Archaeology and history were two of my first loves. From the age of eight and onwards I studied everything I could find on the prehistorical cultures, ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings and local history.
But along with reading the books I started to make replicas of the things I saw. Often quite crude and simple, with the materials most children learn to work with at school; paper, cardboard, clay, popsicle sticks, scraps of triplex and MDF…
And even though crude, it was the spark to ignite the fire. Making something is a great way to get a deeper understanding of it. Often it will change the way you think, and more than once it proved that an artefact was different way than thought in advance.
Last week I came across this episode of “The Woodwright’s Shop” in which Roy Underhill explores a replica of the Mästermyr toolchest.
Despite the slight over-acting and cliché looks his videos often contain great stuff and have been an inspiration for woodworkers around the world.
The Mästermyr toolchest dates from 1000 AD. It was found in 1936 by a farmer in Sweden. It’s now in a museum in Stockholm.
Finds like these are a real treasure chest for everybody with an interest in historical woodworking. Especially because this one was filled to the brim with tools…