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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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B6228 (B6228) - iron staff

object; 900-1000; not skaldic;

Historisk museum i Bergen
Location: Veke;

contents from the ONP and skaldic databases:

object/burial information
description:

Find place:

Veke, Vangen, Voss, Hordaland, Norway

Context:

Grave

Grave type:

A large mound (over 30m in diameter) consisting of stones and gravel. Inside the mound the deceased person was buried in a wooden chamber or ‘box’. Judging by the presence of jewellery it is most likely that it was a grave of a woman.

Finds:

An iron staff; a silver coin of Offa of Mercia; thirteen glass beads on small silver wire rings; two carnelian beads on small silver wire rings; a rock crystal bead on a silver wire ring; ninety-nine glass beads; three amber beads; two oval brooches (type P51); a bronze brooch; a silver arm-ring; a bronze arm-ring; an iron knife with a wooden handle; a bronze needle-case (filled with felt with iron needles struck into it); small pieces of lead (probably fragments of a spindle-whorl); an iron sickle, iron nails and chest fittings.

The chest contained: two weaving combs; eleven steatite loom weights; an iron tool resembling a chisel, an iron tool with a wooden handle.

Placement of the staff within the grave:

Judging from the placement of other objects and especially jewellery it seems that the staff was in direct contact with the body, probably cradled in the woman’s hands.

Total length of the staff:

74cm, but it could have been a little longer

Weight of the staff:

?

Cross section of the shaft (shape):

Square

Width of the shaft:

1cm and thinning towards a sharp end

Length of the ‘handle’ measured from the upper part/tip of the staff:

15.8cm

Length of the ‘handle’ measured from the upper part of the upper mount to the lower end of the lower mount:

13.5cm

Number of rods:

No rods

Comments:

The staff is preserved in a moderate condition. It is difficult to see whether the mounts in the ‘handle’ part are iron or bronze and I would lean towards the former option. The staff did not have an ‘expanded handle’ construction. It seems to have had a ring attached to the upper end of the shaft (some bits of this ring seem to be glued to the upper mount).

Description of the plate:

Fig. 1: The ‘handle’ of the staff.

Fig. 2: The lower end of the staff with a sharp point.

Fig. 3: Drawing and a cross-section of the grave mound.

Fig. 4: Plan of the grave.

page- images - sts/text texts
1 d 300dpi

images

B6228, 1 (d300dpi)
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