original Viking bowl

I quite often get asked to comment on wooden bowls from excavations and for me it is very special to see, the work of turners from centuries ago who were using exactly the same tools and techniques as I use today. To see the toolmarks gives a direct connection to a craftsperson working 1000 years ago in a very tangible way. It is not often most folk get to see a bowl fresh from the ground before conservation so this is a rare opportunity. I am indebted to Karl-Magnus Melin for sending the photos. The bowl comes form a site at Lindängenlund outside Malmö in the south of Sweden current dating is just to “the Viking age” (edit c14 results show the bowl is dated 986±32BP.). The bowl is burr alder and I think it is a beauty, maybe I should make some like it.

4 Responses to original Viking bowl

  1. Brian May 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    I think you should make a few:)

  2. The Fuz May 14, 2011 at 1:17 am #

    It looks quite round, is the top edge smaller in diameter than the middle?

  3. Louise May 14, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    How fantastic – as an archeaologist and fulltime viking is is lovley to see such a well preserved bowl. I think you should make a whole bunch :0)

  4. Robin Wood May 15, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    I have some nice alder at the moment so as soon as I get time I'll turn a few. This is a common viking form used as a drinking cup. They are more often made in end grain but you do also get them in cross grain and burr. There are quite a few photos of original ones in my book "the Wooden Bowl".I think the form would work well if scaled up just slightly to make a nice breakfast bowl.Fuz I know no more than you can see from the pictures.