Sharing values: creative links, hybridity and innovation in a Viking-Age network


Project leader


Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)


Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2013
End date: 31/12/2016
Funding: 2783000 SEK


Description

In present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden a coinage was initiated about AD 995, which imitated contemporary Anglo-Saxon coins. For more than 30 years the English and Scandinavian coinages were closely connected. Individuals (commissioners, moneyers, artisans) as well as objects (e.g. coin-dies) moved between the mints. Coinage is often understood as expressing sovereign rights and the ability to sustain a currency in a certain area. Instead, the Anglo-Scandinavian coinage network was not limited by realms and borders, but cut across kingdoms from west (England) to east (Byzantium) through Scandinavia and the Southern Baltic.

The material underlines how "social" technology is; dependent on choices, cooperative skills, talent, capital, etc. The coin images and inscriptions offer unique and hands-on openings for a close study of a process of change in the past, of different levels and actors in the network, of patterns of movement, and of ideological and historical contexts. The project brings together previous research on the material and a modern theoretical framework in two studies based on the coins. The aim is to analyse and interpret the Viking-Age networks on an elite level as well as on artisan and user levels. Imitations are often depreciated out from our contemporary notions of authenticity. Here, the creative and hybrid character of the material is instead underlined, opening up for a deeper understanding of the wider connotations and meanings of the objects.

In present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden a coinage was initiated about AD 995, which imitated contemporary Anglo-Saxon coins. For more than 30 years the English and Scandinavian coinages were closely connected. Individuals (commissioners, moneyers, artisans) as well as objects (e.g. coin-dies) moved between the mints. Coinage is often understood as expressing sovereign rights and the ability to sustain a currency in a certain area. Instead, the Anglo-Scandinavian coinage network was not limited by realms and borders, but cut across kingdoms from west (England) to east (Byzantium) through Scandinavia and the Southern Baltic.

The material underlines how "social" technology is; dependent on choices, cooperative skills, talent, capital, etc. The coin images and inscriptions offer unique and hands-on openings for a close study of a process of change in the past, of different levels and actors in the network, of patterns of movement, and of ideological and historical contexts. The project brings together previous research on the material and a modern theoretical framework in two studies based on the coins. The aim is to analyse and interpret the Viking-Age networks on an elite level as well as on artisan and user levels. Imitations are often depreciated out from our contemporary notions of authenticity. Here, the creative and hybrid character of the material is instead underlined, opening up for a deeper understanding of the wider connotations and meanings of the objects.


Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58