Historical knowledge

Trade and crafts

Besides the ceremonial rites there were also a number of other activities at the magnate’s residence at Tissø. At the site we find traces of the smith, the bronze caster and the goldsmith as well as craftsmen who produced glass beads, combs and textiles. Some of the goods were made for the magnate and his household, while others were meant as gifts to friends and allies or were produced with sale in mind. The work of the craftsmen is evident in the form of production refuse, half-finished products, models and templates, defective castings, tools, bars and scrap metal. Their workplace was often a small shed, a pit-house, a tent or simply a hearth under the open sky. On special occasions a market was held at the residence. On these occasions travelling artisans, traders and other worthies came to Tissø. There were goods for all tastes: exquisite jewellery and fine weapons for the aristocracy, and simple bronze fibulae, knives, strike-a-lights and Thor’s hammers of iron for the ordinary people.

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