On the Metrology of Birka and Early Sigtuna: Tools of Trade in the Viking Age Lake Mälaren Valley (Sweden)
2014 (English)In: Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt, ISSN 0342-734X, no 1, 127-136 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In this paper, weights recovered from the site of Birka, the main Centre for trade in the Lake Mälaren Valley during the Viking Age, as well as its successor, the medieval town of Sigtuna, have been analyzed for the purpose of identifying the weight system employed for trade in the area and period. The results show that the system was a local variant (the Baltic Sea system) of the contemporary weight system of the Caliphate. Further, the paper deals with the reasons for implementing this system and why it remained in use in Sigtuna even after trade had shifted to areas where other weight systems were decreed. The proposed theory is that the increased trade with Western Europe in the late 10th century to a large extent was conducted via the Western Slavonic region, which at this time still would have employed the Baltic Sea system, and also that direct trade with for instance the Holy Roman Empire and England would have left little incentive for change as these were monetary economies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. no 1, 127-136 p.
archaeometrology, viking age, trade, birka, sigtuna
arkeometrologi, vikingatid, handel, birka, sigtuna
Research subject Archaeology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129437OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-129437DiVA: diva2:922309