The blacksmith was an important artisan during the Viking Age. He probably made arrowheads, boat nails and other useful objects for both the chieftain and other people on the farm. The blacksmith is usually present 5 days a week during the period from June 15 to August 15.
The Chieftain of Lofotr probably had his own blacksmith, and probably his own smithy. During excavations a number of iron tools, nails and rivets were found, in addition to the remnants of at least three swords – a rather unusual occurrence when excavating the remains of living quarters.
The floor of the public area has been lowered 0.5 metres so that visitors can more easily see what is going on in the smithy. In addition to public demonstrations of the blacksmith’s craft, we sometimes engage in experimental archaeology in the form of the production of charcoal and iron in the area around the smithy.
The museum’s replica of a smithy was built as a compromise between traditional building techniques and modern solutions.
- The layout of the smithy is inspired by excavations of Iron Age smithies, such as those found in Gene in Northern Sweden and L’Anse aux Meadows in New Foundland.
- The main material used is pinewood, felled during the summer and brought in from Målselv.
- Pairs of thick stanchions were used (3 pairs).
- Skeletal building systems of the kind in question have not been found north of Romsdalen, and therefore a technique known as “Salten-stavlina” was used for the skeletal system of the smithy at Borg.
- The smithy is covered with birch bark and turf.
- Birch bark was used for roofing in prehistoric and historic times.
- The walls are made of turf, making the smithy inconspicuous in the surrounding terrain.