It is widely accepted that the Viking Age (c. 800–1050) stimulated the development of long-distance, regional and local trade and exchange networks. The clearest archaeological evidence for these contacts is mainly in the form of silver artefacts predominantly found in hoards in Northern and Central Europe – the Baltic zone. However, beyond occasional national- or regional-level research, there have been no attempts at a historically guided comparative archaeological survey of the Baltic zone as a whole.
By investigating silver hoards and the context of their deposition, Viking Silver, Hoards and Containers seeks to understand the variety of functions performed by hoards; the differences in function within regions; the hoards’ relationship with trade; and the nature and function of emporia. It also examines the extent to which the findings mesh with literary evidence and the nature of the different societies benefiting from the influx of silver in the Viking Age. Crucially, the book features a catalogue, which provides a thorough overview and update of Baltic-zone hoards.
Viking Silver, Hoards and Containers is intended for use by students of, and specialists in, early medieval, Viking and Slavic history and archaeology. However, it will also be a useful teaching resource for other general courses in archaeology, anthropology and material culture, numismatics, economic history, religious studies, GIS and statistics.
Table of contents
1.1 Why Viking-Age hoards and why this book?
1.2 Setting the scene: Vikings, Viking Age, Baltic zone and silver economies
2 Gotland: The silver island
2.2 Hoards in Gotland
2.3 Spatial analysis of hoard distribution
2.5 Regression analysis
2.6 Hoarding and land ownership
2.7 Reasons for (non-)retrieval of silver
3 Pomerania: Slavs and war perpetual
3.2 Hoards in Pomerania
3.3 Spatial analysis of hoard distribution
3.5 Regression analysis
3.6 Reasons for (non-)retrieval of silver
4 Svealand: A mainland kingdom
4.2 Hoards in Svealand
4.3 Spatial analysis of hoard distribution
4.5 Regression analysis
4.6 Reasons for (non-)retrieval of silver
5 Composition and patterns of hoard deposition from a chronological perspective
5.2 Temporal changes in patterns of deposition
5.3 Reasons for hoarding from a chronological perspective
5.4 Silver hoards before and after the Viking Age
6 Synthesis and conclusions
6.1 Inflow of silver
6.2 Why were hoards deposited and (not) retrieved
6.3 Coin hoards in the context of stray finds and non-coin deposits
6.4 The end of the journey but not the road: conclusions
Appendix A – Scope, Datasets and Methodology
A1 Chronology and scope
A2.1 Gotland and Svealand
A2.3 Common datasets
A2.4 Roman denarii hoards and hoards with tpq 1051-1150
A3.1 Clustering and kernel density
A3.3 Weight calculations and bootstrapping
A3.4 Regression analysis
A3.6 Stronghold territories in Pomerania (only)
Appendix B – Concise catalogue of silver hoards c. 800-1050
Vikings are a perennially popular topic across a broad audience spectrum, from the general public to academics at all levels but there are comparatively few dedicated book series for the publication of the steady flow of Viking-related archaeological texts. Routledge Archaeologies of the Viking World showcases the latest outputs of the profession's brightest scholars, including established names but particularly acting as an outlet for the new generation of early career researchers.
The archaeological investigations of the Viking world within the series have a direct focus on the Scandinavians but also on the zones of cultural interaction that characterised their broad diaspora. The editors have particular interests in the eastern Viking Age, from European Russia to the Asian Steppe, the Arab world and beyond to the Silk Road and the Far East. This region is significantly under-represented in new English-language publications, books on this theme will become a hallmark of the series alongside western studies.