Coopers and Coopering in Viking Age Dublin

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This volume is a study of the evidence for the craft of cooperage in Hiberno-Norse and medieval Dublin recovered during excavations carried out from 1962 to 1981, by Breandán Ó Ríordáin and Patrick Wallace, on behalf of the National Museum of Ireland. Author Martin G. Coomey assesses in detail the functionally and culturally determined attributes of stave-built wooden vessels, including species selection, conversion and morphology. The large numbers of domestic stave-built wooden vessels used by the people of Dublin between the ninth and mid-twelfth centuries were supplied by coopers working within the town, as well as imported from native Ireland and overseas. Comey considers the criteria applied by the Dublin coopers when selecting their raw materials and concludes that their selection was influenced by cultural factors and additionally it was common to find that the functionality of the vessel was sometimes compromised for aesthetic reasons.