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Means of Exchange (Hardback)

Dealing with Silver in the Viking Age

P&S History > Medieval World > Viking & Early Medieval Europe

Imprint: Aarhus University Press
Series: Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series
Pages: 378
Illustrations: colour photos & maps
ISBN: 9788779343085
Published: 30th September 2008
Casemate UK Academic



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This second volume on the excavations of the Norwegian Viking town Kaupang 2000-2003 presents find types used in economic transactions - coins, hacksilver, ingots, weights and balances. Changes in type and volume of economic transactions at Kaupang and in Scandinavia are discussed, and the economic mentality of Viking crafts- and tradesmen is explored. In the early ninth century, silver and goods seem to have come to Kaupang mainly from the Carolinigian world. After the mid-ninth century this early system was altered. The increased availability of silver and the introduction in most of Scandinavia in the 860s-870s of standardized weights, paved the way for an increased use of silver as payment. The combined study of the find types and the sophisticated chronology of settlements' finds from sites like Kaupang give completely new insight into economy and exchange. The book demonstrates how sites like Kaupang led the way in economic development in Scandinavia and promoted an economic mentality that eventually led to the fundamental transformation of Scandinavian culture and society and culminated in the region's integration in High Middle Ages Christian Europe.

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