Interpretative sign for the Iron age exhibit.

This is a special post for Leif.  When we were in the Gävle Länsmuseet on Sunday after our trip through Gamle Gefle and we saw a special display on iron work and some of the ancient iron that has been found in the area.

This is a door from the church in Valbo. You can see the hammer strikes on the iron bits that hold the door planks together.
According to the interpretative sign, this was a big find in 1993 of 12 shovel-shaped iron things “spadformade ämnesjärn” . They are from 500 AD!
A collection of viking swords and other iron tools and decorative items

And here are a couple of short clips of the items in the display cases.

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1 Comment

  1. AWESOME! Thanks for this – I hope you guys found it interesting. I think the shovel-shaped iron bars may have been for shipping: they’d refine iron into large pieces with a hole in one end so that they could all be put on a pole or rope to ship about Europe.

    One of the swords is bent – not sure, but it could have been a ritual deposit: archaeologists have found huge deposits of perfectly good swords that were intentionally bent and thrown in a bog or river – could this be symbolic of destroying the power of the enemy by destroying their weapons?

    Funny thing about the visible hammer-strokes in the iron-work on that door: I’ve been doing some amateur smithing with some friends and now that artisan smiths do not usually refine their own metal they don’t need to work it as much. You can imagine all the hammering necessary to work those shovel-shaped pieces into the fine work on that door! Now smiths just buy 1/2 inch bar or 1-inch bar in square, round, flat dimensions – whatever they need: the factories make it in all shapes and sizes. With most of the work I like making I spend a lot of time taking a perfect shape and hammering it EVERYWHERE just to make it look more unique and “real.” Funny how things change…

    Currently working on some smithing allusions in an Old Norse poem – very neat to see these pieces! Thanks!
    – Leif

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