Joakim Schultzen

Joakim Brorson Schultzén


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Works at Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies
Telephone 08-16 21 76
Visiting address Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Room 215a
Postal address Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm


My main field of research is Archaeometrology, i.e. the study of ancient measuring systems, in particular weights. The main purpose for the study of weight systems is that identifying the system used at a particular site provides important clues on trade relations with contemporary emporia. My focus is on the Baltic Sea trade theatre of the 9th through 12th centuries, i.e. the period spanning the late Birka period up to the advent of the Hanseatic league.

I employ a method of reconstructing the weight's original mass through 3D-scanning of the artifacts followed by post-processing of the resulting data in a CAD system (Schultzén 2011b).
In addition to Archaeometrology I use 3D-scanning and Photogrammetry in digital reconstructions of ancient buildings and environments.

Articles & reports:

In print: Viberg, Schultzén & Wikström 2013. Reconstructing the spatial layout of the church of St. Lawrence, Sigtuna, Sweden using GPR and Photogrammetry. Proceedings from the 10th international conference on Archaeological Prospection, Vienna.

Schultzén 2011b. Remodeling the Past – Archaeometrological Analysis applied on Birka Weight Material using a 3D-Scanner & Computer-Aided Design. Published in Journal of Archaeological Science 38.

Schultzén 2011a. Photo to Digital 3D reconstruction of bi-polar spheroid weights from a Saxon Ring-fort in Kaaksburg, Germany. AFL, Stockholm University.

Schultzén 2010d. 3D scanning and SEM analysis of bi-polar spheroid weights from Janow Pomorski, Poland. AFL, Stockholm University.

Schultzén 2010c. 3D scanning and SEM analysis of bi-polar spheroid weights from Dabrowa Gornicza-Losien, Poland. Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, AFL, Stockholm University.

Schultzén 2010b. Optical 3D-scanning of Mesolithic Ornamented Objects of Antler and Bone from the Excavations in Motala 2010. AFL, Stockholm University.

Schultzén 2010a. Sigtuna Wood & Runes - Optical 3D-scanning of ornamented and rune-engraved Objects from Sigtuna. AFL, Stockholm University.

Schultzén 2009. Optical 3D-scanning of an Oil-painting. AFL, Stockholm University.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Article Meshing around
    2016. Andreas Viberg, Joakim Brorson Schultzén, Anders Wikström. Journal of Archaeological Science 8, 295-302

    This article aims at providing evidence for the usefulness of combining data from both above and below the ground in order to provide a more complete understanding of an archaeological site. For this purpose a Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey was carried out next to the standing ruins of the west tower of the church of St. Lawrence in Sigtuna, Sweden. The tower ruins were also documented using photogrammetry providing an accurate 3D-model of the site. The result of the GPR survey clearly images the buried wall foundations of the church but it is only when this data is combined with the photogrammetric 3D-model of the tower ruins that the spatial layout becomes complete. The results clearly provide evidence of the benefits of using such an integrated approach. The available evidence suggests that the tower, nave and choir (with a possible apse) were constructed during the 12th century. During the 15th century the church porch was built and arches added to the nave. The building history of the church is thus rather ordinary compared to other contemporary Swedish churches and, as a consequence, it is likely that that the church was built for the city congregation.

  • 2014. Andreas Viberg, Joakim Schultzén.
  • 2014. Joakim Schultzén. Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt (1), 127-136

    In this paper, weights recovered from the site of Birka, the main Centre for trade in the Lake Mälaren Valley during the Viking Age, as well as its successor, the medieval town of Sigtuna, have been analyzed for the purpose of identifying the weight system employed for trade in the area and period. The results show that the system was a local variant (the Baltic Sea system) of the contemporary weight system of the Caliphate. Further, the paper deals with the reasons for implementing this system and why it remained in use in Sigtuna even after trade had shifted to areas where other weight systems were decreed. The proposed theory is that the increased trade with Western Europe in the late 10th century to a large extent was conducted via the Western Slavonic region, which at this time still would have employed the Baltic Sea system, and also that direct trade with for instance the Holy Roman Empire and England would have left little incentive for change as these were monetary economies.

  • 2013. Andreas Viberg, Joakim Schultzén, Anders Wikström. Archaeological Prospection. Proceedings of the 10th International conference - Vienna. May 29th - June 2nd 2013
  • 2011. Joakim Schultzén. Journal of Archaeological Science 38 (9), 2378-2386

    Archaeometrological analysis has traditionally involved reconstructing the originally intended mass of a weight by hand; measuring with a calliper or a profile microscope, as well as using the artefact's displacement in water for factors such as volume and density. Ideally, corrosion was to be left intact, which is inconsistent with the goals of the conservationist. In all, the process was time consuming and may in some cases even have accelerated the deterioration of the artefacts. The CAD-method described in this article has been developed as a non-destructive alternative, employing a 3D scanner to create a virtual representation of the weight on which analysis can be performed. Density is calculated by dividing current mass with current volume, as supplied from the virtual model. Original volume is calculated by reconstructing the weight using basic geometrical shapes in a Computer-Aided Design program. Finally, to obtain the weight's original mass, the recreated original volume is multiplied by its current density. If the latter is found to have been altered through corrosion, a mean value of previously analysed weights in good condition (MNCA) may be applied instead. This new method for archaeometrological analysis is put to the test on a population of weights excavated at Birka. Four of these were previously analysed with the Traditional method, which makes it possible to compare results and draw conclusions on the accuracy of the CAD-method. An additional seven weights were analysed for further evaluation and also to investigate Sperber's theory of a 4.0 g standard unit in the metrology of Birka.

Show all publications by Joakim Brorson Schultzén at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 23, 2018

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