Gerry McDonnell



Early Medieval Iron Metallurgy

The early medieval smiths achieved heights of craft skill not matched until the industrial revolution.  They exploited the full range of iron alloys and produced exceptionally high quality steel, which were utilised in their edged tools, particularly knives.  Another exceptional craft skill is pattern-welding, the deliberate manipulation of alloys to create a decorative pattern.  

Patter welded knife from Coppergate, York see Ottaway P, Photo Author)

Quenched and tempered high carbon cutting edge of a Type 2 Butt welded Knife from Southampton.  Photo Author.


McDonnell G. 1989  Iron and its alloys in the fifth to eleventh centuries AD in England World Archaeology Volume 20 Number 3