This is a cast lead-alloy weight with a copper alloy Anglo-Saxon pin embedded in the centre. The base features a flattened copper alloy circular area that may be the worn remains of another embedded object. This piece demonstrates Anglo-Scandinavian reuse and repurposing of Anglo-Saxon metalwork. It has also been suggested that this item was a gaming piece although it does not resemble other known gaming pieces.
Weights are an important form of evidence for Viking Age commerce and the use of standards across the different economic systems within which Vikings were integrated. Many of the weights discovered, particularly ones in Ireland and those of Arabic type, suggest that a standardized system of weights existed in some areas. These standard weights, alongside standard values of silver, are what allowed the bullion economy of Viking-occupied areas to function. A bullion economy was a barter economy that relied on the exchange of set amounts of precious metal in various forms, such as arm-rings or coins, for tradeable goods, such as food or textiles. Each merchant would have brought their own set of weights and scales to a transaction to make sure that the trade was conducted fairly.
- circa 800 — 1000
- Viking Objects
- Private Ownership
- Danelaw Saga, gaming_piece, hnefatafl, lead_alloy, Nottinghamshire, Portable_Antiquities_Scheme, trade, Viking, weight
You can see the original at Private Ownership.
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Find out about Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire.
(c) Portable Antiquities Scheme, CC BY-SA 4.0
Kilger, Christoph. “Hack-silver, weights and coinage: the Anglo-Scandinavian bullion coinages and their use in late Viking-Age society.” In James Graham-Campbell et al. ed. Silver Economies, Monetisation and Society in Scandinavia, AD 800-1100. (Aarhus: Universitetsforlag, 2011), pp. 259-280.