Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork from 16-22 Coppergate

Item

list of authors
P. J. Ottaway
list of contributors
S. A. O'Connor
R. A. Hall
J. G. McDonnell
P. Wilthew
Is Part Of
The Archaeology of York [Series]
The Small Finds [Volume]
volume
17
issue
06
Publisher
Council for British Archaeology for York Archaeological Trust
Date Copyrighted
1992
Date Available
Digitally available on 28 July 2023
Abstract
The slags and over 4700 iron objects described here came from the excavation of Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian contacts at 16-22 Coppergate. These contexts have been divided into eight periods: Period 2 (Anglian, c.400-850 AD), Period 3 (c.850-900), Period 4A (c.900- 930/5), Period 4B (c.930/5-975), Period 5A (c.975), Period 5B (c.975-1050), Period 5Cf and Period 5Cr (mid to late 11th century). From the beginning of Period 4B the site was split up into four Tenements, A-D, which ran from the Coppergate frontage to the rear of the site. A full account of the excavation appears in AY 8. The Roman and medieval ironwork will appear in further fascicules of AY 17.

There is evidence from 16-22 Coppergate for every aspect of the production of iron artefacts, although the smelting slag is unlikely to derive from processes undertaken on the site itself. More significant is the large quantity of smithing slag which suggests that manufacturing of iron objects took place on or adjacent to the site in at least Periods 3, 4A and 4B. This appears to be confirmed by the abundance of iron blanks and other scrap. There is a particular concentration of this material in and around the Period 4B post and wattle buildings at the front of Tenements C and D which probably indicates that they were, amongst other things, ironworking workshops. A number of smithing tools were also found. Among the iron objects probably manufactured here were needles and tin-plated dress fittings.

The wide range of ironwork from the site is also evidence for a variety of domestic and craft activities. There is a large collection of knives and there are tools for non-ferrous metalworking, leathercraft, textile preparation and woodworking. Fittings from doors, chests and other wooden objects include staples, clench bolts, hinge straps, hinge pivots, hasps, hooks; chain links, locks and keys. Buckles, buckle-plates, strap-ends and pins are the principal components of an unusually large collection of iron dress-fittings. Weapons are represented principally by arrowheads but there are also a few sword fragments. This is an assemblage of unprecedented size and variety in Britain and is testimony to the intensity of occupation in the centre of one of northern Europe’s most important early towns.

A programme of metallographic investigation involved the sectioning of a selection of slag and 94 objects, primarily knives and other edged tools.
Rights Holder
York Archaeological Trust
Rights
CC BY 4.0
Format
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Is Format Of
Paper publication
Identifier
GB2837-PUB-AY-17-6
oclcnum
27002599
isbn10
187241429X
isbn13
9781872414294
Type
Text
Language
English
page start
455
page end
736
number of pages
282

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