Arabic silver and weights in abundance – metal detector survey at Heimdal

On May 13 a systematic metal detector survey was carried out at the Heimdal site, the location 500 m S of the Gokstad mound where geophysical surveys earlier has demonstrated the presence of a dense "settlement" area with associated burial mounds.

Assisted by Norges metallsøkerforening

It was 35 metal detector enthusiasts from Norges metallsøkerforening who assisted the Gokstad Revitalised project with the demanding task of surveying the 20 000 sqm large area systematically for metal finds. The aim of the survey was to produce a distribution map to assist decision making in the planning of the project's excavations later this year. The field was beforehand divided into 10x10 m squares, each of which was surveyed according to a strict instruction, in order to ensure that all squares would be surveyed with the same intensity. All potential finds were located and placed in bags at the find spot by the metal detector users, while a team of archaeologists used GPS to record the position of each individual find before collection.

More than 500 finds

The site proved very productive. More than 500 finds were collected, and the preliminary find list includes 32 dirham fragments, 40 weights, 27 metal ingots (two of these of silver), one or two gold rings, nine spinning weights, five pieces of ornamented metal work and one axe. The bulk of the material was, however, waste from metal working, especially from working lead.

By Jan Bill
Published Jan. 31, 2013 4:34 PM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2013 4:39 PM