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Kaupang (norska, motsvarande det svenska ordet "köping" och finska ordet "kaupunki" som betyder stad) är ett norskt ortnamn som ursprungligen avsåg handelsplatser.

Det finns flera forntida städer i Norge som kallats Kaupang, men vanligtvis så avses Skiringssal i Vestfold fylke, vilken är den äldsta daterade staden i Norge. Omfattande arkeologiska undersökningar har kunnat fastställa, att detta är platsen för den forntida handelsstaden, som var mycket betydande under vikingatiden och kan jämställas med Birka i Uppland och Hedeby i Schleswig-Holstein. [ 1 ]

Andra äldre städer med detta namn i Norge är Kaupanger i Sogn og Fjordane fylke, berömt för sin stavkyrka, och Kaupangen i Trønderheimen (även känd som Kaupangen i Nidaros) som ligger i dagens Trondheim.

Namnformen motsvaras i svenska av köping och förekommer till exempel i Köping på Öland som under vikingatiden var en viktig handelsplats. På Gotland förekommer flera ortnamn Kaupungs med liknande betydelse.

Why Did the Viking Trading Town of Kaupang Totally Disappear?

The first trading towns in Scandinavia were established at the same time as the first Viking raids took place on the British Isles and the continent: Birka in Sweden, Hedeby and Ribe in Denmark and Kaupang in Norway.

Kaupang, that translates from kaupangr in Old Norse to “market” or “trading place” in English, was strategically placed in a narrow bay in Sikiringssal by the outlet of the Oslo Fjord, five kilometers northeast of Larvik in Vestfold, Eastern Norway.

Excavations confirm that the town was established in the years 780-800 AD, and for unknown reasons was abandoned about the year 930.

The trading town was divided into many small plots with residential houses smaller than normal Viking longhouses, but had the same structure: A fireplace in the middle of the open room with benches along the sides where residents did work, eat and sleep.

The houses were placed along the shoreline that was about 3.5 meters higher than today. At the largest, the town was 750 meters long, between 20 and 90 meters wide and covered about 54 decares (13 acres).

International Trade

The inhabitants consisted of a mix of Viking merchants and craftsmen, and Kaupang was one of the first places in Scandinavia where it was bought and sold mass-produced goods.

The town was part of an international trading network and there are found thousands of artifacts from all over the Viking world at the time: Beads from the areas around the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, Frankish glass beakers, ceramics from the Rhine area, Denmark and the Baltic Sea, Arabic (Cufic) silver coins, and not to forget many weapons and tools.

Coins found in Kaupang came from many countries. (Map: norgeshistorie.no).

Only Written Source

The Viking chief and merchant Ottar’s description is the only written source mentioning the trading town of Kaupang. Around the year 890, he travels from Hålogaland in Northern Norway, via Kaupang to Hedeby before sailing to London where he is telling King Alfred the Great about his long journey via Kaupang.

Ottar gives no exact description of Kaupang or any information about the power relations, but he tells that he has traveled along the norðrvegr (Old Norse, “Northern Way” or “way leading to the north”) to Kaupang in Eastern Norway.

Jewelry found and probably produced in Kaupang. (Photo: Midgard Historical Center / Vestfold Museums)

The Royal Frankish Annals of 813 inform that Vestfold was under Danish sovereignty. Although Kaupang often is referred to as Norway’s first town, this is not entirely correct. At the time, the town was founded as a border town by the Danish king to make a defense against Norwegian Vikings.

Totally Disappeared

They preserved artifacts suggest that the trading town existed until about the year 930. Then, the trade and craft activities were dramatically reduced to completely disappear around the year 970 – a fate Kaupang shares with other Viking towns like Birka and Hedeby.

Researchers believe they never will get the answer to why Kaupang totally disappeared due to the fact that centuries of agriculture has removed much of the archaeological material.

New trade patterns in Northern Europe and changed political balance of power in Denmark and Norway were also probably important factors.

Did Norwegian Vikings attack and burn down Kaupang when the Danes lost control in the first half of the 900s?

Another possibility is that the harbor was made unusable due to land rise and mud blockages, and hence the residents were forced to move elsewhere.

Kaupang before the Coin

During the early Viking Age, a new settlement arose at Skiringsaal in Vestfold, just south of modern Oslo. It was a good place to be. Geologic forces had cut a route across the fjords, offering elites an opportunity to disperse among sheltered inlets while staying connected by land and sea. The trading place of Skiringsaal, now known as Kaupang after a later farmstead, stood at the heart of this region, linking it to the world.

The Gokstad Ship, ca. 890. This ship was excavated from a grave not far from Kaupang. Similar ships could carry people from Vestfold off on raids or between different ports of trade. Scholars now emphasize this double aspect of the Viking Age—raiding and trading—but how were these stories connected? (Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, NO.)

Tree rings from surviving wood indicate that the earliest structures were built around 803, while the minting dates from surviving coins show that things slowed down after 900, with a brief revival around 960. The beads help complete this picture. Glass imports boomed between 815 and 860, followed by the import and loss of a large number of Islamic coins between 860 and 890, and with a brief return of fancy glass and coin sometime after 900. But bead imports, overall, became sparse during the later Viking Age, both in Kaupang and in other settlements, at the same time that the silver economy was taking over the northern trade.

This picture poses a number of historical problems, such as the connection between Kaupang’s rise to prominence and the Danish royal interest in the region in 813, as well as the sudden flow of silver into Kaupang at the same time that viking activity was escalating in the West in the 860s. But as a scholar who works with beads, this chronology also poses a different set of problems. To state the question bluntly: If silver replaced beads as the dominant eastern import in the 860s, should we treat beads as we do silver, as a sort of currency for premodern trade? And if so, what does that mean about Kaupang and its place in the world?

Some of the earliest beads from Kaupang. The black bead is a fragment of a ‘wasp’ bead, which was probably made in Scandinavia. Ribe or Sebbersund in Denmark are two likely places for production. The other two beads are long-distance imports and arrived via Russia. They were both made using a similar technique of piercing the glass—a piece of green mosaic on the left and a purple ball on the right. All three beads went out of style after 820, suggesting that Kaupang was active in regional and long-distance trade before that date. But they’re also relatively rare at Kaupang, indicating that the town’s heyday came somewhat later. (Kulturhistorisk museum, Oslo, NO.)

I think there are a few good reasons to see beads as a means of exchange that preceded silver. To explain why, I’d like to focus on two of the most common imports—segmented beads and cut beads. Both styles were made only in the Near East. The segmented beads were probably produced in the Eastern Mediterranean, and they began to travel north in the 790s, either up the Danube or through the Black Sea. The simple cut beads, however, have a later peak. They belong to the mid-800s when most long-distance imports can be traced from origins in Iran, through Russia, and out through the Baltic.

Because the segmented beads flourished earlier, it’s best to deal with them first. These beads came in many different colors, but they appeared most frequently in contrasting layers of glass that gave off the appearance of silver or gold, as well as in deep cobalt blue. These beads make up about 14% of the beads that I’ve seen from settlements (n=3852).

Beads from Kaupang. Over 3000 beads have been recovered from this Viking Age town. These particular beads were excavated during rescue excavations to allow for modern construction. They form a fairly representative sample of the finds. Many of the segmented beads in this image lack a perforation but were still traded north. Most of the small blue, white, and yellow were cut from larger tubes and then reheated to round the edges. These are the most common beads from Kaupang. (Kulturhistorisk museum, Oslo, NO.)

But almost 14% of the segmented beads found in settlements—or 2% of all settlement bead finds—are considered ‘defective’. These beads lack a useable perforation because they came from the end of a glass tube that was blown and drawn, and one or both ends were left sealed. Archaeologists have been aware of this problem for years. They typically assume that segmented beads were imported in bulk, and then redistributors in Scandinavia tossed out the bad ones and sold off the good. If this were true, we should expect to find only a few ‘good’ beads in the settlements and a larger ratio on farmsteads or in graves. But segmented beads make up 14% of settlement finds against only 8% of grave finds (n=3067). So although merchants could sell the perforated beads as jewelry, they were more likely to keep them.

I admit that this might be a chronological problem. Perhaps my graves date from different periods than my settlements, which might explain the different ratios. However, we have a second test. If segmented beads were imported in bulk and then sorted for sale, we should expect the number of defect beads to get smaller at each stop they traveled into Scandinavia. But at Kaupang, which was at the far end of these routes, 18% of segmented beads are defective. This contrasts with 11% at Åhus and 4% at Hedeby, which were both intermediary towns. The surprisingly large number of ‘defects’ at Kaupang suggests that these beads retained their value as they moved from town to town during the Viking Age.

Beads from a ninth-century grave at Reine in Buskerud. These beads from the uplands above Kaupang show that this person was tied into the same networks supplying the town with segmented and cut beads—but they make up a much smaller portion of this collection. Many of the green beads in the middle may have been made locally—perhaps even from glass made in Kaupang or Hedeby—and the cylinder beads in the back seem to have come from a workshop at Birka in central Sweden. (Kulturhistorisk museum, Oslo, NO.)

Drawing on these observations, we can question the assumption that segmented beads were being measured by weight and traded as bulk goods. This assumption rests in part upon our knowledge of the later silver market. We have evidence that Scandinavian traders were hacking up silver coins by the 860s, measuring silver according to its weight rather than as a number of coins. Scholars suggest a logical progression—from people valuing commodities like glass for their weight, to people valuing just precious metals, to people valuing coins for the metals they represent.

In fact, the segmented beads don’t break into simple weight groups. Instead, the only thing they have in common is that their segments can easily be counted. Each segment could have been used as a unit of value, like dollars or cents. This would make a lot of sense in light of the subsequent period, when simple cut beads dominate the import market. Like segmented beads, the cut beads don’t break up into a few simple weight groups. Many were so small that they have almost no weight at all, frequently less than 0.01 g. Since the small weights of the later silver market measured about 2.0 g, it could take up to 2000 beads to register on a Viking-Age scale.

Cut beads from Kaupang. This group of 52 cut beads weighs only 1.15 grams, which is less than most of the smallest Viking-Age weights. They weigh about the same as three small paperclips and less than half the weight of a US penny or a Euro cent. (Kulturhistorisk museum, Oslo, NO.)

So it seems to me that the segmented beads and the cut beads provided a way to measure value and make transactions during the early Viking Age. This basis for trade underwent a profound change in the 860s, when glass was abandoned for silver, and units of value were abandoned for weight. The flow of Islamic dirhams overtook the old trade routes used for glass, expanding all the way into England where Arabic coins have been found at viking sites.

To me, this indicates that Islamic imports should be connected to the viking activity of the West. And if silver imports were connected to viking violence, then beads might have been connected as well. So the beads of Kaupang leave us with a few lingering questions: What, if anything, could viking raiders have produced that the sellers of silver and glass and silver could have wanted? What did Islamic merchants want that viking raiders—and the middle men of Kaupang—could supply?

Silk from the Oseberg Ship Burial, ca. 820. Silver and beads weren’t the only things imported into Scandinavia during the Viking Age. People from Vestfold also loved their silk, which they imported as finished products and perhaps also as raw materials for local textile work. These silks seem to have traveled the same routes through central Asia that carried the cut beads north. (Viking Ship Museum, Oslo, NO.)

The amount of materials excavated from Kaupang is vast. My research has been possible only through warm conversations and the generous help of many people here at the Kulturhistorisk museum in Oslo, as well as the solid foundations of previous research, much of which is available online. In particular, I’d point interested readers to:

Four major Viking trading towns included: Birka, Hedeby, Kaupang, and Ribe.

Historians pointed out that many of the Viking trading towns were in the strategic positions. They sprung up in the positions where everyone could easily get access to. But they also lay next to the military and political stronghold for protection. A town without royal protection would be soon to collapse. While the kings promised the town peace and order, traders in the town had to pay the kings with tax and toll. That was how this relationship functioned, not only in the Viking Age.


Birka is the most famous Viking town in this day and age for its richness in archaeological findings. In the past, Birka was also an important trading center in present Sweden. A king or a chieftain formed this Birka town. At first, it was just a seasonal town where the people would gather in designated time in a year and leave. Later, people lived in this town for the whole year. The most well-known good in Birka was fur.

Viking Birka town is now a famous name for the archaeologists have found many artifacts in this site

But after roughly two centuries, Birka was abandoned by its inhabitants for the ports were no longer effective. Little sources about Birka survived. The main materials about Birka are the archaeological evidence. The archaeologists have detected approximately 3,000 graves inside the town.

BJ581 in Birka is the most famous Viking burial. The archaeologists unearthed a number of Viking weapons inside the grave. And more than 100 years later, they discovered that the skeletons inside the grave was female. This opens a question whether the Viking women joined combat or not. Was the Viking shieldmaiden historical


Hedeby was a part of Jutland peninsula. It once was a settlement that later a Danish king developed it into a town where the people preferred to come and trade. The town became an important Viking town also because of its unique position through the main trading Scandinavian route. With the rising power of the Vikings in the 9th century, Hedeby got expanded.

Hedeby Town in the Viking Age

In 1050, the town was sacked by King Harald Hardrada Sigurdsson of Norway. He set the town on fire by sending fleets of burning ships into the harbour of Hedeby. In the work of Snorri Sturluson, he described the burning scene:

Burnt in anger from end to end was Hedeby

High rose the flames from the houses when,

before dawn, I stood upon the stronghold’s arm

In 1066, the town got burnt again by West Slavs. From this point, the town was finally abandoned.


This “Kaupang” is a Viking town, not an Old Norse word meaning “market”.

Kaupang was the first Viking town. The name of this town is derived from the Old Norse word “kaupangr” meaning “marketplace”. Kaupang was also among the Viking trading towns that were strategically positioned. But this trading town quickly followed the same path of other towns.

Kaupang town is among the oldest Scandinavian towns

Toward the end of the 10th century, the inhabitants of the town abandoned it though the reasons were quite unclear. By far, roughly 100,000 artifacts have been unearthed in this Kaupang town.

Ribe was the oldest Viking town in Denmark dating back to the 700s. The historians and archaeologists believed that the establishment of Ribe was merely for economy and trade. There was nothing to do with politics and war here. In the territory of Ribe now, archaeologists found many artifacts dating back to the Viking Age.

The beautiful Ribe town is the oldest Danish town

Production waste and tools from working antler, leather and nonferrous metals will be studied and Borgund’s crafts production and consumption of personal accessories involving both domestic and imported raw materials is seen in a North European context.

Tools of trade: tally sticks, weights, balances etc. and div. personal accessories: shoes with silk embroideries, combs, keys, walrus ivory gaming pieces and other one-of-a-kind objects will be studied and the methodological challenges of distinguishing between visitors and townspeople as consumers of material culture will be explored.

Dagfinn Skre Translated into English by John Hines

Published by Aarhus University Press, Oslo, 2011

Used - Hardcover
Condition: Good

HardBack. Condition: Good. First Edition. Published by Kaupang Excavation Project Publication Series, Volume 3 Norske Oldfunn XXIV. First Edition English Translation by John Hines, 2011 Edited By Dagfinn Skre. Includes Bibliographical References (pages 453-482) - 483pp A very good, clean and sound copy in illustrated hard boards, illustrated with numerous colour & black/whtie plates, plans, diagrams, graphs and drawings. ***********Large Heavy Volume, Extra Postage Charges*****************.

#5. The Viking Swords Monument, Stavanger (Sverd i Fjell)

What: Viking Swords Monument monument was created by sculptor Fritz Røed from Bryne and was unveiled by King Olav V of Norway in 1983. It makes up of three bronze swords that stand 33 ft tall. They sit inside a rock on a small hill and are there to honor the Battle of Hafrsfjord that took place in 872. The largest sword symbolizes the victory of King Harald Fairhair, while the two smaller swords symbolize the kings who were defeated. It is said to represent peace as the swords are never to be moved.

Where: Lo cated in the Hafrsfjord neighborhood of Madla, a borough of the city of Stavanger in Rogaland, Norway.

Hours: No official hours

Website: No official website, but this site offers some great photos and details.

Other Useful Info: Parking available near site

Three large swords stand on the hill as a memory to the Battle of Hafrsfjord in year 872, when King Harald Fairhair gathered all of Norway under one crown. The largest sword represents the victorious king, and the two smaller swords represent the defeated kings.

To really understand the significance of the holiday, we need to rewind about 400 years. Native Americans had already been living in North America for years, and a small colony of European immigrants had formed in Jamestown, Virginia, in the early 1600s. But the story of Independence Day starts roughly around the time that the Mayflower sailed to America in 1620 (although we typically associate that journey with the Thanksgiving holiday). 

The 102 immigrants who came over on the Mayflower were mostly protestants from Britain who left because they didn’t want to join the Church of England and so they were no longer welcome in Britain. They left in search of religious freedom, searching for a place where they could live freely without judgment or persecution for their beliefs. In the fall of 1620, they docked in what is now known as New England. 

Over the next few years, more Europeans made their way to North America and formed the 13 colonies. These colonies would later become states New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Kaupang - History

Going to Unsub - to much repetitive post about killing.

Computer parts stores? (other than Microcenter)

Have you looked into purchasing parts online?

Enjoy this community? Consider becoming a MN Moderator!

I'll log my candidacy for moderator here, now, and let the flurry of upvotes and positive comments reinforce why I am the best choice for your subreddit.

Let's let bygones be bygones mod family. VOTE /u/dullyouth

How likely is a county deputy be on staff over 4th of July weekend (Sibley)

Fucking 6am and 5 vehicles in and out not drive through in 90 minutes.

And another now, wow the rain can't come fast enough to drive the drug dealers out.

No one out here knocks on the outhouse door before barraging in on a "shut " door.

Seriously no woman walks around here without a male escort. Obviously pence-land social customs pervade. argh

Rain rain rain rain rain now!

Dude, calm down. There's probably little to be done, unless you're up for confrontation. Pick a different spot next time. Another solution would be to pack up, and go home. It's kinda nice back in town right now. Streets have a significantly less amount of traffic. Beautiful morning.

I will kill time in town for a few hours. There is predicted to be rain here by 3am so the welfare, meth dealing trailer trash will be gone by then. Two ice house RVs were running diesel guzzling generators all night because welfare crack smoking folk need heat during a July night.

Now they are having a domestic over using one of the female's car without permission. The song from Motley Crue "Girls Girls Girls" the town's mating song has been wailing from passing vehicles all day long for two days. I can't imagine any of these obese asses working a pole dance in a strip club.

I live in Scott /Carver county for now, it's a watered down version of this.

LOL, you make me laugh. Are ear plugs out of the question? Can't some drunks unite, consume massive amounts of alcohol, and fuck with the meth heads?

Одноцилиндровый гидравлический конусный дробилка

What Makes your town the best town?

Hovland. Words can't describe the beauty.

Never heard up so looked it up - does look pretty swell. Besides nature things, what is there to do?

Outside of camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, biking, and outdoor stuff, not much. I like to hangout on the beach and cook over fire, but yeah, not much else to do beside get away from it all. Some of the sections of the SHT that come through the area are the best.

Watch the video: Kaupang Gård TeaserTrailer


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