Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Oseberg Tripod - Measurements

A reconstruction of the Oseberg tripod was recently put forth via NORSEFOLK. Fellow DARC member Karen commented (and was quite right) on the way the illustrated tripod had been extended well beyond
the proportions of the original artifact. She was also correct that any
consideration of just what that object * really * is about from a
cultural sense absolutely requires the correct measurements to be

So - for a commentary on the significance of the Oseberg Tripod, read my
'Aunt Martha's and Damnthings'

Some images of my past reconstructions of the artifact:

Note that this reconstruction is seen with the small cook pot from
Mastermyr - which is considerably smaller than the cauldron found in the
Oseberg ship burial. Even still you will see that there is absolutely no
room underneath for a fire!

Another reconstruction, shown in place over a fire

I was able to get a copy of the primary excavation report from Oseberg
when I drafted up my working drawings for the tripod. (not on line -
sorry) This included a scaled drawing of the overall excavation with the
tripod clearly pictured, as well as recorded measurements.

(If I've found the correct section of my original notes.)
The length of the individual uprights is about 125 cm
The length of the integral hook is about 20 cm
The twisted part of the legs runs about 50 cm, with 6 sections CW twist
There are THREE claws to each foot
The claws are 10 cm long for the centre and 6 cm for the two sides
The mounted height (ground to top of tripod) is 80 cm
The bars for the uprights are about 1 cm square
The bars for the basket hook are about .6 cm square
The clearance between hook and ground is only 60 cm

I have heard some of the wildest suggestions offered for how to set up
the Oseberg tripod to make it a functional object. My opinion is that
this object was intended only as the * symbol * of a cooking tool, never
as a true working cooking tool. And a Royal status symbol as well. It is
extremely important to remember that this is the * single * sample of
this type of object in existence.

As I have suggested in earlier times when the subject of this tripod has
come up - we all should be using simple wooden pole tripods with a hank
of rope and a couple of links of chain and a hook.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

maybe it was meant to be put over a pit fire...


February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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