An exceptional 12th century tile floor in the town of Roskilde, Denmark – origins and the network behind it?

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In the medieval urban parish church of St. Lawrence in the center of Roskilde, Denmark, an exceptional tile floor was excavated in 1931. The church had several building phases: originally build as a wooden church in the 11th century; the church was rebuild as a Romanesque stone (travertine) building around 1125, which had a gothic extension and vaults in brick added in the 13th century, along with an added porch in the 14th century and a tower around 1500. In the time of the Reformation in the 1530’s the church was demolished. The excavated and partly preserved tile floor was made of red- and grey-fired unglazed earthenware tiles, with square tiles laid in checkerboard-pattern surrounding a central rosette made from concentric circles of triangular tiles. The floor was the second floor of the Romanesque church, and may be dated as early as 1125-1150. The introduction of tile and brick in Denmark is usually dated around 1160 and the floor is thus among the earliest examples. No parallels have so far been found in Denmark or Scandinavia, and it has been discussed since the 1930’s if the tiles could be imported. New results of chemical provenancing by ICP of the floor tiles will be presented and the paper will thus touch upon the question of the important introduction of tile and brick technology and architecture in Denmark and the networks behind it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventEAA 2020 Virtual: European Association of Archaeologists Annual Meeting - Online
Duration: 24 Aug 202030 Aug 2020
Conference number: 26


ConferenceEAA 2020 Virtual
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