Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tim Scarlatti

Late 10th/Early 11th Century Irish Materials

Recommended Posts

Hello

I've been asked to step up and do a bit of a presentation for a cultural festival. This particular era we want to represent is the period surrounding the life and death of the Irish hero Brian Boru. I've got a book from the library coming soon called Irish Archaeology Illustrated, but I'd love to have any ideas from you guys concerning forge, bellows, and anvil construction and type. I do remember the last time they had a smith several years ago, he used a clam shell style forge from clay and straw. If you've go something, anything, feel free to chime in.

Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would look up what Thijs van de Mannaker is doing, he's got some excellent videos on youtube. He's Dutch, but I think the Irish technology of that time wouldn't be much different... maybe a little more modern, but the bellows and forge will be very similar I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For specific Irish I don't think I have direct evidence. But there is plenty of information from that period on how they did forge back then, finds of tool kits from smiths, pictorial evidence and even written down. For the latter, I recommend reading Theophilus' "On divers arts", which is a metalworkers manual written around 1120AD. It describes in detail how to build a forge, bellows etc, and various techniques smiths used. Lots of good information, and just a very nice read in how people saw the processes through their eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim

 

Your frame of reference is 900 - 1000 AD, and I believe the physical location is in the Dublin region?

 

You should take a look at the extensive archaeology from the Woods Quay excavations in Dublin. Admittedly primarily Norse rather than Irish - but given the interactions between the two groups, the close match in time and place, it would be hard to find better references.

 

Most of the hard archaeology I have seen indicates the use of ground mounted forges. The only illustration we have from Scandinavia from the same time shows a table mounted fire however.

 

I've put up a number of articles on my blog referring to Norse forges, bellows construction:

 

Shape of Forges in Early History Viking Age Sand Table Forge

Sand-Table.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...