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Whalebone Gaming Pieces: Aspects of Marine Mammal Exploitation in Vendeland Viking Age Scandinavia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Archaeology.
Societas Archaeologica Upsaliensis .
University of York.
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Archaeology, ISSN 1461-9571, E-ISSN 1741-2722Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Discussions of pre-Viking trade and production have for many decades focused on products made of precious metals, glass and, to some degree, iron. This is hardly surprising considering the difficulties in finding and provenancing products made of organic matter. In this article we examine gaming pieces made from bone and antler, which are not unusual in Scandinavian burials in the Vendel and Vikingperiod (c. AD 550–1050). A special emphasis is placed on whalebone pieces that appear to dominate after around AD 550, signalling a large-scale production and exploitation of North Atlantic whale products.In combination with other goods such as bear furs, birds of prey, and an increased iron and tar production, whalebone products are part of an intensified large-scale outland exploitation and indicate strong, pre-urban trading routes across Scandinavia and Europe some 200 years before the Viking period and well before the age of the emporia.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
whaling, pre-Viking trade, outland exploitation, gaming pieces, Eubalaena glacialis, ZooMS
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-352847DOI: 10.1017/eaa.2018.15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-352847DiVA, id: diva2:1215300
Available from: 2018-06-08 Created: 2018-06-08 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved

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Hennius, AndreasLjungkvist, John

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