Viking age pottery from Birka

Decorated pot

Decorated pot

I have just one more post to share with you from the Vikings in BC museum exhibit before I return to things I’ve made instead of just things I’ve seen.

The photos I’ll be sharing today are ‘from the kitchen’ so to speak of a Viking Age settlement in Sweden.

The items in this area were from a display on daily life in a trading centre. The display said:

“Trading centres would have attracted people seeking to sell their goods and services. Excavations of such sites also show that metal and foundry activities took place in small buildings.

The centres were probably very dirty and unhealthy. There were no fields to fertilize, so human and animal waste was dumped in ditches, along with household rubbish and waste from crafts and trades.

Given the unpleasant living conditions, craftspeople might have been forced to move to towns, rather than making a free choice.

However, only a very small proportion of the population lived in trading centres, so evidence found there is not representative of all Viking Age settlements.”

The vessel at the top of this page is made of ceramic, and is listed as  “Tatinger ware of Central-European provenance” found in a grave at Birka.

Another Viking Age pot

Another Viking Age pot

(you can see my skull-print scarf in the reflection of the glass!)

The vessel above is also ceramic, and is listed as “Rhinelandic provenance. A thrown vessel with an outwardly curved mouth. The rounded bottom suggests Merovingian tradition.” This vessel was also from a grave find in Birka.

Two additional vessels were also displayed here – one listed as ceramic “Badorf ware of Rhinelandic povenance” found at Birka, and another ceramic vessel listed as “Menkendorf ware of West Slavic provenance. Traces of a potter’s wheel in the bottom” found in a grave from Birka.

Viking Age spoon

Viking Age spoon

The spoon above is from a different display, and is listed as a spoon of bone/antler, with symmetrical ornamentation, found at Birka.  I found it interesting that the handle of the spoon is finely decorated, while the decoration at the centre of the spoon seems rough and crude in comparison.

Read other posts from the Vikings In BC display: Vikings in BC tag

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