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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - Vikings - Jewelry - #TidbitThursday

Howdy! This week join me as we begin exploring the jewelery that was crafted during the Viking times.

During the Viking Age, metal smiths were highly revered and their skills made them wealthy. Jewelry was a form of wealth and could be used in trade exchanges.

Jewelry was made from various materials including gold, silver, wood, leather, glass, ceramics or stone.

 
Beads were made from amber, glass, crystal or other material. The first example, we have glass and amber beads from 11th-12th century. The second example features pretty glass beads from about 7th century.


One popular piece of jewelry found at most archaeological sites is the brooch (used for both functional purposes and decorative purposes). They range from plain designs to very ornately carved. Many feature animal designs. In this example from The British Museum, the pitted copper alloy brooch features a small animal head, which is a common theme throughout Viking art.


Women usuallly wore decorative brooches on each shoulder. This set from the National Museum of Denmark shows one set which was connected by a string of amber beads.


Both men and women wore neck rings (similar in style to the arm-ring). The Walters Art Museum has an excellent example of a silver twisted neck ring. Typically they were open at the back (like the arm-ring) but this one features a clasp.

As mentioned last week, jewelry was often given as a gift or in exchange for loyalty.

Picture References:
Gold Neck ring - National Museum of Denmark
Dress brooch - National Museum of Denmark
Animal Head Brooch - The British Museum
Amber Beads - The British Museum
Glass Beads - The British Museum
Neck Ring - The Walters Art Museum

References:
The Field Museum - Vikings
British Museum - Viking Collection
Viking-Era Ring Unearthed in Northern Ireland - History.com.
"Everyday Life in Viking Times" by Michael Gibson, ISBN#0-7500-1472-5
The Vikings: Voyagers of Discovery and Plunder (General Military) The Vikings (Journey into civilization)
Vikings, a Dark History Vikings: Warriors, Raiders, and Masters of the Sea (Oxford People)
 
The Vikings  

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