This is an ancient Scandinavian Viking silver bullion bar of an örtugar, dating to the 9th - 10th century A.D. These bars were used in the bullion economy, made from melted down coins and silver objects. Kruse (1988, 286) states that the standard weight unit of Scandinavia was the mark, which was divided into three öre, each of which consisted of three örtugar. The weight of an öre was c21-26g, and the örtugar 7.8-8.6g (ibid, 288-9). As such, the closest corresponding weight unit for this ingot would be that of an örtugar of 8.39 grams. It is an excellent example of a type of item often found buried in treasure hoards of a Viking age date, see also DUR-DFF172, SWYOR-F740C5 and CAM-D50DC2 for further discussion.
The general form and size is typical of ingots of the Viking age cast in open moulds and often shaped by hammering, e.g. examples from the Cuerdale Hoard, Lancashire, deposited c. 905-910 (J. Graham-Campbell, 2011, The Cuerdale Hoard and related Viking-Age silver and gold from Britain and Ireland in the British Museum, London, British Museum Press, 79-80, pl. 6, 1:58-65).
OBJECT: Bullion Bar
CULTURE: Scandinavian Viking
DATE: c. 9th - 10th century A.D.
SIZE: 31mm x 7mm x 5mm
WEIGHT: 8.39 grams
PROVENANCE: Ex. European Private Collection (this is not a British find!)
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