Tales of the Iron Bloomery

Ironmaking in Southeastern Norway - Foundation of Statehood c. AD 700-1300


In Tales of the Iron Bloomery Bernt Rundberget examines the ironmaking in southern Hedmark in Norway in the period AD 700-1300. Excavations show that this method is distinctive and geographically limited; this is expressed by the technology, organization, development and large-scale production.
The ironmaking practice had its origins in increasing demands for iron, due to growth in urbanization, church power, kingship and mercantile networks. Rundberget’s main hypothesis is that iron became the economic basis for political developments, from chiefdom to kingdom. Iron extraction activity grew from the late Viking Age, throughout the early medieval period, before it came to a sudden collapse around AD 1300. This trend correlates with the rise and fall of the kingdom.
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Biographical Note

Bernt Rundberget, Ph.D. (2013), Museum of Natural History and Archaeology, NTNU, is Head of the Department of Archaeology and Cultural History. He has particular experience in Norwegian pre-Reformation iron bloomery and has published several papers in scientific journals and proceedings.


All interested in Scandinavian and Norwegian Iron Age and Medieval Period iron bloomery topics such as technology, C14 dates, distribution, extent, economical gain, political control as well as actors in production.


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