A worth of their own: on Gotland in the Baltic Sea, and its 12th-century coinage
2010 (English)In: Medieval Archaeology, ISSN 0076-6097, Vol. 54, 158-181 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In about AD 1140, the island of Gotland initiated what was to become one of the most influential coinages of the medieval Baltic Sea area. This was part of a strategy to meet the impact and pressure from the world outside in a period characterised by large-scale political and ideological changes. In this situation, old and new networks were important to maintain autonomy from those aiming for dominance over the island. The coins, with an independent weight standard and an iconography inspired by NW German and Frisian coins, were one way of attracting partners to the island’s main harbour, where its inhabitants could maintain control and trading peace.
Coins incorporate in them the dimensions of object, text and picture. A historical archaeology of coins needs not only focus on large-scale perspectives and formal power, but must also give weight to the archaeological context, the life biography of the coins and the social negotiations behind their production and use. Thus intention and reality, symbolism and social practice may be studied to find openings to the stories behind the objects. The different dimensions of the coins together with historical sources give away plenty of information on several levels: about the networks, ideological framework, artisanship and changing loyalties of this time and area.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Society for Medieval Archaeology , 2010. Vol. 54, 158-181 p.
medieval archaeology, numismatics, Gotland, regional identity, coins, medieval networks
medeltid, numismatik, Gotland, regional identitet, mynt, medeltida nätverk
Research subject Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-50637DOI: 10.1179/174581710X12790370815814OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-50637DiVA: diva2:382128