The project involves a scientific study of 200 9th-10th century glass beads from well-dated Viking burials on the island of Gotland, Sweden that contain other provenanced material, especially coins.
When combined with the study of Islamic coins from Sweden such an analysis should transform our understanding of trade in the Viking Age. Indeed, glass beads constitute, after Islamic coins, the second most common type of objects imported to northern Europe in that period. They have never been scientifically provenanced on a large scale before.
The project team have removed microsamples from the glass beads, These have been analysed using electron probe microanalysis in the Nano and Microscale Research Centre, University of Nottingham and laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry at the British Geological Survey.
Unpublished results indicate that the glass used to make the beads derived from a range of geographic sources. A multi-authored article is in preparation.
Julian Henderson, University of NottinghamMarek Jankowiak, University of OxfordSimon Chenery, British Geological Survey Per Widerström, Gotlands Museum, Visby, Sweden
Project funded by the Birmingham-Nottingham Strategic Find
University of NottinghamUniversity Park Nottingham, NG7 2RD
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