Kontextualisering av metallhantverk på landsbygden - arkeometallurgi och landskapsstudiemetodik

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


The research project "Exclusive metalworking in rural settings" was instigated in 2013 with funding from Berit Wallenbergs foundation. The projects objective is to survey sites housing remains of multimetal
craftsmanship of the late Iron Age and medieval periods
outside urban contexts. This article aims to contextualize preliminary results from the project by evaluating its chosen source material and methodology and relating it to a wider chronological sphere.
Multimetal craftsmanship or complex smithing can be traced in the archaeological record through composite objects incorporating more the one metal,mostly iron or steel and copper alloys. The craft can also be discerned through metallurgical waste material like slag cakes from smithing showing traces of the handling of copper alloys.
The material used in the survey stems exclusively from Swedish contract archaeology of the last decades. Raw results from contract archaeology are far too rarely used to their full potential in contemporary archaeological research. The survey project hence serve as a good example of how these results can be utilized in contemporary research. A few essential problems were identified in the survey process. Most notable of these was the lack of basic interpretation of
the metallurgical remains that was sometimes displayed
in contract archaeology basic reports.¨
This is partly ndue to insufficient time and resources given to certain projects but it’s also concluded that the archaeometallurgical knowledgebase may be inadequate in a few instances. These problems are
also argued to be a factor in the miscommunication between present contract archaeology and academia, causing harmful mistrust on both sides.
The analysis of the positioning of multimetal craftsmanship in the cultural landscape has yielded results as to the resource management, economic and social structure requirements and spatial make-up of Late Iron Age and early medieval metalworking. This article argues that the methodology used in the project "Exclusive metalworking in rural settings" could be fruitfully employed across wide chronological and thematic spans. By viewing the metalworking sites as active source material in archaeometallurgical research, new insights can be gained regarding both metalworking as a craft and and its defining agent - the metalworkers.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology
  • History of Technology


  • Metallhantverk, Landskapsstudier, Multimetallitet, Järnålder, Bronsålder
Original languageSwedish
Title of host publicationBronzestöbning i yngre bronzealders lokale kulturlandskab
PublisherViborg Museum & Holstebro Museum
ISBN (Print)978-87-92778-39-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series


Total downloads

No data available