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8 Merchants’ Implements (the Folding Balance)

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Chapter Summary

In Grave E41, an incomplete folding portable balance made of copper alloy was found within the coffin. The other unique artefacts from that burial were trident blades of two prods and big hooks with barbs, in both cases used for catching fish, also sea fish. The suggested attribution is based on the fact that the grave contained so-called merchant's equipment and equipment for catching large fish as well as walrus and seals valuable for their tusks and furs. This chapter links the discussed burial with the Norse elite funerary culture from the turn of the Mid- and Late Viking Period. The similarities between that grave and the burials discovered at Bodzia, besides the elements of a folding balance, include also the arrangement of the body within a wooden coffin box fastened by band-shaped iron fittings fixed with iron nails.

Keywords: Bodzia; folding balance; Grave E41; Late Viking Period; merchant's equipment; trident blades



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