Historical knowledge

The silver hoards of the Vikings

In the Viking Age there were lively contacts between Denmark and the surrounding world. Amongst the Vikings there were traders and diplomats, as well as warriors and conquerors, who travelled widely in areas outside Denmark. However, much of the population lived as farmers and we must presume that they stayed home and looked after the farm.

However, we can see evidence of the Vikings’ activities abroad from the silver hoards. Many of these hoards contain objects that come from faraway places. The hoards consist mainly of silver goods. This metal was the real currency of the Viking Age. Goods were paid for in silver by weight. In a transaction the required amount of silver was simply cut off. A few hoards may be votive offerings. Most of the finds seem to be stocks of valuables that were hidden, for example during times of trouble.

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