What is it about?
Hedeby (Germany) is the most southerly of Europe's early Viking towns. Here we show that many hair combs from the town's early phases are made of reindeer antler, indicating contact with upland or arctic Scandinavia in the 9th century.
Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash
Why is it important?
Archaeological evidence for Hedeby's northern contacts has largely come through the sourcing of stone products (steatite vessels and schist whetstones from Norway), but these are difficult to date. Here, a fine-grained typology was applied to the combs, allowing us to identify a period of extensive contact with Scandinavia in the 9th century AD.
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This page is a summary of: In the footsteps of Ohthere: biomolecular analysis of early Viking Age hair combs from Hedeby (Haithabu), Antiquity, August 2023, Antiquity Publications,
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