Trade and Hierarchy: The Viking Age Soapstone Vessel Production and Trade of Agder, Norway
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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The Viking Age soapstone vessel production and trade in Norway was a spatially allocated enterprise due to limited access to raw materials and the logistically confining topography of the country’s rugged landscapes. In the southernmost Norwegian region of Agder, vessel production was concentrated along the waterways of the river Nidelva, which empties into Skagerrak near the agriculturally and archaeologically rich farms on the moraine soil of the Fjære parish. The research presented here looks into a number of aspects related to the soapstone industry of the Agder region, from the quarries and production sites, via distributional and topographical patterns, to the trade and consumption of the products. The implications of the soapstone industry for power structures and hierarchical developments of Agder during the Viking Period are addressed on a local scale as well as within a larger chronological and spatial context.