Mentor: Dr. Florin Curta
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I became involved with archaeological research to learn the past practices of humans through material culture and help brighten our understanding of the past."
Hobbies and Interests
- Lithic Technologies
- Viking Age Archaeology
- North American Archaeology
Power and Wealth: Axe-shaped Iron Ingots in Viking-age Europe
The notion of “medieval hoard” conjures the image of a collection of gold or silver coins, bracelets, and earrings. It is much more difficult to imagine that for certain parts of early medieval Europe, iron tools and implements were sufficiently valuable to be hoarded. Collections of such artifacts found in Moravia (the eastern part of the present-day Czech Republic) and in Norway include however a number of artifacts that cannot be classified either as tools or as weapons: axe-shaped ingots. In Moravia, all hoards have been dated to the ninth and early tenth century, while a date within the Viking Age may be ascertained for at least some of the assemblages with axe-shaped ingots from Norway. In Central Europe, besides Moravia, hoard or single finds of such ingots are known from the region of the Upper Vistula now in Poland. Recent studies suggest that they originated in Moravia. In both Moravia and Norway, the presence of such ingots is associated with the rise of a number of ironworking centers, and the archaeology of both regions has produced an abundant evidence of blacksmithing. What was the purpose of those artifacts? Why were they in simultaneous use in two regions of Europe so far from each other?