Karismatisk bergkrystall fra Ryfylkeheiane? Smykkestein som identitetsmarkør i yngre jernalder

  • Astrid J. Nyland


In the 1960s and 1970s, large scale surveys related to hydro power developments in montane areas in Southwest Norway, recorded several rock crystals deposits and sites where crystals from these had been used both in the Stone Age and the Late Iron Age period. The Late Iron Age sites were interpreted as the first proof of locally produced rock crystal beads. In this article, I combine the production sites and rock crystal deposits to describe the operational chain of local bead production. This serves as the point of departure for a consideration of the value ascribed raw materials, local or regional vs. imported goods. I argue that symbolic aspects beyond economic value may have been the incentive for the local production, that is, qualities, such as rock crystals’ aesthetic, affective, or indeed charisma. Rock crystal beads from Late Iron Age graves in Rogaland are used as examples. 

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