Viking-Age Transformations : Trade, Craft and Resources in Western Scandinavia book cover
1st Edition

Viking-Age Transformations
Trade, Craft and Resources in Western Scandinavia

ISBN 9780367085476
Published October 18, 2018 by Routledge
302 Pages 71 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Viking Age was a period of profound change in Scandinavia. As kingdoms were established, Christianity became the encompassing ideological and cosmological framework and towns were formed. This book examines a central backdrop to these changes: the economic transformation of West Scandinavia. With a focus on the development of intensive and organized use of woodlands and alpine regions and domestic raw materials, together with the increasing standardization of products intended for long-distance trade, the volume sheds light on the emergence of a strong interconnectedness between remote rural areas and central markets.

Viking-Age Transformations explores the connection between legal and economic practice, as the rural economy and monetary system developed in conjunction with nascent state power and the legal system. Thematically, the book is organized into sections addressing the nature and extent of trade in both marginal and centralized areas; production and the social, legal and economic aspects of exploiting natural resources and distributing products; and the various markets and sites of trade and consumption.

A theoretically informed and empirically grounded collection that reveals the manner in which relationships of production and consumption transformed Scandinavian society with their influence on the legal and fiscal division of the landscape, this volume will appeal to scholars of archaeology, the history of trade and Viking studies.

Table of Contents

Preface and acknowledgements


List of Contributors

1. Viking-Age economic transformations: the West-Scandinavian case

Dagfinn Skre

Part I – Trade and traders

2. Approaching trade in pre-state and early state societies

Eivind Heldaas Seland

3. The use of silver as a medium of exchange in Jämtland, c. 875–1050

Olof Holm

4. Domestic and exotic materials in early mMedieval Norwegian towns: an archaeological perspective on production, procurement and consumption

Gitte Hansen

5. The price of justice and administration of coinage

Svein Gullbekk and Frode Iversen

Part II – Production and resources

6. The extensive iron production in Norway in the tenth to thirteenth century: a regional perspective

Ole Tveiten and Kjetil Loftsgarden

7. Viking-period non-ferrous metalworking and urban commodity production

Unn Pedersen

8. Soapstone vessels and quernstones as commodities in the Viking Age and the Middle Ages

Irene Baug

9. The Uplands: the deepest of forest and the highest of mountains – resource exploitation and landscape management in the Viking Age and early Middle Ages in southern Norway

Kathrine Stene and Vivian Wangen

Part III – Sites of trade

10. A view from the valley: Langeid in Setesdal, South Norway – a Viking-Age trade station along a mercantile highway

Zanette Tsigaridas Glørstad and Camilla Cecilie Wenn

11. Heimdalsjordet: trade, production and communication

Jan Bill and Christian Løchsen Rødsrud

12. The skeid and other assemblies in the Norwegian ‘Mountain Land’

Kjetil Loftsgarden, Morten Ramstad and Frans-Arne Stylegar

13. The urban hinterland: interaction and law-areas in Viking and medieval Norway

Frode Iversen


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Zanette T. Glørstad is Associate Professor in the Department of Archaeology, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway.

Kjetil Loftsgarden is a research fellow in the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion, University of Bergen, Norway.