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Publication . Article . 2022

Metal-detected Late Iron Age and Early Medieval Brooches from the Limfjord Region, Northern Jutland: Production, Use and Loss.

Trier Christiansen, Torben;
Open Access
Published: 06 Oct 2022 Journal: The Journal of Archaeology and Ancient History (eissn: 2001-1199, Copyright policy )
Publisher: Uppsala University
Country: Sweden

Based on the study of 1,859 metal-detected brooches recovered at different sites in the Limfjord region, this paper discusses patterns of production, distribution, use, and deposition of brooches. Widespread indications of non-ferrous metalwork and a modest number of models for brooch production suggest that brooches were produced at many settlements in the region during the period studied (AD 400–1150), and traces of technical change and varying distribution patterns in the finished brooches suggest temporally as well as spatially differing modes of production. Furthermore, analyses suggests that most brooches were intact when they entered the soil, and seemingly random distribution patterns likely reflect the fact that many, perhaps most, were simply accidentally dropped. However, over and above, the interpretational difficulties are consequent on the recovery of all of the metal-detector finds in the plough layer detached from their original context. The interpretation of distribution patterns is at most sites also markedly challenged by the fact that many brooches, along with other metal artefacts, appear to having been secondarily deposited in the fields surrounding the settlements, probably during the manuring of the fields.


Metal detecting, Ploughzone archaeology, Late Iron Age Scandinavia, Viking Age Scandinavia, Brooch, the Limfjord, Archaeology, Arkeologi

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