Station: [17] Non-ferrous and precious metal processing

  • Oldenburger Wallmuseum

Workshops to process non-ferrous and precious metals are a typical feature of early urban settlements, such as Starigard. Under Number 5 you can see a small melting pot made of stone. Melting pots are the most frequently found items verifying the work of the goldsmith. Since the material of stone cannot handle the high melting temperatures of gold or silver, the goldsmith cast the forms with lead or tin. He then made moldings of clay from the models prepared in this manner, with the aid of which the final piece of jewelry of gold or silver was made. The clay form was destroyed, but the model of lead or tin could be frequently reused.

The goldsmith also made a variety of jewelry pieces from sheet hammering. A large number of the temple-rings typical for Slavic women were hollow rings hammered from sheet silver or sheet bronze. Women wore these temple-rings, which you can see in Cabinet Number 8, sewn onto headscarves or headbands near their temples. The amount and material of rings reflected the societal standing of the women.

Soldered fine wires or balls enhanced the value of jewelry.

In addition to gold and silver, the craftsmen also made jewelry from quartz, carnelian, amber or glass.

Raw materials for the making of jewelry had to be imported. Glass was imported from the Rhineland or Mediterranean region, amber from the Baltic states and Arabian coin silver was used for silver jewelry.