Viking Ulfberht Swords

Interesting how ahead of their times they were…

Nicholas C. Rossis

Viking sword | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

When we think of Vikings, our minds don’t normally conjure a picture of a miner. So where did the Vikings (and others) get the iron ore to forge their tools and weapons?

As Mats Andersson says on Quora, they literally fished it out of bogs.

Bog Iron

As Wikipedia explains, Europeans developed iron smelting from bog iron during the Pre-Roman Iron Age of the 5th/4th–1st centuries BCE, and most iron of the Viking era (late first millennium CE) came from bog iron.

A lot of Scandinavia is bogland. The acidic conditions make iron settle on the bottom of the bog, in big lumps.

Humans can process bog iron with limited technology, since it does not have to be molten to remove many impurities. All you need is wood for charcoal, clay for the construction of bloomery furnaces, and water for processing.

Due to its easy accessibility and reducibility, bog iron…

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