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Looking for Jet in a Dark Place: The Viking Jet Trade

Festival - JORVIK Viking Festival

JORVIK Viking Centre, Coppergate, York, Yorkshire, YO1 9WT

Tel: 01904615505

Looking for Jet in a Dark Place: The Viking Jet Trade

About

Whitby Jet represented an important and socio-symbolically significant resource in early medieval and medieval Europe.

Requiring extreme global warming, the formation of jet has seldom occurred in Earth's geological history. The resulting materials display 'magical' properties which have resulted in jet being used for multiple applications including divination, banishing and protection from witchcraft since the Neolithic. Graves containing jet finds are often, as a result, interpreted as those of sorceresses. Recognised by Viking invaders, Whitby Jet was traded as far as Greenland. Jet remains notoriously difficult to identify in the archaeological record and little progress has occurred in its characterisation; but with a new methodology, we may fully appreciate the scope of the Viking jet trade in the Dark Ages.

Join jet expert Sarah Steele to discover more about this fascinating topic. Sarah is Consultant Gemmologist for Whitby Museum, a Diamond Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and is considered the world's leading authority on the Jet Group of gemstones.

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