Raw Materials: Sources and Demand

David A. Hinton

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Raw Materials: Sources and Demand

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Timber for buildings in Anglo-Saxon England, and for ships such as those at Sutton Hoo and Graveney, had to come from trees left to grow to good lengths in woods, forests, or hedges, often coppiced to encourage straight and prolific growth and to obtain poles and fuel from the loppings. Wood provided charcoal needed by metalworkers and others for its more intense heat and carbon input. Gold had to be imported, mostly in the form of coins. Lead is a constituent of pewter, which needs tin. Silk was very rare until the eighth century, but by the eleventh had become a marketed product. Animal skins could provide both furs and leather. Animals also supplied bone for glue and oil and for making into a variety of tools, ornaments, handles, and the like. The raw materials used in the Anglo-Saxon period were varied, but generally indicate the nature of the economy.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; woods; gold; charcoal; silk; animal skins; lead; economy

Article.  7912 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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