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Home Boundless meetings Family and hierarchy Midgard Belief and traditions The living and the dead Divine craftwork Trading and raiding 82: Prestigious weapons 83: Weights and scales 84: Many forms of payment 85: Brutal and lucrative slave trade 86: Jewellery and weapons from the East 87: Bone, antlers and pelts in the North 88: Trade and raiding in the West 89: Beads and slave trade Waterways Town-like centres Christian monuments

Jewellery and weapons from the East

The Norse people’s lengthy contacts eastward left traces in the form of objects such as earthenware vessels, jewellery and weapons.

One hoard found in Burge on Gotland contained one of the largest finds in Scandinavia of rectangular silver ingots, used as currency in the region of modern-day Russia.

Story of the runestone

The runestone is one of two stones which originally stood in Torsätra Manor in Uppland, an estate which may have been called Husa in Viking times. Both stones were moved to the Swedish History Museum in the 1960s.

The ornamentation, the appearance of the runes and the inscription together indicate that the stone was carved by runemaster Visäte, sometime during the last decade of the 11th century. The inscription begins at the runic animal’s head and runs in and out of the body, along the outer edge of the stone. It ends at the tail of the animal. In translation it runs thus: ”Skúli and Folki raised this stone in memory of their brother Húsbjǫrn. He fell ill while collecting payment on Gotland.”

Húsbjǫrn took part in a journey to Gotland in order to collect a tax or tribute, i.e. to enforce payment of a debt. The description tallies with a part of the medieval saga Gutasagan. The saga tells of an old agreement between the Gutes, the people on the island of Gotland, and the Svear the people of the eastern mainland. The agreement stipulated that the Svear had the right to collect 60 marks of silver in geld (tax/tribute) from Gotland. 40 marks would go to the King and 20 to the Jarl. In return the Gutes would be given protection against attack and raids and the right to indulge in free trade with the Svear in their waters.

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Decorative chain garnish

  Decorative chain garnish

Vessel

  Vessel

Threefoil brooch

  Threefoil brooch

Axe

  Axe

Round brooch

  Round brooch

Ring brooch

  Ring brooch

Spindle whorle

  Spindle whorle

Dress pin

  Dress pin

Dress pin

  Dress pin

Torque

  Torque

Grivna

  Grivna

Grivna

  Grivna