While local iron production has been traced all the way back to 200 AD, it reached its peak during the Viking Age, between 900 AD and 1100 AD. Valdres had significant iron production, evidenced by packhorse trails and ore mines in the surrounding mountains. The Vikings needed iron for tools, weapons and rivets. During the most productive years, several tons of iron were shipped out of Valdres, Mildri Een Eide explained.
For some time, Valdres was an important industrial hub, from where tons of iron were shipped to other parts of Norway and Scandinavia for export, especially to Denmark. Nevertheless, it has been more than a hundred years since bars like these were found there.Kjetil Loftsgarden, an archeologist and associate professor at Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History which took in the relics, argued that such finds are rare these days.
"All excavation linked to road or house construction is done with an excavator containing a scoop. Therefore, such small cultural artifacts vanish together with the stone and gravel," he stressed.
Sorum and her family are glad the iron bars are being preserved and find the discovery quite special and exciting.