Kaupang in Skiringssal
502 pages

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In this, the first of six volumes, the main results of the excavations that the University of Oslo carried out at Kaupang from 1998 to 2003 are presented. A completely new picture is put forward of the port that Ottar visited in c.890. It is now clear that Kaupang was one of the four Scandinavian towns that were founded around the year 800. Kaupang is connected to the power centre of Skiringssal, to the Ynglings - the legendary Norwegian royal lineage, and to the King of the Danes - the dominant political actor in south-west Scandinavia. In nine of the book's 20 chapters, the excavations' finds, analyses and results are presented. Kaupang is shown to have had several of the same features revealed in Birka, Hedeby and Ribe - i.e., a compact permanent settlement, divided into small plots, each with a dwelling. The town could have had 400-800 inhabitants. Substantial traces of trade and craftwork are proof of the main areas of occupation. Advanced geo- and environmental-archaeological analyses have played a large role in interpreting the finds. In three chapters, 200 years of research on Kaupang and Skiringssal are summarised, while in the remaining eight chapters an endeavour is made to re-establish the holistic approach to Skiringssal that dominated research during the first 100 years. Documentary sources indicate that Skiringssal was an important royal seat in the 700s and 800s. In this volume, these sources are put together with the archaeological and toponymical sources which, united, show a centre of power with a clear likeness to similar places in Denmark and Sweden. A hall or sal building, presumably the Skirings-sall itself, was excavated at Huseby, near Kaupang. Nearby, a thing site is situated by a holy lake. In this, the Yngling kings' centre of power, to which many people came to attend thing meetings and sacrificial feasts, the town Kaupang was founded.



Publié par
Date de parution 31 décembre 2007
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9788779349667
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 64 Mo

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Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Volume 1 Norske Oldfunn XXII
Kaupang in skiringssal
E d i t e d b y d a g f i n n s k r e
Kaupang in Skiringssal
Kaupang in Skiringssal Edited by Dagfinn Skre
Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Volume 1
Norske Oldfunn XXII
Kaupang in Skiringssal Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Volume 1 Norske Oldfunn XXII
© Aarhus University Press & the Kaupang Excavation Project, University of Oslo 2007 Published as part of the seriesNorske Oldfunn, Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo English translation: John Hines Language revision: Frank Azevedo, John Hines Technical editing: Frank Azevedo, Dagfinn Skre Map production: Julie K. Øhre Askjem, Anne Engesveen Illustration editing: Elise Naumann, Julie K. Øhre Askjem Cover illustration: Johannes Flintoe: “A Duel. Norwegian Depiction” c. 1835. Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo. Graphic design, typesetting and cover: Jørgen Sparre Type: Minion and Linotype Syntax Paper: PhoeniXmotion Xantur, 135 g Printed by Narayana Press, Denmark Printed in Denmark 2007
ISBN 978-87-7934-966-7
Copyright maps: Contour distances 1 meter: The Muncipality of Larvik Contour distances 5 metres: Norwegian Mapping and Cadastre Authority Scandinavia Europe: ESRI
The University of Oslo wishes to thank the financial contributors to the Kaupang Excavation Project:
Ministry of the Environment
Ministry of Education and Research
Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs
The Research Council of Norway
The Anders Jahre Humanitarian Foundation
Vestfold County Council
The Municipality of Larvik
Arts Council Norway
As the work on this first volume from The Kaupang Excavation Project reaches an end, two feelings dom-inate: gratitude and humility. Above all, I wish to express my sincere gratitude towards the late Princi-pal Inspector Charlotte Blindheim for the great con-fidence she placed in me by asking me to take over the direction of the archaeological investigations at Kau-pang. I also wish to express my gratitude to the insti-tutions named on the previous page that have be-lieved in and financially supported this project. A special thanks is given to The Anders Jahre Human-itarian Foundation which gave its strong early sup-port to the project, as a result of which I gained confi-dence that our aims could indeed be reached. The Municipality of Larvik has been a crucial partner in the practical work of the excavation phase. Vestfold County Council has proved a dynamic force in protecting and developing Kaupang after the exca-vation period. I thank both of them. A number of individuals in Larvik were both very helpful and hos-pitable during the excavations, amongst whom I wish particularly to thank Marit Kaupang Aspaas, the landowner of Kaupang, for her fair approach and excellent cooperation. The Kaupang Excavation Project Council, which is composed of representatives of key sponsors and distinguished archaeologists from Scandinavia, Britain and Ireland, has had the responsibility of ensuring that the project proceeded according to its plan. The Council has also provided advice, and un-dertaken crucial discussions that have helped shape the development of the project. It also played a deci-sive role when the final funding of the project was put in place in 2003. I wish to thank all of the members of the Council – a list can be found on p. 501 – and espe-cially its President, Kaare Reidar Norum, for his un-failing enthusiasm and supportiveness.
For the excavation period, the project had an Ad-visory Committee, which advised on excavation strategy and methods. I wish to thank the members of this Committee, who are listed on p. 502, for their solid and constructive contributions. In working on this book I, as its editor, have been in touch with many specialists in most of Northern Europe who have read and commented on drafts tirelessly and patiently. My profound thanks goes to them all. With-in the University of Oslo there has been multifaceted cooperation from the Museum of Cultural History. I have had the very good fortune to be surround-ed by loyal and dedicated colleagues and staff in the project’s preliminary stages, during the excavations, and in the project’s analysis and publication stages. My thanks to them all. The two who have been there throughout, Unn Pedersen and Lars Pilø, merit spe-cial thanks. They have been indispensable. Humility, as was mentioned above, may not strike the reader as a virtue obviously present in my contri-butions to this book, e.g. in the statement in Chapter 1 of my high ambitions for the project. But someone who has the opportunity to work with such rich and important archaeological sites as Kaupang and Ski-ringssal must have high ambitions – anything less would undervalue the site. Excavating such sites is therefore a great responsibility. This book is pub-lished with full awareness of that responsibility. I hope that readers of the book will feel that we have lived up to it.
Oslo, November 2006
Dagfinn Skre Leader of the Kaupang Excavation Project University of Oslo
p r e f a c e
Part I:
Dagfinn Skre Introduction 1.1 The ambitions of the Kaupang Excavation Project About the current volume Future publications 1.2 Kaupang and Skiringssal in the archaeology of the Viking Period 1.3 Exploring the distant past
Dagfinn Skre Exploring Skiringssal 1771-1999 2.1 The literati and the antiquarians 1771–1850 2.2 The historian and the archaeologist 1850–1867 2.3 A modest revival 1901–1902 2.4 Advances in Skiringssal research 1909–1950 2.5 The breakthrough: Charlotte Blindheim’s excavations 1950–1974 and publications 1960–1999
Dagfinn Skre Preparing the New Campaign 3.1 Scandinavian urban sites prior to AD 1000: the central issues Defining the town Research on the early urban sites of Scandinavia New excavations at Kaupang 3.2 Skiringssal: a central place 3.3 A wider scope of questions
Stefan Brink Skiringssal, Kaupang, Tjølling – the Toponymic Evidence 4.1 The Early Iron-age names 4.2 The Late Iron-age and Viking-age names 4.3 Summary
Frans-Arne Stylegar The Kaupang Cemeteries Revisited 5.1 The cemeteries Søndre Kaupang (Ka. 150–166)
13 15 18 18 18 22
27 28 31 36 38 38
43 44 45 46 47 48 50
53 54 59 63
65 68 69
c o n t e n t s
Part II:
Nordre Kaupang (Ka. 1–73) Hagejordet (Ka. 125–134) Bikjholberget (Ka. 250–323) Lamøya (Ka. 200–230) Bjønnes Vikingholmen 5.2 Number of burials 5.3 The dated burials The problematic 8th century The 9th and 10th centuries The late 10th century 5.4 The dead The gendered burials Weapon combinations The chronology of the imported finds Population estimate 5.5 Horizontal stratigraphy 5.6 Mortuary customs The treatment of the body The external structure of the graves The alignment of the graves The internal structure of the graves 5.7 A horseman and a falconer? Ka. 157 5.8 The horseshoe from Ka. 250 5.9 A couple and their sorceress? Ka. 294–296 The bronze bowl 5.10 Concluding remarks – Birka and Kaupang Comprehensive catalogue of grave-finds from Kaupang Concordance table
Lars Pilø Evidence from the Settlement Area 1956-1984 6.1 Introduction 6.2 The methodology of the excavation of 1956–1984 6.3 The interpretation of the documented structures 6.4 Evidence from other parts of the settlement area 6.5 The platform for the new fieldwork
Excavations and Surveys 1998-2003
Lars Pilø The Fieldwork 1998-2003: Overview and Methods 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Surveys 7.2.1 Introduction 7.2.2 Field surveys Method Results 7.2.3 Geophysical prospection Magnetometer Ground Penetrating Radar Augering 7.3 Excavations 7.3.1 The main research excavation 2000–2002 7.3.2 Cultural resource management excavations 2000–2003 7.3.3 Minor excavations and surveillance 7.3.4 Method of excavation
k a u p a n g i n s k i r i n g s s a l
69 70 72 74 74 75 75 78 79 80 81 82 82 83 84 85 86 87 87 87 88 88 93 95 96 98 99 102 126
127 127 131 134 136 137
143 143 144 144 144 145 148 149 149 151 151 152 153 153 154 155
Artefact recovery from the ploughsoil Water-sieving of the intact deposits Environmental archaeology and geoarchaeology Dendrochronology Intrasis Context sheets Summary
Lars Pilø The Settlement: Extent and Dating 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Topography 8.3 The extent of the settlement area The southern settlement area The central plateau The northern settlement area The peripheral area to the north Conclusion 8.4 Dating The establishment of the site Activities pre-dating the settlement The start date for the settlement The end date of the settlement Kaupang after the Viking-age settlement 8.5 Summary
Lars Pilø, Unn Pedersen The Settlement: Artefacts and Site Periods 9.1 Introduction 9.2 A quantitative overview of the artefacts 9.3 Site Periods in the main research excavation of 2000–2002 9.4 Site Periods and artefacts 9.5 Summary
Lars Pilø The Settlement: Character, Structures and Features 10.1 Introduction 10.2 The character The initial seasonal settlement – Site Period I The permanent settlement: the stratified deposits – Site Period II The later settlement – Site Period III 10.3 Building constructions Building A200 Building A406 Building A304 Building A302 Building A303 Building A301 A89947 – an animal pen? Building on Plot “Hus III” of the 1956–1974 excavations Building on Plot “Hus V” of the 1956–1974 excavations? A discussion of the buildings 10.4 Pits 10.5 Jetties 10.6 Summary
156 157 158 158 158 160 160
161 161 162 164 164 167 168 169 172 172 172 172 175 177 178 178
179 179 180 184 186 189
191 191 192 192 195 200 203 204 206 207 207 208 209 211 211 213 214 218 220 222
c o n t e n t s
Part III:
Dagfinn Skre Excavations of the Hall at Huseby 11.1 The discovery of the building platform at Huseby 11.2 Trial excavation, 1999 11.3 Excavation and method, 2000–2001 11.4 The history of the platform site The barrow The building platform The hall The assemblage, distribution and date of The corner-timbered building orstofa
Scientific Analyses
finds from the hall
Rolf Sørensen, Kari E. Henningsmoen, Helge I. Høeg, Bjørg Stabell and Kristine M. Bukholm Geology, Soils, Vegetation and Sea-levels in the Kaupang Area 12.1 Introduction 12.2 Soils and sediments in the Kaupang area 12.2.1 Distribution and properties of the soil types 12.3 Vegetation development during the late holocene 12.3.1 Description of the Kaupangmyra bog, 18.5 m a.s.l. The vegetation history 12.3.2 Description of the Kaupangkilen bay The vegetation history 12.4 Sea-level changes during late holocene 12.4.1 Sea-level AD 800 12.4.2 The development of the Kaupang harbour 12.5 Discussion and Conclusions 12.5.1 Landscape development 12.5.2 Soils and sediments 12.5.3 Vegetation history 12.5.4 Sea-level change
Niels Bonde Dendrochronological Dates from Kaupang 13.1 Introduction 13.2 Samples taken from timber found during the excavations in 1967 13.3 Samples taken from timber found during the excavations in 1970 13.4 Samples taken from timber found during the excavations in 2000–02 13.5 Summary of the dates
James Barrett, Allan Hall, Cluny Johnstone, Harry Kenward, Terry O’Connor and Steve Ashby Interpreting the Plant and Animal Remains from Viking-age Kaupang 14.1 Introduction 14.2 Methods 14.3 The material: an overview 14.4 The features: hearths, occupation deposits, dumps, pit fills and harbour deposits 14.5 Seasonality and permanence 14.6 Provisioning and relationships with the hinterland 14.7 Long-range trade 14.8 Regional dietary practices and “identity” 14.9 Conclusions
k a u p a n g i n s k i r i n g s s a l
223 223 225 225 227 227 228 231 234 243
251 251 254 257 258 260 260 265 266 267 268 269 270 270 270 271 271
273 273 276 276 277
283 283 284 287
296 301 303 307 310 310
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