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A Quantitative Analysis of

Early Anglo-Saxon Non Ferrous


Metalworking Punches;
Metallurgy & Performance

Dennis Riley

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Introduction
No one can fail to be impressed with the early Anglo-Saxon brooch work
excavated from various cemetery sites from around the United Kingdom, the
quality of the castings allied with the complexity of the decoration show a high
degree of skill, both Inker1 and Hines2 have investigated the extant brooch finds
and their applied decoration in some depth, however they have been hindered in
their work by a lack of quantitative analysis of the punch work found , this
paper therefore will attempt to fill that void and hopefully clarify some points
raised by Inker, Hines and Pollington3.

Background
Brooches of whatever style (quoit, Annular or great square Headed for
example) generally have decoration applied after casting, certain elements are
added at the casting stage, but delicate forms are added afterwards as the casting
process is insufficiently good to reproduce fine elements of a design, since an
individual punch is unique in so far as it is made by hand, each individual stamp
produced from that punch represents a collection of unique stamp sets. When a
punch is redefined by filing or grinding the punch shape will be altered so from
that point onwards the stamp set produced will vary slightly from the previous
stamp set, it is therefore possible to group brooches to a particular workshop by
the matching stamp sets, this is not an easy task, one point being – how long will
a punch last?, a point this paper will attempt to address.

Stamp Sets; The evidence.


Matching stamp sets from different artefacts that have been buried for 1400
years is difficult and requires much time and effort in its research;

1
Inker, 2000, fig 13
2
Hines, 1993, p85
3
Pollington, 2010, p150

©Dennis Riley, 2010


An example of matched punch marks occurred at Sleaford
(Lincolnshire) where an odd double spiral stamp appeared on a set of
wrist clasps and on some Penannular brooches from elsewhere in the
cemetery4,

One of the punches used on the Mucking Belt suite (Pl.9C, Fig.8.38)
from grave 117 was also used on the quoit brooch found in grave 12 at
Charlton Plantation5.

A stamp match is found on one pair of great square headed brooches


from little Wilbraham (Suffolk. Grave 111), where the off centre ring and
dot could be identified as the mark of the same punch, the brooches were
not identical, from this Hines has argued that the lack of matching stamps
on known examples of Anglo-Saxon Great Square Headed Brooches
indicate that we have recovered only a tiny proportion of the artefacts that
were once in circulation.

Punches have a limited life so in theory if we know the life expectancy of


punches before the need for repair we will have a stamp set group which can in
theory be used to calculate the possible level of stamp work in circulation at any
one time from any particular stamp, however constructing a framework for
producing a quantitative system of analysis is difficult as a three cornered
relationship exists between punch life, metallurgy of the punch and The
metallurgy of the material to be punched.

Punches; Form and Context


Hines puts forward a premise that; “the cutting of metal punches was a skilled,
specialist occupation and therefore beyond the expertise of the average
metalworker (refer to 4 below). In a similar vein Pollington in his most recent
work “wayland’s world” comments on the work of hines; It seems unlikely that
many contemporary smiths were capable of producing such work
(metalworking punches), possibly a single workshop might be responsible

4
Hines,1993,p85
5
Davies, Bojko, Crowfoot, Harding & Henderson, 1984, Inker, 2000, p41

©Dennis Riley, 2010


For a large proportion of the high quality items across a sizeable area, it
remains unknown how many individual punches existed at one time and how
long they could last.

The premise of Hines is to a degree flawed, the principle defect in his


argument is that punch production was a “skilled, specialist occupation”,
however I do not believe that to be so, finds have shown that punches of
various types, albeit simpler are found in every smiths hoard , along with files
and other equipment that would have allowed even the most local of
blacksmiths to have made punches, the experiments I have undertaken in this
paper (see later) clearly show that no specialist steels are required to
manufacture such punches and that indeed the skills required are not that of a
jeweller, as Pollington has commented on the point arising from the work of
Hines that; a single workshop may have been responsible for high quality output
across a sizeable area, this is eminently feasible and more than likely, with a
number of manufacturing centres existing in a district, one will always be
ascendant over the others due to a number of factors including; location, luck
and patronage, Any analysis of cemetery finds indicate that from most sites
there was a vast array of work produced (over the lifetime of the cemetery) that
has been subjected to punch work, many due to geography , tribal and extended
familial tastes would have been produced locally, the punch motifs are in the
most part variations of geometrical shapes and would be the same from various
parts of the country (and here one can see the same stamp work duplicated in
both metalwork and ceramic ware), again with an imported piece the local
producer would render his own version of a stamp so that in time a new local
style of punch motif will eventually be copied around the region and beyond.
What is more fundamental than the skill required to make punches is the need to
make punches, it must be made clear that punch work is applied to copper alloy
items and it is a fair assumption that cast copper alloy work was made in
specific centres of excellence due to its difficulty and need for specialist
equipment, however it may also be the case that the artefacts produced were
sold on in an undecorated condition for decoration to local tastes, it makes more
sense if larger regional centres produced blank items as they could be sold to
different areas whereas if they produced fully decorated items they would be
limited into which areas it could be sold, this does require therefore that local
smiths can manufacture the punches required to decorate such items.
©Dennis Riley, 2010
Punches; constraints and material
For a punch to function it is required to be made of a harder material that the
material to be punched, extant metalworking punches are all made from either
iron or steel, The material to be punched is, in the context of this paper Copper
Alloy, but within this lies a multitude of alloys available, little work has been
done on the chemical composition of Anglo-Saxon Copper alloys, but certain
deductions can be made about these alloys, in Copper-Tin alloys (Bronze) a
composition greater than about 10% Tin produces hard intermetallic compounds
which render the Alloy very difficult to punch due to the high hardness and
brittleness of the compounds formed, heavy punching of these alloys will cause
the work piece to crack, It is possible that the Anglo-Saxons also utilised
Copper-Zinc based alloys (Brass) but this is far from certain. To create a
framework for the relationship of punch to work piece we have to create
common ground, I have adopted here the concept of hardness; hardness is the
resistance of a material to indentation, the harder a material the more force is
required to produce an indentation of a given depth, as a rule, the greater the
difference in hardness between the punch and the work piece, the longer the life
expectancy of the punch.

In using Hardness as common ground , I have here adopted the Vickers


hardness System as it is used on both Ferrous and Non Ferrous metals, it is not
necessary to understand the fundamentals of how the figures for hardness are
calculated, just to know the higher the Vickers value, the harder the material.
The Vickers system Carries the Notation of either “HV” for Hardness Vickers or
“VPN” for Vickers Pyramidal Number usually (but not always) followed by the
indenter load , ie; “HV30” for an indenter load of 30Kg., it is also a point of note
that the form of Copper Alloys have a bearing on their Indentability, in the as
cast condition they have a lower hardness than if they have been cold worked,
table 1 outlines the hardness of a number of copper alloys possibly available to
the Anglo-Saxons, the more important ones are the Copper –Tin (Cu-Sn) alloys,
in the experiments to follow the material under test is a partially work hardened
pure copper of approximate hardness 80HV , and is therefore commensurate in
hardness with the as cast Copper-Tin Alloys.

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Material Hardness HV
Composition
Annealed/as Cast Fully work Hardened
Number=%

Pure Copper as cast 60 100

Copper/Sn4 75 230

Copper/Sn5 75 230

Copper/Sn6 80 250

Copper/Sn8 85 270

Copper/Zn5 50 125

Copper/Zn10 60 165

Copper/Zn15 65 170

Copper/Zn20 65 170

Copper/Zn28 90 160

Copper/Zn30 65 200

Copper/Zn33 65 160

Copper/Zn36 65 190

Table 1, Hardness of Copper Alloys6


As we can see from Table 1, an increase in the tin content (Sn) gives an
increase in Hardness, the hardness of as cast Brass alloys (Cu/Zn) varies little
with composition.

6
Copper Development Association Table 10, Davies & Oelmann; hardness of as cast copper

©Dennis Riley, 2010


The Anglo-Saxons had a number of punch materials available to them, they
were;-

1, Pure Iron
2, Carburised Iron (case hardened)
3, Unhardened High Carbon Steel
4, Hardened High Carbon Steel
The Anglo-Saxon smith was however hindered in his materials choice insofar as
he had little knowledge of the metallurgy of the irons he was using, Iron and
carbon steel look alike and he had no concept of chemical composition or grain
structure, he was fortunately not totally blind as there are easily observed
differences between iron and carbon steel; when high carbon steel is forged it
has an acrid smell to it, you can smell the carbon in it7, secondly – carbon steels
are much harder to forge at the same temperature as low carbon steels or iron8,
the smith therefore had a rough if not totally accurate guide as to the materials
he was working with, minimal research has been carried out on the metallurgy
of punches, we can see however from parallel research carried out on the
metallurgical investigation of knives9 that the smith was aware of the concept of
hardening even though it was applied haphazardly , so the punches he was able
to produced varied in material and state corresponding to the Four outlined
above. The hardness of these various Irons and Steels are outlined in Table 2
below, without going into the complex nature of heat treatment I have included
hardened steels with a high and low tempering temperature (high tempering
temperature gives a lower hardness but makes the steel tougher), the Anglo-
Saxon smith would have been aware of tempering but at what level he could
practice it is unknown. As a small aside I have also included the tensile
strengths in Tons per square inch and MPa (mega pascals {Nmm2}) of Steel
alongside that of As cast and Cold worked Copper as a comparative as there is a
degree of correlation between hardness and tensile strength.

7
Authors own experience
8
Authors own experience
9
Ottoway, Coppergate York AY/6, 1992

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Hardness Tensile Tensile strength
Material Vickers Strength Tons square
(HV) MPa (Nmm2) inch
Low carbon steel 130 420 27
Hot rolled
Low carbon steel 150 480 31
Hot forged
Medium carbon steel 270 855 55
Hardened/low temper
Medium carbon steel
Hardened/high 210 670 43
temper
High carbon steel 500 1610 104
Hardened/tempered
Copper as cast 60 150 9.7
Copper cold worked 100 200 12.95

Table 210, mechanical properties of Steel & Copper

From tables one and two we can see the relative differences in hardness of the
Iron based punches set against the Copper alloy artefacts to be punched, Using
this information , allied with experimentation we can now calculate a value for
punch life expectancy in the punching of Copper Alloy Artefacts for a range of
punch types, in the following experiments a hardened steel punch and a dead
mild steel punch (in imitation of forged wrought iron) will be tested, the aim is
to determine the number of strikes that it is possible to make before the punch
shows sufficient wear as to require re working, Once a punch has been re
worked the stamp it produces has been fundamentally altered, it will effectively
be a different stamp, it is possible that an abrupt change in stamp patterns on
extant Brooch Finds (or indeed any find) indicates that a punch has been
reworked, as a secondary experiment a punch will be reworked to show the
alteration in stamping pattern.

10
Table 2 has been derived from a number of sources;- Davies & Oelmann, 1983. Thelning 1984
©Dennis Riley, 2010
Experimental research
Set out here are a series of three experiments to reproduce Anglo-Saxon
punches, one is in a Wrought iron equivalent, the second in a hardened Carbon
Tool Steel and thirdly an experiment charting the changes in a punch during a
progressive series of re-works, the choice of punch materials reflect the high
and low end of Steels available to the Anglo-Saxons so in theory we will be
able to see the life expectancy range of a stamp set.

Experiment 1
To recreate and test a wrought iron equivalent punch

Method
Given the limited availability of wrought iron an equivalent currently produced
steel has been substituted , in this case EN1APb, this steel is a common free
cutting steel that contains a small addition of lead to aid in the machining
process, this steel is ideal in that the lead addition mirrors to a degree the slag
inclusions found in wrought iron, they suffer from similar problems in hot
working11 so it represents an ideal starting point for experimentation, the
chemical composition is outlined below in table 3. The balance of elements is
Iron (Fe).

C Si Mn S P Pb
0.07- 0.1% 0.8- 0.2- 0.07 0.15-
0.15% Max 1.2% 0.3% Max 0.35%

Table 3, chemical composition of EN1APb12

11
Authors own experience
12
This steel has been standardised under BS970 (1991) as 220Mo7

©Dennis Riley, 2010


A piece of EN1APb, 50mm in length and 8mm Diameter was hot forged at
1000oC in a furnace, it was forged down to a 4mm square section, the end of
the forging split due to the Lead in the
steel, this was in line with predictions,
The technical term for this is hot
shortness, where lower melting point
elements in a steel allow the steel to
split along the edges of the weaker
element or compound, the sample was
quenched and the split in the metal
removed by sawing off the end back
down to sound metal, the tip of the
punch was hand filed down to a
nominal size of 2mm (refer to fig 1)
Forming a roughly equilateral triangle ,
the steel was not filed with parallel
sides so when in use would give a
wedge shaped indentation, the
principle behind this was to give
maximum support to the Vertex during
punching, this construction method
was employed in all the experiments.
At this stage the punch was finished ready for use and was what would be
defined as being in the “as forged condition” and would equate to a steel of
hardness 150 HV. The sheet to be punched was a standard manufactured 1.0mm
thick half hard (lightly cold worked) pure copper metal sheet of approximately
80 HV. As the experiment would be undertaken in an Anglo-Saxon period
context a backing strip of lead sheet approximately 4mm thick was employed,
this has a hardness of 6 HV13, Lead has a recrystallization temperature of
20°C 14 which means above this temperature it is hot worked so would not work
harden during the punching process so each stamp would be produced to
roughly the same standard, even with work hardening the hardness increase
would be minimal. The only variable was in the application of force from the
hammer used, a 200g hammer of a weight available during the Anglo-Saxon
period,
13
Davies, 1984
14
Monks & Rochester, 1980
©Dennis Riley, 2010
During the experiment four plates were punched, three of Copper and one of
0.8mm fully hard Brass of unknown composition and hardness. All the extant
punch work was carried out on metalwork in the as cast condition and from
table 1 the range of hardness of these alloys is 60 to 90 HV, the copper used was
in the range of 80 HV so provides a hardness value comparable to those likely to
be obtained in the original castings. The Iron Punch was used to stamp each
Copper Alloy plate, as shown in Photograph 1 below.

Photograph 1
Due to the high density of stamps per unit area extensive deformation of the
plate occurred, the plate required flattening after every four rows made, this had
the effect of deforming the bottom of the stamps slightly, but not so much as to
alter the shape of the indentation which is the primary objective of the
experiment as best as could be managed equal force was applied to the punch
with the hammer, there is however a degree of variability in this, but this would
have also existed in the Anglo-Saxon punch work.

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Results

Plate number Material Strikes


1 Cu 279
2 Cu 258
3 Cu 631
4 Cu/Zn 138
Total= 1306

Table 4, punch strikes recorded


The total number of strikes totalled 1306, the experiment was terminated at this
point and each plate inspected, between the first stamp and the 1306th stamp
there was no discernable difference to the
outer shape (triangle) of the stamp, what was
noted however was that the stamp indentation
at the Vertex root showed signs of rounding,
this was difficult to see with the naked eye but
under macroscopic examination15 at x4
magnification it was quite visible (fig 3), it
was interesting to note that the file marks on
the punch had impressed the copper, even
after 1300 strikes it was still evident and
undiminished, inspection of the punch (fig 2)
Showed that barrelling had occurred from the
centre of the punch down to each vertex
showing that wear (or more specifically plastic
deformation) had occurred, even though
barrelling had occurred the shape of the punch had not been altered and by the
same degree no change in the shape of the stamp. The indentation would

15
A magnification of less than x10

©Dennis Riley, 2010


have shown barrelling but it is too small to be seen with the naked eye and
equally as difficult under a microscopic examination at x50 magnification

Photograph 2
Photograph 2 shows the stamp indentations made by the punch, the file marks
on the punch are clearly visible in the bottom of the stamp, the vertex root can
also be seen (refer to fig 3.)

Even with rounding of the vertex root the stamp


still functions without any degeneration in its
shape, the punch however shows barrelling and
polishing of the face and sides to the stamp depth
of about 0.5mm along with deformation of the
hammer striking face, this to a degree gives a
problem as the flat face of the punch will start to
deform with every punch; at what point does one
repair the punch?. At 1306 strikes the punch is
easily seen to have barrelled it would seem likely
that the punch would have been re ground before
the barrelling became so noticeable, as it is not pleasing to the eye,
©Dennis Riley, 2010

This is however a modern take on how we would view a worn punch, and until
we can reproduce the Anglo-Saxon punch marks in high resolution in 3d we
cannot determine if barrelling was an accepted condition for punches. On the
basis of the results obtained, for a hand forged iron punch it would be safe to
assume that a punch would last at least 1000 strikes, at this point barrelling will
start to be noticed on the punch and it is likely to have gone for re working, this
would alter the size of the triangle formed giving rise to a new set of punch
stamps even though it is the same punch.

Experiment 2
To recreate and test a high carbon steel punch

Method
To recreate the hardened steel punch, a modern high carbon steel punch was
used as a base and converted down by forging at 1000° C to the required shape,
the punch tip form was made by filing and the hardening took place using an
interrupted quenching technique as full quenching would have forced the steel
to crack, the projected carbon content of the steel used was 0.6 -0.8% Carbon
giving a hardness in the 600HV range. As in experiment 1 the stamping took
place on a steel platten with a lead backing to the 1mm Copper sheet being
stamped, the shape of the stamp was an equilateral triangle of approximately
2mm length of each side, stamping took place on a number of Copper sheets
and the experiment terminated when a defect was noticed on either the punch or
stamp impression. The Copper sheet was in the same condition (half hard) as in
experiment 1.

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Results
Plate Number Material strikes
1 Cu 750
2 Cu 756
3 Cu 897
4 Cu 863
5 Cu 905
6 Cu 920
7 Cu 850
8 Cu 491
9 Cu 51
Total= 6,483

Table 5, punch strikes recorded


The experiment was terminated after 6,483 strikes as a very small defect was
noticeable on the stamp indentation and macroscopic investigation at x4
magnification revealed what appeared to be a very small crack or defect on the
punch surface, the punch vertex (refer to fig 2 and 3) showed no wear or
barrelling and was still quite sharp, a slight rippling of the punch surface had
taken place along with a slight defect along one edge of the stamp, the surface
rippling and the defect to one edge was just visible to the naked eye, as the
Anglo-Saxons (we believe) did not have magnifying glasses we must take as a
point of reference any surface defect visible to the naked eye, it is for this
reason that the experiment was terminated at this point, however the punch
would have been fully functional after this time, calculating the stop off point is
difficult but we must take a point where it is likely that some remedial action is
taken on the punch in the form of re grinding to extend its service life, at this
point the punch mark will represent the beginning of a new stamp set.

©Dennis Riley, 2010

Experiment 3
To determine the number of times a punch may have been re worked during its
lifetime.

Method
The punch used in experiment 1, made of EN1APb (in imitation of wrought
iron) was re ground by filing ten times during this experiment to reproduce the
alteration in tip shape after each re working, common experience with modern
punches show that re working of about 9 times represents the norm, the limiting
factor here is the damage to the shaft by hammering which usually destroys the
punch before the tip wears out.

Results

Photograph 3
As can be seen from photograph 3 the re worked punches are all slightly
different in size, but there are some that are so similar that it is difficult to tell
them apart, the one on the far left represents the punch after 1,306 strikes, so if
each punch is used for that number of strikes before repair the stamps here
represent the change in shape of one punch, repaired 9 times and producing a
theoretical 11,754 stamped impressions in its lifetime

If this experiment was extended to a hardened steel punch in theory a maximum


number of punches from the one punch would be 9 stamp sets totalling
approximately 58,000 stamp impressions, However set against this are a number
of limiting factors that will reduce this total, the principle one being strike
damage to the punch head from repeated striking by the hammer.

©Dennis Riley, 2010

Conclusion
In drawing a coherent conclusion from the experiments undertaken we are faced
with a number of problems, the sample is small, only one of each punch type
tried, the punches are made of modern materials, our conclusion therefore can
only give an indication of likely hood rather than a definitive answer, as part of
that process we must here consider the nature of Iron and Steel, the experiments
undertaken in this paper are separated by 1500 years of steel making technology
from the events they wish to recreate

It is a common held belief (somewhat “romantic” even ) that the Anglo-Saxons


could make steel as good as we have now, spoilt only by the fact it is not true,
yes hardened steel now is no more hard that hardened steel in the 5th century,
but the strength of steel along with its other properties are not derived from
what is in it , more of a case of what is not in it, Iron and steel have limits on
their properties as do all materials, the level of defects, foreign elements and
exogenous material all reduce the properties of the material, in some cases quite
dramatically, it is not intended to delve deeply into the metallurgy of iron and
steel as it serves little purpose in the context of this paper. In the context of
punching, even with defects and along with a little luck on the makers part, a
steel of sufficiently good quality can be produced that a modern steel will
mimic, we can therefore presume with some certainty that the results obtained
with modern steel will not be exceeded by Anglo-Saxon steel, the results
obtained therefore represent the maximum that can be obtained from a punch.

In an ancient context, Hardening of steel is a complex process requiring skill on


the makers part, from the authors own experimentation any hardened steel part
that lasts more than a few strikes will generally last many years as any defects
in manufacture (over hardening or cracking) will become self evident quickly, a
punch that lasts a hundred strikes will therefore last for many thousands, repairs
to hardened steel are more difficult to undertake than to iron , as iron is easily
filed, its damage is due to plastic deformation and easily repaired, damage to a
hardened steel punch usually requires the re softening of the tip, repair and re
hardening, Also if the punch cracks due to poor heat treatment, repair is difficult
if not impossible and the punch would have to be scrapped. From all the
©Dennis Riley, 2010

experiments undertaken, the surface structure of the punches is preserved even


after many thousands of punches, this indicates that even quite delicate punch
structures and designs would have had a relativly high life expectancy, given
however the vertex collapse (fig, 2) of the iron tip it would be likely that
delicate punches would be of a high carbon steel to preserve the shape for as
long as possible given the greater level of effort required to make it in the first
place, from all this information we can therefore tentatively make the following
statements;-

An iron Punch could produce a single stamp set of around 1000


stamp impressions before the need for repair and could be
repaired a number of times before becoming unusable

A high carbon steel punch, correctly hardened and without major


defects could produce a single stamp set of 6,000 stamped
impressions before the need for repair and could be repaired a
number of times before becoming unusable

To make a prediction of life expectancy of a punch is difficult,


but at a maximum with the materials being of the finest quality
available to the Anglo-Saxons a life expectancy for an iron
punch would be at a maximum 8,000 impressions and for a hardened
high carbon steel of around 40,000 impressions

Punches of complex or delicate shape would have likely have been


made of high carbon steel to help preserve the fine features.

These results do not take into account loss or damage to a punch caused by mis
strikes or metallic particles on the punch plate (such as Iron or Iron scale and
grit) which will damage a punch, a punch will only have a high life expectancy
in clean conditions, given the high cost of manufacturing some punches (mainly
complex hardened steel ones) one would expect some type of clean conditions

©Dennis Riley, 2010

for punching to occur, in comparing extant punch finds for matching punch sets
it is not possible to determine if a punch has been repaired and that the resultant
stamp set represents a continuation of use of the same punch, however if there is
an abrupt change in a punch row from a damaged punch to a cleanly defined
punch one could presume a repair has taken place. Table 6 outlines the possible
maximum number of items produced from a single punch set from a number Of
grave finds from the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Morning Thorpe, Norfolk, and
shows the maximum level of items that could be in circulation from a single
punch set based on the experimental results obtained here,

Grave Item description Number of Maximum Maximum items


Punch marks items with With Steel
Iron punch punch
18 Annular Brooch 45 22 133
20 Annular Brooch 106 9 56
50 Annular brooch 45 22 133
97 Cruciform 42 23 142
Brooch
160 Annular 30 33 200
Brooch

Table 6, production quantities from a single punch


set16
The results are interesting, from the Annular Brooch or Cruciform Brooch the
maximum items in circulation with the same mark from a hardened steel punch
is quite low; 56 to 200. For iron punches it is considerably less; 9 to 33 items as
each brooch has a large number of stampings so it is not surprising that there is
little matching stamp sets found on extant finds even though a punch can
produce a large amount of matching stamps, Since many of the items from a
Grave site will be from the same manufacturer it is not beyond reason to
presume that since virtually no matching stamp sets are found that the punches
used in production would usually be made from forged iron as they are easy to
make and easy to repair but as the research has shown have a short life span so
some extant finds represent work made by the same punch but not from the
same stamp set and as a result display no correlation.

16
Morning Thorpe A-S cemetery Norfolk, EAA 36 Volume II

©Dennis Riley, 2010


Summary
To summarise, this report has set out albeit with a small scale experiment, the
possible number of artefacts in circulation with a given punch stamp set, as the
results show the “product run” is quite small and consequently the extant finds
(representing a small selection of the artefacts that would be in circulation)
show virtually no correlation in stamp sets which is what would be expected as
most have either been lost, destroyed or have yet to be found, indeed to find a
matching stamp set on different artefacts would statistically be a rare occurance
as the work carried out by Hines has shown, if we take as a possibility that Iron
punches were the norm it is not unreasonable to presume that the work
produced from one stamp set would only last a seasons production (as many
Anglo-Saxon occupations would have had a seasonal aspect to them) and that it
may also be the case that the punch was replaced at the beginning of each new
seasons work further limiting the possibility of stamp set matches across
artefacts.

©Dennis Riley, 2010

Bibliography
Davies, A.C., The Science and Practice of Welding, Volumes 1 & 2,
Cambridge, 1984

Davies, D.J & Oelmann, L.A, The Structure, Properties and Heat Treatment
of Metals, Bath, 1983

Davies, S.M., Bojko, A-M., Crowfoot, E., Harding, P., & Henderson, J. The
Excavation of an Anglo-Saxon Cemetery (and some prehistoric pits) at Charlton
Plantation near Downtown in Wiltshire, Archaeological and Natural History
Magazine. Vol. 79, Devizes, 1984

Green, B., Rogerson, A., & White, S.G., The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at
Morning Thorpe, Norfolk, Volume II, Illustrated Grave Goods, Gressenhall,
1987.

Hines, J., Anglo-Scandinavian Clasps of Classes A-C of the 3rd to 6th Centuries
AD, Typology, Diffusion and Function, Stockholm, 1993.

Inker, P. Technology as Active Material Culture: The Quoit Brooch Style in


Med.Arch. Vol XLIV, London, 2000

Monks, H.A. & Rochester, D.C., Technician Metallurgical Process


Technology 2, London, 1980

Ottaway, P., Anglo-Scandinavian Ironwork from Coppergate, London, 1992

Pollington, S., Kerr, L., & Hammond, B., Wayland’s Work, Anglo-Saxon Art,
Myth & Material Culture from the 4thto 7th Century, Swaffham, 2010

Thelning, K.E., Steel and its Heat Treatment, London, 1984

©Dennis Riley, 2010