered
in the course of metal-detector surveys. Further sites were located by metal detectors in the hills to
the south of the fjord: Bejsebakken was the first to be recorded and is the best known (rsnes 1976;
Nielsen 2002; 2011). Extensive settlements have been searched by metal-detectors or excavated, not
only at Bejsebakken but also at Humlebakken, Postgrden and numerous other localities (A xboe
1991, 28, 31; 1993; Trier Christiansen 2008). Nevertheless, the goldsmiths remain elusive: apart
from a Grubenhaus at Bejsebakken (possibly from the Merovingian Period), where bronze and iron
were processed (Nielsen 2011, 171), no metal-workers workshops have been found. Indeed, even
bronze working has left very few traces, although a rich variety of types indicates innovative brooch
production in the area (Trier Christiansen 2008, 124; Nielsen 2011, 172). On the other hand, there
must have been goldsmiths in the area: the only gold bracteate die known from Denmark was found
at Postgrden (A xboe 1993; 2004, 3; 2007, 14f.) and the fragmented bracteate IK 390, which was torn
and folded as though destined for the crucible, came from Bejsebakken.
Further north in Jutland is the less well-known site of Stentinget (Nilsson 1990), which also qualifies as a central place, although of lower status than Gudme etc., and which extends over an area of
more than 200,000 m. The dates of the metal-detector finds range from around AD 100 to 1100
with the majority after c. 600, but earlier types such as cruciform brooches do occur. Aristocratic
and religious functions are suggested by Germanic Iron Age brooches with inlaid stones, the silver
terminal mount of a Frankish belt and other high-class Viking finds as well as a gold-foil figure. Iron
slag and scrap silver, bronze and lead prove that there was metal working on the site, some of which
took place in Grubenhuser, but only small-scale excavations have been undertaken and no date for
the metal working is given.

Western and Southern Jutland


Yet another variant of Iron Age centres are the Migration Period halls with rich glass finds, as were
discovered at Dankirke and Dejbjerg in Jutland (Dankirke: Jarl Hansen 198889; Dejbjerg: Ege131

Hansen 199394). These sites had neither the same functions nor the same social or religious
status as the large central places like Gudme but seem, rather, to have been the farmsteads of lowerranking chieftains with some additional trading activities (Jensen 1991; Jrgensen 2001, 74f.). Apart
from some possible raw material, such as the scattered denarii, precious scrap metal and a ploughedup bronze sprue from Dankirke, neither site has yielded evidence of any metal workers other than
blacksmiths. When examining Dankirke in the context of newer finds from the area, Claus Feveile
(2011, 279f.) considered it as an element of a possible multi-partite centre in south-western Jutland
perhaps a parallel to the above-mentioned Hrup/Stoftegrd area in Zealand. In any case, it is a
further reminder that other centre models than just the Gudme/Uppkra/Sorte Muld type must be
kept in mind.
berg

Slinge
Crucibles, metal drops and a presumed mould for gold ingots have been found without a dating context at the chieftains farm at Slinge in Halland, which was founded in the Migration Period. At
Slinge there is possible evidence of metal working and other specialized crafts during the Migration
Period, but not (yet) any indication that it involved more than visiting itinerant craftsmen however,
only a very small part of the find-yielding area has been excavated (Lundqvist 1997; 2000, 4359,
118; 2003, 6873f., 148ff.).

Torstorp Vesterby
Thus, the goldsmiths tend to elude us in the very places where we might expect to meet them. But,
conversely, they can also surprise us by popping up where we do not expect them. Over the last few
decades, extensive Iron Age settlements have been excavated in the flat areas to the west of Copenhagen. The settlement pattern here seems to be small open villages or clusters of 36 farms; in several
cases, it has been possible to connect the farms with burial sites. Both the furnishing of the graves
and the types of farmhouse seem to indicate a hierarchic network with at least three social levels but
without any obvious centre (Boye et al. 2009; Boye/Lund Hansen 2011). At Torstorp Vesterby, a
fenced farm of the second social level (the easternmost farm on the plan Boye 2008, Fig. 9) consisted
of a longhouse of the Ragnesminde type, a secondary house and a Grubenhaus the only example
of this type of house among the approximately 90 houses found at this site with the remains of a
goldsmiths workshop. The Grubenhaus was almost square, c. 3 x 3.5 m and c. 0.25 m deep, with a
posthole at each gable end. A pit had been dug in the eastern part of the floor, c. 0.8 m in diameter
and 5060 cm deep, and near it lay a flat, ground boulder with two carved and polished indentations
at the edges, in which small grains of gold were preserved. The house is thought to be a goldsmiths
workplace with the pit to accommodate his legs while working. The stone has been interpreted as
a soldering stone, where borax or some other flux was dissolved in water and mixed with gold.
Whatever its purpose, the traces of gold in the indentations prove that the house was a goldsmiths
workshop, and the other objects found fit well with this interpretation: iron needles or punches and
a short stout knife, interpreted as a chasing or engraving tool. Another craft or simply the presence of a woman is revealed by a spindle whorl (Fonnesbech-Sandberg 1999, 32f.; Woller 2002).
Little datable material was found, so the typology of the longhouse was used to date the farm to the
5th6th century AD, which agrees well with a thermoluminescence (TL) date of 560+/-100 AD for the
Grubenhaus (Woller 2002; pers. comm. L. Boye; cf. Boye 2008).

132

Kvrndrup
Similarly, an excavation at Kvrndrup in southern Funen, carried out because of minor road
construction work, revealed three Grubenhuser (Fig. 4; Thomsen 1998; 1999). The largest, labelled
A 12, measured 6 x 4 m. Two hearths were found, at different levels, both c. 90 cm in diameter and
lying on a thin layer of sand; bones seem to have been used for fuel. In house A 18, which measured
5 x 3.5 m, two shallow pits containing charcoal were found in the floor near a hearth. The present
depth of both these houses was c. 80 cm while house A 15, which was circular with a diameter of
3.5 m, was twice as deep. The floor of A 15 consisted of a 25 cm layer of fine, light sand mixed with
ashes and almost powdery charcoal. There was a hearth and traces of two posts, which had supported
the roof, plus a few minor postholes on the periphery. Large amounts of charcoal were found in all three
houses. The pottery found in the houses was dated to the middle of the Roman Iron Age (Period B2/C1).

Fig. 4. Simplified plan of the Kvrndrup


Grubenhuser. G: Crucible fragment
with gold; S: Crucible fragment with
silver; X: Hearth; hatched: Area with
many crucibles; dotted: Charcoal pit;
Avlssten: Tuyre; Bronzebarre: Bronze
ingot; Bronze-drbe: Bronze drop;
Esseslagger: Forge slag; Probersten:
Touchstone; Stolpespor: Posthole; Slvdrbe: Silver drop (adapted from
Thomsen 1999).

Other than at Kvrndrup, Roman Iron Age Grubenhuser are scarcely known on Funen, despite
extensive settlement excavations. Even more surprising was the content of the houses: a whetstone, a
possible touchstone, a small pair of tongs, a tuyre, eight complete crucibles together with fragments
of around 40 more, and tiny fragments of clay moulds. The crucibles are open, pear-shaped, and
glazed on the outside by intense heat (Figs. 56). In some of the crucibles from house A 18 tiny drops
of gold and silver/bronze were preserved. Moreover, larger drops of silver and bronze were found in
houses A 12 and A 15; and a small bronze ingot in house A 18. In all three houses, plano-convex pieces
of slag from the forges (of a type also found at Gudme III/Strkrvej) were found, which indicated
that the forges had measured 1015 cm in diameter and, as was the case at Lundeborg, crushed flint
had been added to raise the temperature. As at Torstorp Vesterby, two spindle whorls and a fragment
of a loom-weight suggest that textile working also took place in the houses.
Here, evidently, a metal caster had worked with both gold and other metals; and, judging from the
number of crucibles, he was not on just a short visit. Other Iron Age settlements are known in the
vicinity, but the only one of any note is the Falle Mlle site with the remains of one or more late
Roman/early Migration Period farms (Jensen 2006). The sparse metal finds included a fragmented
denarius and some silver foil. In 1861, a heavily worn imitation aureus (Maximianus Herculius,
286305) with an attached loop was found, possibly at the same site (Breitenstein 1943, 10, No.
XVI; Horsns 2010, 48, 93, 111, Fig. 18). It should also be noted that the 4th century Roman multiplum from Trunderup (Mackeprang 1952, 107, Pl. 1:3) was found only some two kilometres away.
133

Fig. 5. Kvrndrup. Crucibles in House A 15 during excavation


(photo P. O. Thomsen).

Fig. 6. Kvrndrup. Crucibles after restoration (photo


Svendborg Museum).

O ther sites on Funen


Thus, although Kvrndrup cannot be called a central place, the area has yielded above-average
finds. The site is about 12 km to the west of Gudme; perhaps a visiting goldsmith from Gudme also
worked at Kvrndrup. Indeed, such visits are a possibility at numerous sites where drops of precious
metal were found, e.g. at Lundsgrd S, the site of a 3rd5th century settlement to the northeast of
Odense where cultural layers and house remains were excavated by Erling Albrectsen (Albrectsen
1946, 650), and where recent finds include denarii and drops of bronze and silver. In 1977, an oval,
polished quartzite stone (FSM 1813) was found there, which Henrik Thrane interpreted as possibly a
goldsmiths tool. Denarii and hack gold were found on quite a few of the sites surveyed with metaldetectors, as were drops of silver and bronze. The denarii were most likely deposited or lost during
the Roman Iron Age or the Migration Period, and it is quite probable that the same is the case for the
gold, while hack silver and melted-down silver are at least as likely to be of Viking Age date, if they
are not fragments of Roman tableware. Objects found with metal detectors can only be dated as
part of the general find spectrum on the site, and it is almost impossible to decide whether denarii and
precious metal were hoarded treasure, raw material for goldsmiths, or as is also possible sacrifices.

Hoards
The distinction can be difficult enough for objects found in situ. Hoards of precious scrap metal
are known from several sites. Like the well-known large hoards from Hstentorp, Hardenberg and
Simmersted (Munksgaard 1954; Voss 1954) or newer finds like those from Engelsborg (AUD 1994,
12f., 234; Horsns 2010, 115, 140f.) and stervang, both in Zealand, they sometimes consist of cutup Roman tableware combined with coins, fragments of ingots, silver-wire clasps (hooks/eyes) and
occasional fragments of other Scandinavian jewellery such as relief brooches. At Gudme, such hoards
have been interpreted as raw material for the gold and silver smiths, and there is ample evidence to
confirm that precious metals were actually processed at Gudme. This is also the interpretation of a
hoard from Granly/Fraugde Krby at Odense on Funen, which was found in a posthole and consisted of a mounted Theodosius I solidus (loop missing), a fragment of a silver-gilt Nydam-style relief
brooch, silver ingots and hack silver (Runge 2007; Runge/Andreasen 2009).
134

For Zealand, the finds from Hrup and Stoftegrd can be mentioned, as can the scattered denarii
and scrap silver, including fragments of relief brooches and Roman silver vessels as well as fragments
of gold and silver ingots from the stervang settlement near Kge, some of which were found with
metal-detectors, others in settlement pits. The site has furnished evidence of bronze casting already
during the early Roman period, but no further traces of metal working in the Migration Period. Fragments of Roman statues and vessels are regarded as bullion and, as is the case at Hrup, there is evidence of other trades such as comb making (Tornbjerg 2002; 2011; Horsns et al. 2005). Another recent
metal-detector find of hack gold and silver, including fragments of a relief brooch, from the Herflge
area to the of south of Kge may be relevant (article in the newspaper Lrdagsavisen, 19.12.2011).
On Bornholm, the small gold hoard found in 1869 at Sandegrd in ker parish can be mentioned. It
consisted of a quarter of the gold bracteate IK 324, four solidi, a sword button, an ingot and some
hack gold (M ackeprang 1952, 116; K lindt-Jensen 1957, 236). The most striking item here is the
quartered bracteate, which can be compared to the equally fragmented bracteates from Bejsebakken,
Stoftegrd and Sylten already mentioned above. Another quarter of IK 324 had already been found
in 1829 at an unknown location on Bornholm. However, as the Sandegrd objects found in 1869
were lying close together, about 0.5 m deep in the settlement layers, the fragments must have been
deposited separately. Obviously the bracteate had been cut into several pieces and must, like the rest
of the Sandegrd hoard, be regarded as bullion. Later metal-detector surveying and samples from
the cultural layers indicate that the Sandegrd settlement was continually inhabited from the Roman
Iron Age to the Viking Age. Miscast brooches and scrap metal, including hack gold, metal workers
tools, crucibles with bronze remnants, and clay slag to which gold drops adhered, bear witness to fine
metal working on the site (Watt 2006, 154160).
All these scrap-metal finds can possibly be interpreted as hoards hidden by an itinerant goldsmith, or
as the local chieftains treasure awaiting the goldsmiths arrival. On the other hand, the open-air gold
sacrifices at Lrkefryd near Hrup demonstrate that other interpretations of precious scrap metal
must also be taken into account. Similarly, Claus Feveile has drawn attention to the fact that several
of these sites have no other evidence of metal working, e.g. crucibles or moulds (Feveile 2011, 279).
This may not be a conclusive objection as both types of artefact are fragile and depend on favourable circumstances to be preserved. Nevertheless, the fact that not only in the large Simmersted and
Hstentorp hoards but also in the much smaller Hgsbrogrd find the fragments of Roman tableware, in particular, had been deliberately folded with some showing traces of wear as though they
had been in circulation for some time should be a reminder that at least some of these hoards may
have yet another significance, as expressions of wealth, possibly as proposed by Feveile originally
fragmented outside Scandinavia, perhaps in post-Roman Britain or even in the Roman Empire,
where the use of silver fragments as currency is known (Munksgaard 1987, 84; Feveile 2011, 277ff.).
Consequently, both the circumstances mentioned here and a general investigation of the gold deposits
on Funen (H enriksen 2010) demonstrate that hoards of precious scrap metal must be examined
individually.

The smiths
The question of itinerant smiths has been much discussed for many years (e.g. Werner 1970; Wolters
1998, 363ff. with refs.; Callmer 2003). Johan Callmer has made the important point that if skills and
knowledge are to be maintained, a craft must be exercised continuously and with a certain intensity
(ibid. 342). Casting non-ferrous metals, be it copper alloys, silver or gold, is a complicated process
and requires a profound knowledge of raw materials which in the Migration Period often consisted of heterogeneous scrap metal to be able to judge their actual composition and characteristics.
135

Similarly, the making of crucibles and moulds is different from normal pottery making. The casting
process requires a strict control of the temperature, which had to be judged by the colour of the metal
alone (ibid. 347ff.). These complex processes can only be mastered after a long apprenticeship with a
competent teacher, and the acquired skills can only be maintained through constant practice. Due to
the absence of population concentrations even in southern Scandinavia, most craftsmen presumably
led a more or less itinerant life, which, on the other hand, not only ensured that their production was
large enough to maintain quality but also created opportunities for the sharing of technical knowledge, aesthetic values and ideological/iconographical concepts (ibid. 344, 358f.).
I would not, however, go as far as to imagine gold or silver smiths roaming randomly from village to
village offering their services, not even if they were also skilled in bronze casting. No matter how the
distribution of precious-metal jewellery was organized, their primary customers would be the members of the elite. As mentioned above, permanent bronze working can be presumed at Uppkra, as well
as on the workshop farms that also handled gold and silver at Gudme. The port-of-trade at Lundeborg will have been closely connected with Gudme but, due to the location of the settlement, literally on the shore of the Great Belt, Lundeborg was probably only used on a seasonal basis. On smaller,
or less aristocratic, sites like Kvrndrup or even Slinge, temporary visits of gold and silver smiths
could explain the workshop remains found there, perhaps as part of the redistribution policies of the
chieftains at centres like Gudme. The finds in the Hrup/Stoftegrd area in northern Zealand and the
solitary Grubenhaus at Torstorp Vesterby may also indicate itinerant smiths or temporary activity.

Ingot moulds
Sites where single pieces of evidence of precious-metal smiths have been found include Postgrden,
with the bracteate die already mentioned above, and a 4th5th century settlement at Stavad in northern Jutland where a crucible was found without other workshop remains (Dehn 1980). Other possible indications of goldsmiths are the presumed stone moulds for gold ingots. They are problematic,
however, both with regard to their actual function and because they were also used in other periods
one was found (unfortunately only as a surface find) at Welsburg in Lower Saxony, a site that has
otherwise yielded only 14th 15th century finds (Scheschkewitz 2000). However, a securely dated
Danish find is known from a 6th century Grubenhaus at Darum in southwestern Jutland (Jensen
1985, 114f. with Fig. 8). Surface finds are known from Slinge (Lundqvist 2003, 72) and Gudme II
(Thrane 1992, 332 Fig. 18), sites that were definitely occupied in the Iron Age, as well as from other
less well-known Danish sites (Thrane 1987, 6 with Note 34 and Fig. 2). The find context for a mould
from Vorbasse has not been published, but this piece, an unprovenanced one in the Haderslev Museum and the one from the High Middle Ages found at Welsburg all contained traces of gold (Wiell
1975). It is therefore obvious that these objects were used by goldsmiths, but I am not convinced by
their interpretation as ingot moulds: the actual ingots found have blunt rounded ends and straighter
backs; the moulds would produce ingots which, seen from the side, would be highest at the middle
with smoothly tapering ends. Other explanations should be considered, possibly as proposed for
the Torstorp Vesterby soldering stone in connection with the making of solder. Perhaps chemical
analyses of the pieces with traces of gold might provide an answer.

136

Concluding remarks
To sum up: we do have quite a few sites with evidence of precious-metal smiths but, apart from
the Grubenhuser at Torstorp Vesterby and Kvrndrup at both sites unique in their local context
and the four-post structures at Gudme and Lundeborg hardly any workshop remains or evidence
of longer visits have been identified in southern Scandinavia. But what can we expect? Several of
the conference speakers were able to demonstrate that a goldsmith needs only a small, portable
set of tools and no larger installations than a small forge or hearth, the traces of which can easily
be obliterated. Thus visits from itinerant smiths need not leave any archaeologically identifiable
remains. Clay moulds and crucibles also decay if they are not very soon sealed in a pit, a refuse layer,
a Grubenhaus, or a burnt-down house. Our best chance of locating a permanent workshop building may be at the large and stable central places, especially at Uppkra and Sorte Muld with their
preserved cultural layers. However, even there, the workshop structures may be as inconspicuous
as at Gudme and Lundeborg, and difficult to identify in the thick, dark cultural layers. Or can we
hope for a beautifully preserved structure like the workshop at Skeke in Uppland, presented by Eva
Hjrthner-Holdar in this volume?

Acknowledgements
My thanks go to Andreas Rau for the reference to the Welsburg find, to Linda Boye for the reference
and information concerning Torstorp Vesterby, to Helle Horsns, Lars Jrgensen and Per O. Thomsen
for illustrations, and to Beverley Hirschel for polishing my English.

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Dr. phil. Morten Axboe


Nationalmuseet Kbenhavn
Frederiksholms Kanal 12
DK 1220 Kbenhavn K
morten.axboe@natmus.dk

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