Urban Market Production and Coastal Trade in the Early Viking Age. A Study of Eighth-Century AD Blue Period Millefiori Beads in Central and Northern Norway
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionJournal of Urban Archaeology (JUA). 2021, 4 167-191. 10.1484/J.JUA.5.126599
Resources from outland regions of the Scandinavian Peninsula have been the topic of several studies about trade in the early Viking Age. In contrast, the distribution of highly refined items from the urban markets in southern Scandinavia in the opposite direction has been largely neglected. This article examines the occurrence of eighth-century millefiori beads of the ‘Blue Period’ in central and northern Norway. Comparing the stock of motifs on these beads with the bead production waste from the urban market of Ribe, the manufacturing of many of them in Ribe is likely. The beads’ distribution is considered to reflect areas rich in resources as well as points of strategic importance along the sailing route. A dual function of the beads as accessories and means of payment is discussed.