What was the origin of Viking Age artifacts? New study to examine 90 iron weapons of the time

New Delhi: An international team of researchers is examining the chemical composition of iron artefacts from the Viking Age to uncover new information about their origin. The Viking Age was the period from 800 AD to 1050 AD, during which the first kings appeared.

Scientists to Examine 90 Iron Age Viking Artifacts

Scientists will examine 90 Viking Age iron artefacts to gather previously unknown information about historical events, according to a statement released by the University of Nottingham in England. The artefacts are weapons that were used in battles from Fulford in North Yorkshire to Bebington Heath on the Wirral, a peninsula in northwest England.

The statement said other materials came from the Viking camp at Torksey in Lincolnshire and the ancient Viking seaport of Meols. Nowadays, Meols is a village located on the north coast of the Wirral peninsula.

What was the era of the Vikings?

Danish prehistory culminated in the Viking Age. The first kings appeared in the Viking Age. These kings ruled over an area roughly corresponding to present-day Denmark, according to an article published by the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.

Denmark was first named around AD 965, on King Harald Bluetooth’s runestone in Jelling. The king of Denmark ruled England and Norway at times during the late Viking Age, according to the article.

The Viking Age was characterized by sea travel and expeditions to foreign lands, and the Vikings embarked on ships and a fleet to trade, earn income, and conquer new lands. During the Viking period, the old Norse religion was replaced by Christianity.

Mammen’s Viking ax is one of the most famous artifacts from this period. During the winter of 970-971 AD, a magnate from Mammen was buried in a tomb with important furnishings, including an ornamental ax and a large candle. The tycoon received an expensive costume, and the ax was a ceremonial ax with silver decoration.

What was the origin of Viking Age weapons?

In 1066 AD, a battle took place between Norse invaders and the Anglo-Saxons at Fulford. It took place just before the more well-known Battle of Stamford Bridge, according to the statement.

Fulford’s Norse winners had abandoned a number of short-lived iron recycling sites when they were defeated at Stamford Bridge. At these iron recycling sites, archaeological material, including iron weapons, has been found.

According to the statement, the iron material from Bebington Heath was recovered from the possible location of the Battle of Brunanburh which took place in 937 AD, between the Norse-Scottish and Anglo-Saxon armies. The material has been typologically attributed to the late Saxon/Viking period, according to the statement.

Additionally, the material has parallels with the Fulford artifacts. The site of the Great Viking Army’s winter encampment in AD 827-873 was Torksey, Lincolnshire, in the Lower Trent Valley. Iron working is documented at Torksey, according to the statement.

Techniques used to determine the chemical composition of artifacts

University of Nottingham scientists are working with the University of Toulouse in France, the University of York in England, the Fulford Battlefield Society and the Nottinghamshire-based British Geological Survey at Keyworth to identify the chemical isotopic signature of iron. The researchers are performing isotopic analyzes of lead, strontium and iron to identify the chemical isotopic signature, according to the statement.

Lead isotope analysis has proven effective in determining the provenance of ancient silver and copper metal objects. The researchers have already conducted a successful pilot study on a smaller sample of artifacts which showed that this combination of analyzes is effective in determining the earliest known history of iron artifacts, even when the objects are heavily corroded.

Professor Stephen Harding, an expert in the scientific study of Viking artefacts and head of the research, said that in the study the researchers will test their hypothesis that it is possible to use isotopic analysis with iron to identify more precisely than ever before where the where the artifact came from, according to the statement.

He added that if successful, it could lead to the method being used with many other historical artifacts, which will help researchers learn more about historical events and people.

Mark Pearce, professor of Mediterranean prehistory, added that this is an exciting collaboration that will use the latest scientific techniques to reveal the unique isotopic composition of these ancient artifacts and how this informs researchers about where they have been manufactured. He added that the project will revolutionize researchers’ understanding of archaeological iron objects, finally giving them a method to accurately identify their origin.

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