Spherical Lead-Alloy Weight (DENO-650DB1)

A spherical lead-alloy weight found near Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire

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.

Object Type



circa 800 — 1000

Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

Private Ownership


Danelaw Saga, gaming_piece, hnefatafl, lead_alloy, Nottinghamshire, Portable_Antiquities_Scheme, trade, Viking, weight

Further information

You can see the original at Private Ownership.

This object is related to Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire.
Find out about Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire.


(c) Portable Antiquities Scheme, CC BY-SA 4.0


Portable Antiquities Scheme

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.