The Viking Age was a period of great economic complexity and experimentation in Scandinavia. By the end of the period, an ancient 'display' economy, based on ornaments of precious metal, had been largely replaced by counted money and national coinages. But this development was neither simple nor linear: for much of the Viking Age, several silver economies co-existed and interacted.
The role of silver in Viking-age society and economy has recently developed into an exciting interdisciplinary topic for research. New evidence raises debates on the nature of valuables, bullion, monetisation, commodity money, and early urban trade.
This book brings together an international group of archaeologists, historians and numismatists to draw a balance sheet of current research. Based on a symposium held in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2008, it provides a structured basis for comparison, combining regional overviews with case-studies of significant sites or hoards.
The book is dedicated to Dr Mark Blackburn (1953-2011) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Viking-age numismatics and monetary history.