Brick Gothic is a specific style of Gothic architecture common in Northwest and Central Europe in the regions in and around the Baltic Sea, which do not have resources of standing rock, but in many places a lot of glacial boulders. The buildings are built using bricks. Buildings classified as Brick Gothic are found in Belgium, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Kaliningrad and Finland; as the use of baked red brick arrived in Northwestern and Central Europe in the 12th century, the oldest such buildings are classified as the Brick Romanesque. In the 16th century, Brick Gothic was superseded by Brick Renaissance architecture. Brick Gothic is characterised by the lack of figural architectural sculpture, widespread in other styles of Gothic architecture. Typical for the Baltic Sea region is the creative subdivision and structuring of walls, using built ornaments and the colour contrast between red bricks, glazed bricks and white lime plaster; these characteristics are neither omnipresent nor exclusive.
Many of the old town centres dominated by Brick Gothic, as well as some individual structures, have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The real extent and the real variety of this brick architecture has to be distinguished from the view of late 19th and early 20th century the years around the end of World War I, when it was instrumentalized, politically. Indeed, about a quarter of medieval Gothic brick architecture is standing in the Netherlands, in Flanders and in French Flanders; some dominant buildings combinations of brick and stone. But the criterion "no stone at all" looks like a trick to exclude them; the towers of St Mary church in Lübeck, the top Brick Gothic church of the Baltic Sea region, have corners of granite ashley. And many village churches in northern Germany and Poland have Brick Gothic design, but most of their walls are formed by boulders. Different from other styles, the definition of Brick Gothic is based on the material, by a more strict definition, a geographical limitation.
In addition, there are more remote regions with brick buildings bearing characteristics of this architectural style further south and west—these include Bavaria, western Ukraine and Belarus, along with the southern tip of Norway. In the course of the medieval German eastward expansion, Slavic areas east of the Elbe were settled by traders and colonists from the overpopulated Northwest of Germany in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1158, Henry the Lion founded; this violent colonisation was accompanied by the Christianisation of the Slavs and the foundation of dioceses at Ratzeburg, Cammin and elsewhere. The newly founded cities soon joined the Hanseatic League and formed the "Wendic Circle", with its centre at Lübeck, the "Gotland-Livland Circle", with its main centre at Tallinn; the affluent trading cities of the Hansa were characterised by religious and profane representative architecture, such as council or parish churches, town halls, Bürgerhäuser, i.e. the private dwellings of rich traders, or city gates.
In rural areas, the monastic architecture of monks' orders had a major influence on the development of brick architecture through the Cistercians and Premonstratensians. Between Prussia and Estonia, the Teutonic Knights secured their rule by erecting numerous Ordensburgen, most of which were brick-built. In the regions along the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, the use of brick arrrived at the same time as the art of masonry, but in Denmark Jutland, in the Frisian regions, in presentday Netherlands and in the Lower Rhine region, a lot of high quality medieval stone buildings had been built, before the first medieval brick was burnt, there. These regions developed a density of Gothic brick architecture as high as in the regions near the southern coast of the Baltic Sea; as well, the central and southern regions of Poland had some important early stone buildings the famous round churches. A lot of these buildings, time by time were displaced by brick in Gothic style. In Flanders, the Netherlands, the lower Rhine region, Lesser Poland and Upper Silesia, Brick Gothic buildings may have, but not must have, some elements of ashley.
In the Netherlands is was tufa, in Denmark old squared granite and new limestone. On the other hand, in many regions supposed to be classical for Brick Gothic, boulders were cheaper than brick, therefore a lot of buildings were erected by boulders and only decorated by brick, throughout the age of Gothic architecture. Brick architecture became prevalent in the 12th century, still within the Romanesque architecture period. Wooden architecture had long dominated in northern Germany but was inadequate for the construction of monumental structures. Throughout the area of Brick Gothic, half-timbered architecture remained typical for smaller buildings in rural areas, well into modern times; the techniques of building and decorating in bricks were imported from Lombardy. Some decorative forms of Lombard architecture were adopted. In the areas dominated by the Welfs, the use of brick to replace natural stone began with cathedrals and parish churches at Oldenburg, Ratzeburg, Lübeck. Henry the Lion laid the foundation stone of the Cathedral in 1173.
In the Margraviate of Brandenburg, the lack of natural stone and the distance to the Baltic Sea (which, like the
Fornsigtuna, Old Sigtuna, Signildsberg or Signesberg is located in the parish of Håtuna 4 kilometres west of the modern town of Sigtuna, by Lake Mälaren in Sweden. Although the location is nearly forgotten, it has a central role in Norse mythology. In Chapter 5 of the Ynglinga saga section of his Heimskringla, Snorri Sturluson relates that Odin and the Æsir first arrived at Old Sigtuna when they came to Sweden: Odin took up his residence at the Maelare lake, at the place now called Old Sigtun. There he erected a large temple, where there were sacrifices according to the customs of the Asaland people, he appropriated to himself the whole of that district, called it Sigtun. To the temple priests he gave domains. Njord dwelt in Noatun, Freyr in Upsala, Heimdal in the Himinbergs, Thor in Thrudvang, Balder in Breidablik; the pirate Sölve arrived at Old Sigtuna to claim the Swedish throne: Solve came unexpectedly in the night on Eystein, surrounded the house in which the king was, burned him and all his court.
Solve went to Sigtun, desired that the Swedes should receive him, give him the title of king. There King Solve was victorious, was afterwards king of the Swedish dominions for a long time, until at last the Swedes betrayed him, he was killed. In the part called The Saga of St. Olaf, the Norwegian king Olaf Haraldsson makes shore at Old Sigtuna: King Olaf steered thereafter eastwards to Svithjod, into the Lag, ravaged the land on both sides, he sailed all the way up to Sigtuna, laid his ships close to the old Sigtuna. The Swedes say the stone-heaps are still to be seen which Olaf had laid under the ends of the gangways from the shore to the ships. In Orvar-Odd's saga, Hjalmar laments his dying: The location is mentioned in other poems by the 11th-century skalds Þjóðólfr Arnórsson Valgarðr á Velli and Arnórr Þórðarson. Saxo Grammaticus writes in Book 8 of Gesta Danorum that Sigmund, one of the warriors of the House of Yngling, came from what is chronologically Old Sigtuna to fight at the Battle of Bråvalla: They held the god Frey to be the founder of their race.
Amongst these from the town of Sigtun came Sigmund, a champion advocate, versed in making contracts of sale and purchase. There are two large ruins, two large three-aisled halls, a series of terraces just above the shore-line of the Germanic Iron Age, traces of a harbour, a large mound and a number of smaller grave fields. Excavations have dated the remains to the Vendel Age, part of the Germanic Iron Age, the Viking age, i.e. from the 6th century until the 11th century. It was an Iron Age and mediaeval royal estate and it was located strategically at the waterway to Old Uppsala and the Temple at Uppsala. In the 10th century, the name was transferred to modern Sigtuna, which assumed many of its functions, it is mentioned in the 1170s when Pope Alexander III addresses king Knut Eriksson and Jarl Birger Brosa. The pope demands that they return to the archbishop of Uppsala the villages Strom and Guazbro; the villages had earlier belonged to the bishop of Sigtuna, but they had been confiscated by the crown when the bishopric had been moved to Gamla Uppsala.
In 1299, Birger Magnusson, the son of Magnus Ladulås, spent some time in Old Sigtuna as one of his letters was written in Sightonia Antiqua or apud antiquam Sightoniam The difference seems to be a matter of presenting the name in the nominal case or preserving the case in which the name appeared in the original text. In 1315, according to Svenskt Diplomatarium III nr 2032, Erik Magnusson was bestowed a part of Old Sigtuna, called Siktonia vetus. Neighbouring properties are named: Norgungi and Frötunum In 1541, according to Kammar-ark.: jordeböcker, Uppland 1541 nr 5, the location is named as one of Gustav I Vasa's estates and spelled Forsictuna and Fforssiiktwna. In 1542, according to Gustav Vasas jordebok are mentioned Foorsictuna and Norringe In 1551, according to Sven Nielssons jordebok för Stäkets län, it is mentioned as the royal estate of Forsictuna. In 1567, it is mentioned as Foder Sictuna in the province of Uppland In the 17th century, the name Försigtuna is used on a map. Since the 17th century, the location has been a manor named Signesberg.
Nationalencyklopedin and A historical review of the name, from which the information about the name and dates is taken. Jonas Ros: Sigtuna och folklanden: den tidiga Sigtunamyntningen och den politiska
Post-glacial rebound is the rise of land masses after the lifting of the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period, which had caused isostatic depression. Post-glacial rebound and isostatic depression are phases of glacial isostasy, the deformation of the Earth's crust in response to changes in ice mass distribution; the direct raising effects of post-glacial rebound are apparent in parts of Northern Eurasia, Northern America and Antarctica. However, through the processes of ocean siphoning and continental levering, the effects of post-glacial rebound on sea level are felt globally far from the locations of current and former ice sheets. During the last glacial period, much of northern Europe, North America and Antarctica was covered by ice sheets, which reached up to three kilometres thick during the glacial maximum about 20,000 years ago; the enormous weight of this ice caused the surface of the Earth's crust to deform and warp downward, forcing the viscoelastic mantle material to flow away from the loaded region.
At the end of each glacial period when the glaciers retreated, the removal of this weight led to slow uplift or rebound of the land and the return flow of mantle material back under the deglaciated area. Due to the extreme viscosity of the mantle, it will take many thousands of years for the land to reach an equilibrium level; the uplift has taken place in two distinct stages. The initial uplift following deglaciation was immediate due to the elastic response of the crust as the ice load was removed. After this elastic phase, uplift proceeded by slow viscous flow at an exponentially decreasing rate. Today, typical uplift rates are of the order of less. In northern Europe, this is shown by the GPS data obtained by the BIFROST GPS network. Studies suggest; the total uplift from the end of deglaciation depends on the local ice load and could be several hundred metres near the centre of rebound. The term "post-glacial rebound" is being replaced by the term "glacial isostatic adjustment"; this is in recognition that the response of the Earth to glacial loading and unloading is not limited to the upward rebound movement, but involves downward land movement, horizontal crustal motion, changes in global sea levels and the Earth's gravity field, induced earthquakes, changes in the Earth's rotation.
Another alternate term is "glacial isostasy", because the uplift near the centre of rebound is due to the tendency towards the restoration of isostatic equilibrium. That term gives the wrong impression that isostatic equilibrium is somehow reached, so by appending "adjustment" at the end, the motion of restoration is emphasized. Post-glacial rebound produces measurable effects on vertical crustal motion, global sea levels, horizontal crustal motion, gravity field, Earth's rotation, crustal stress, earthquakes. Studies of glacial rebound give us information about the flow law of mantle rocks, important to the study of mantle convection, plate tectonics and the thermal evolution of the Earth, it gives insight into past ice sheet history, important to glaciology and changes in global sea level. Understanding postglacial rebound is important to our ability to monitor recent global change. Erratic boulders, U-shaped valleys, eskers, kettle lakes, bedrock striations are among the common signatures of the Ice Age.
In addition, post-glacial rebound has caused numerous significant changes to coastlines and landscapes over the last several thousand years, the effects continue to be significant. In Sweden, Lake Mälaren was an arm of the Baltic Sea, but uplift cut it off and led to its becoming a freshwater lake in about the 12th century, at the time when Stockholm was founded at its outlet. Marine seashells found. Other pronounced effects can be seen on the island of Öland, which has little topographic relief due to the presence of the level Stora Alvaret; the rising land has caused the Iron Age settlement area to recede from the Baltic Sea, making the present day villages on the west coast set back unexpectedly far from the shore. These effects are quite dramatic at the village of Alby, for example, where the Iron Age inhabitants were known to subsist on substantial coastal fishing; as a result of post-glacial rebound, the Gulf of Bothnia is predicted to close up at Kvarken in more than 2,000 years. The Kvarken is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, selected as a "type area" illustrating the effects of post-glacial rebound and the holocene glacial retreat.
In several other Nordic ports, like Tornio and Pori, the harbour has had to be relocated several times. Place names in the coastal regions illustrate the rising land: there are inland places named'island','skerry','rock','point' and'sound'. For example, Oulunsalo "island of Oulujoki" is a peninsula, with inland names such as Koivukari "Birch Rock", Santaniemi "Sandy Cape", Salmioja "the brook of the Sound". In Great Britain, glaciation affected Scotland but not southern England, the post-glacial rebound of northern Great Britain is causing a corresponding downward movement of the southern half of the island; this will lead to an increased risk of floods in southern England and south-western Ireland. Since the glacial isostatic adjustment process causes the land to move relative to the sea, ancient shoreli
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a heraldic visual design on an escutcheon, surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the full heraldic achievement which in its whole consists of shield, supporters and motto. A coat of arms is traditionally unique to an individual person, state, organization or corporation; the Roll of Arms is a collection of many coats of arms, since the early Modern Age centuries it has been a source of information for public showing and tracing the membership of a noble family, therefore its genealogy across time. The ancient Greek hoplites used individual insignia on their shields; the ancient Romans used similar insignia on their shields. Heraldic designs came into general use among western nobility in the 12th century. Systematic, heritable heraldry had developed by the beginning of the 13th century. Who had a right to use arms, by law or social convention, varied to some degree between countries. Early heraldic designs were personal. Arms become hereditary by the end of the 12th century, in England by King Richard I during the Third Crusade.
Burgher arms are used in Northern Italy in the second half of the 13th century, in the Holy Roman Empire by the mid 14th century. In the late medieval period, use of arms spread to the clergy, to towns as civic identifiers, to royally chartered organizations such as universities and trading companies; the arts of vexillology and heraldry are related. The term coat of arms itself in origin refers to the surcoat with heraldic designs worn by combattants in the knightly tournament, in Old French cote a armer; the sense is transferred to the heraldic design itself in the mid-14th century. Despite no widespread regulation, heraldry has remained consistent across Europe, where tradition alone has governed the design and use of arms; some nations, like England and Scotland, still maintain the same heraldic authorities which have traditionally granted and regulated arms for centuries and continue to do so in the present day. In England, for example, the granting of arms has been controlled by the College of Arms.
Unlike seals and other general emblems, heraldic "achievements" have a formal description called a blazon, which uses vocabulary that allows for consistency in heraldic depictions. In the present day, coats of arms are still in use by a variety of institutions and individuals: for example, many European cities and universities have guidelines on how their coats of arms may be used, protect their use as trademarks. Many societies exist that aid in the design and registration of personal arms. Heraldry has been compared to modern corporate logos; the French system of heraldry influenced the British and Western European systems. Much of the terminology and classifications are taken from it. However, with the fall of the French monarchy there is not a Fons Honorum to enforce heraldic law; the French Republics that followed have either affirmed pre-existing titles and honors or vigorously opposed noble privilege. Coats of arms are considered an intellectual property of municipal body. Assumed arms are considered valid unless they can be proved in court to copy that of an earlier holder.
In the heraldic traditions of England and Scotland, an individual, rather than a family, had a coat of arms. In those traditions coats of arms are legal property transmitted from father to son. Undifferenced arms are used only by one person at any given time. Other descendants of the original bearer could bear the ancestral arms only with some difference: a colour change or the addition of a distinguishing charge. One such charge is the label, which in British usage is now always the mark of an heir apparent or an heir presumptive; because of their importance in identification in seals on legal documents, the use of arms was regulated. This has been carried out by heralds and the study of coats of arms is therefore called "heraldry". In time, the use of arms spread from military entities to educational institutes, other establishments. In Scotland, the Lord Lyon King of Arms has criminal jurisdiction to control the use of arms. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales the use of arms is a matter of civil law and regulated by the College of Arms and the High Court of Chivalry.
In reference to a dispute over the exercise of authority over the Officers of Arms in England, Arthur Annesley, 1st Earl of Anglesey, Lord Privy Seal, declared on 16 June 1673 that the powers of the Earl Marshal were "to order and determine all matters touching arms, ensigns of nobility and chivalry. It was further declared that no patents of arms or any ensigns of nobility should be granted and no augmentation, alteration, or addition should be made to arms without the consent of the Earl Marshal. In Ireland the usage and granting of coats of arms was regulated by the Ulster King of Arms from the office's creation in 1552. After Irish independence in 1922 the office was still working out of Dublin Castle; the last Ulster King of Arm
Uppsala öd, Old Norse: Uppsala auðr or Uppsala øðr was the name given to the collection of estates, the property of the Swedish Crown in medieval Sweden. Its purpose was to finance the Swedish king the "king of Uppsala", they supported the king and his retinue while he travelled through the country. There was one estate of this kind in most hundreds and it was called Husaby, it was the home of the king's tax collector, it was at the local estate of Uppsala öd that the people of the hundred delivered the taxes in form of goods. The estates were most common in Svealand, its origins are prehistoric and unknown, but according to a tradition documented by the thirteenth-century historian Snorri Sturluson it originated as a donation given by the god Freyr to the Temple at Uppsala which he founded. It was stated in the Swedish medieval laws that Uppsala öd was to follow the royal institution intact without any lost property; the full extent of Uppsala öd is unknown, but individual estates are enumerated in the Law of Hälsingland and in the younger Westrogothic law.
However, during the thirteenth century, the system became obsolete for the king and many of the estates passed to the nobility and the church, in spite of the laws that forbade any diminution of the property. The reasons for this was. Uppsala öd was the first documented pieces of. Gamla Uppsala Husby at Vendel Fornsigtuna Husaby Ränninge on Fogdö Hovgården on Adelsö
Märsta is a suburb of Metropolitan Stockholm, a locality and the seat of Sigtuna Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 27,034 inhabitants in 2015. The town is situated close to Arlanda. If its origins go back to around 500 AD, Märsta is a widespread modern residential area. Märsta has a mix of smaller houses, it is in a phase of expansion and new residential areas are built both in central parts of Märsta and in the surrounding areas like for instance Steningehöjden. Märsta can be reached by commuter trains from Stockholm running at quarterly intervals during daytime and by bus from Stockholm Arlanda Airport; the central parts of Märsta has a shopping area "Märsta Centrum" with various shops and restaurants. Another smaller shopping area is "Valsta Centrum". East of the central parts of Märsta there is an industrial area and a bit further east close to the airport a shopping mall "Eurostop". Most parts of Märsta and the municipality of Sigtuna can be reached with local bus services originating at the railway station and connecting with commuter trains.
The origin of the name Märsta goes back to around 500 AD. At that time most of the valleys in Märsta were still under water. Mär- is found in the Swedish word "mjärde", a fishing tool, -sta means a place like the Swedish word "stad" meaning city. Märsta means "place to fish" or "fishing-place". Märsta is situated north of Steningevik, a bay of the lake Mälaren; the center of the town is located in a valley called Märstadal and the area Sätuna, which holds the train station of the town. The rest of the town's buildings spread below the hills that form the valleys in Märsta; the stream that flows through the town out to Steningevik is called Märstaån. It is located along the motorway E4 about 37 km north of central Stockholm, 33 km south of Uppsala and about 4 km from Arlanda Airport; the coat of arms of Märsta resulted from merging the seals of the two hundreds of Ärlinghundra and Seminghundra, which are today located in Märsta. The combined seal, showing a key and axe crossed in gold on a blood-red ground, is known to have been in use from 1568.
The key was the symbol of Ärlinghundra and symbolised "the key to heaven's gates". The axe symbolized the axe which killed Saint Olaf. Märsta existed as a municipality of its own between 1952 and 1970; the coat of arms was created in 1954 and became obsolete as municipal arms when Märsta was merged into Sigtuna Municipality in 1971. The area has been populated since the Stone Age and due to the location of traditional Viking-land has rich archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Viking Age. There are older ruins of stone castles and walls in the Märsta area; the area of today's modern Märsta consisted of big farms and small communities, that were typical for the landscape of the province Uppland. Märsta was just one of these farms but due to the location and importance of travelling between Stockholm and Uppsala, the farm had to turn into an inn; the important travelling road can be traced back to the Viking Age and older ages. During the days of the Swedish Empire many of the old nobles became land owners in the area and built palaces like Steninge, Skånelaholm and Venngarn.
Sweden's oldest public school is located in Husby-Ärlinghundra, the parish of Märsta. It is today a museum; the first telegraph pole in Sweden was placed in Märsta 1853 and the train station got built in the 1860s. It is the northern termini of the commuter railways in Stockholm, a minor interchange to SJ; the name Märsta got along only because it was common for travellers though they were placed on neighbouring farms. The Märsta municipality was formed in 1952 due to a fusion of the parishes of Husby-Ärlinghundra, Odensala and Skånela. In 1967 the parishes of Vidbo and Skepptuna merged into the municipality. In 1971 the cities of Sigtuna and Märsta were forged together and formed Sigtuna Municipality with Märsta as the seat of the ruling council. In 1957 the Swedish government decided to build Stockholm's new international airport, Stockholm Arlanda, at Halmsjön, east of Märsta. In its decision the government mentioned the building of a town where the employees at the new airport could live; the town was located IN Märsta.
A plan for the residential area was made in 1960 and during the 1960s the population of Märsta quadrupled. A large part of the buildings in Märsta was built in the 1960:s. Expansion of Märsta to the east is restricted due to the 55 dB noise area restrictions in force. There are not many older houses in the central parts of Märsta but south of Märsta, Steninge Castle is located, with an environment dating back to 1690. Steninge Castle is a popular tourist attraction. There is "Biokällan i Forum" in Märsta. There is a public theatre facility, Sigtuna Municipal Theatre, "Kulturum", Märstas venue for theater and conferences; the theater was inaugurated in November of that year. The salon has 454 seats. Local productions and conferences are held at "Kulturum"; the theater is used for many different purposes, such as local productions, arts school concerts and more. Once a month the City Council uses the Sigtuna Municipal Theatre as meeting room. Kulturum is in the same building as Märstas gymnasium. Like many similar sized Swedish towns and central communities Märsta has pre school and pedagogical care facilities available to i
A mint is an industrial facility which manufactures coins that can be used in currency. The history of mints correlates with the history of coins. In the beginning, hammered coinage or cast coinage were the chief means of coin minting, with resulting production runs numbering as little as the hundreds or thousands. In modern mints, coin dies are manufactured in large numbers and planchets are made into milled coins by the billions. With the mass production of currency, the production cost is weighed. For example, it costs the United States Mint much less than 25 cents to make a quarter, the difference in production cost and face value helps fund the minting body; the earliest metallic money did not consist of coins, but of unminted metal in the form of rings and other ornaments or of weapons, which were used for thousands of years by the Egyptian and Assyrian empires. Metals were well suited to represent wealth, owing to their great commodity value per unit weight or volume, their durability and rarity.
The best metals for coinage are gold, platinum, tin, aluminum, zinc and their alloys. The first mint was established in Lydia in the 7th century BC, for coining gold and electrum; the Lydian innovation of manufacturing coins under the authority of the state spread to neighboring Greece, where a number of city-states operated their own mints. Some of the earliest Greek mints were within city-states on Greek islands such as Crete. At about the same time and mints appeared independently in China and spread to Korea and Japan; the manufacture of coins in the Roman Empire, dating from about the 4th century BC influenced development of coin minting in Europe. The origin of the word "mint" is ascribed to the manufacture of silver coin at Rome in 269 BC at the temple of Juno Moneta; this goddess became the personification of money, her name was applied both to money and to its place of manufacture. Roman mints were spread across the Empire, were sometimes used for propaganda purposes; the populace learned of a new Roman Emperor when coins appeared with the new Emperor's portrait.
Some of the emperors who ruled only for a short time made sure. Ancient coins were made by striking between engraved dies; the Romans cast their larger copper coins in clay moulds carrying distinctive markings, not because they knew nothing of striking, but because it was not suitable for such large masses of metal. Casting is now used only by counterfeiters; the most ancient coins were cast in bulletshaped or conical moulds and marked on one side by means of a die, struck with a hammer. The "blank" or unmarked piece of metal was placed on a small anvil, the die was held in position with tongs; the reverse or lower side of the coin received a “rough incuse” by the hammer. A rectangular mark, a “square incuse,” was made by the sharp edges of the little anvil, or punch; the rich iconography of the obverse of the early electrum coins contrasts with the dull appearance of their reverse which carries only punch marks. The shape and number of these punches varied according to their weight-standard. Subsequently, the anvil was marked in various ways, decorated with letters and figures of beasts, still the anvil was replaced by a reverse die.
The spherical blanks soon gave place to lenticular-shaped ones. The blank was struck between cold dies. One blow was insufficient, the method was similar to that still used in striking medals in high relief, except that the blank is now allowed to cool before being struck. With the substitution of iron for bronze as the material for dies, about 300 AD, the practice of striking the blanks while they were hot was discarded. In the Middle Ages bars of metal were hammered out on an anvil. Portions of the flattened sheets were cut out with shears, struck between dies and again trimmed with shears. A similar method had been used in Ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, but had been forgotten. Square pieces of metal were cut from cast bars, converted into round disks by hammering and struck between dies. In striking, the lower die was fixed into a block of wood, the blank piece of metal laid upon it by hand; the upper die was placed on the blank, kept in position by means of a holder round, placed a roll of lead to protect the hand of the operator while heavy blows were struck with a hammer.
An early improvement was the introduction of a tool resembling a pair of tongs, the two dies being placed one at the extremity of each leg. This avoided the necessity of readjusting the dies between blows, ensured greater accuracy in the impression. Minting by means of a falling weight intervened between the hand hammers and the screw press in many places. In Birmingham in particular this system became developed and was long in use. In 1553, the French engineer Aubin Olivier introduced screw presses for striking coins, together with rolls for reducing the cast bars and machines for punching-out round disks from flattened sheets of metal. 8 to 12 men took over from each other every quarter of an hour to maneuver the arms driving the screw which struck the medals. The rolls were driven by horses, mules or water-power. Henry II came up against hostility on the par