Posaments from outside Birka

This will be a compilation of the posaments and other wire trimmings from outside Birka. See the Posament Bibliography for citations. Under construction. Please let me know if you know of any others!

I have compiled a map of the finds and will be adding details about each find below as I am able. As of right now, the map is significantly more complete.


Before 1000CE: 

Denmark, Haithabu (Hedeby) – 8th-11th century CE (Inga Hägg – Die Textilfunde Siedlung und Graeber Haithabu)

  • Unnumbered grave – stone wrapped with spiral silver wire (not pictured)
  • Unnumbered grave – spiral silver ring
  • Grave 188/1960 – two spiral silver rings (one intact, one in pieces and not pictured) and a knife handle decorated with spiral silver wire
  • Grave 204/1960 – knife or awl handle wrapped with spiral silver (not pictured
  • Grave 27/1963 – spiral silver ornaments, not pictured or further described (“Zierate aus gezogenem Spiralsilberdraht (Durchmesser 0,25 mm)”

Denmark, Ladby – c925CE (Knud Thorvildsen – Ladby-Skibet – pages 80-81. Sorensen, A – Ladby: A Danish Ship-Grave from the Viking Age – pages 74-76) 

  • Strap end (Item 392)
  • Knot (Item 81)
  • Knot (Item 501)
  • Multiple Stickerei (related ornaments also found in Birka, but not posaments) 

England, York, St. Mary Bishophill Senior – early 10th Century CE (Hall, R. A. “A silver appliqué from St. Mary Bishophill Senior, York.” (1998).)

  • Rectangular spangle of drawn silver wire 

Sweden, Adelsö – Very close to Birka and probably could be considered as part of the main collection. (Rydh, H. Forhistoriska undersokningar pa Adelso)

  • Knot (grave 9) 
  • Three gold crosses like P16 but very fine wire (Skopintull (Primärgrav), Hovgården or Ormknös)

Sweden, Huddinge – Near Stockholm

  • Fragments of a P9 band
  • Six sliding knots like P23 or P24

Sweden, Gotland – The Gotlandic posaments are actually distinct both in form and location from the Birka collection. They follow a different “grammar” than the Birka posaments. Whereas the Birks posaments use two strands per line and include braids and knots, the Gotlandic posaments more commonly use a single strand per line and are limited to braids.  (Stenberger, Mårten. Das Gräberfeld bei Ihre im Kirchspiel Hellvi auf Gotland Acta Arch 32 1961; Stenberger, Mårten. Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands IV; Stenberger, Mårten. Die Wikingerzeit Gotlands I; Sörling. Fornvännen 34.)

  • Spiral silver braid – Väskinde
  • Spiral silver braid – Helvi 212
  • Fragments of spiral silver – Helvi 215 (Sternberger #84)
  • Three P24 sliding knots – Helvi, Ire 494
  • Spiral silver braid – Helvi 497 (Sternberger #108)
  • Spiral silver braid – Helvi 504 (Sternberger #112)
  • Spiral silver knot – Helvi 504 (Sternberger #112)
  • Three part twist of sliver spiral – Ösenstitch – Broe Grab B/1899, SHM 11106:2 (vgl. SHM 1.0796B)
  • Edge wire – Ösenstitch Broe Grab B/1899, SHM 11106:2 (vgl. SHM 1.0796B)
  • Fragments of spiral silver – Slite Torg
  • Braided silver band, similar to St 15 – drawn silver wire – Austers, Ksp. Hangvar SHM 2309 



Later examples: 

Shoe of Philip of Swabia – 1208 – Ösenstich(?) with drawn wire and tabletwoven bands with gold lahn. 

Shoe of Philip of Swabia

Not Posaments, but related or similar techniques:

England, Ingleby – c. 880-900CE – Ösenstitch – Posnansky, M (Crowfoot, E) – The Pagan-Danish Barrow Cemetery at Heath Wood, Ingleby 1955

Ingleby fragment Osenstich

Germany, Ausburg – Girdle of St. Witgarius – fringe and balls constructed using lahn, not solid wires. (The Techniques of Tabletweaving, Peter Collingwood, p 242-244, plate 197 and 198)