Connected by water, no matter how far. Viking Age central farms at the Trondheimsfjorden, Norway, as gateways between waterscapes and landscapes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionArchäologische Informationen. 2020, 43 .
– During the Viking Age, the Trondheimsfjorden in Central Norway emerges as a hub of maritime communication and exchange, supported by an advanced ship-building technology which offered excellent conditions for water-bound traffic on both local and supra-regional levels. Literary and archaeological sources indicate a high number of central farms situated around the fjord or at waterways leading to it, all of them closely connected by water. This paper explores the role of these central farms as gateways and nodes between waterscapes and landscapes within an amphibious network, exemplified by matters of trade and exchange. By analysing a number of case studies, their locations and resource bases, the partly different functions of these sites within the frames of local and supra-regional exchange networks become obvious. Moreover, new archaeological finds from private metal detecting from recent years indicate that bullion-based trivial transactions seem to have taken place at a large range of littoral farms around the Trondheimsfjorden, and not, as could be expected, only in the most important central farms or a small number of major trading places.