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(Private) international conference on silver in the early Middle Ages

On 29, 30 and 31 March, the international conference 'Silver in Early Medieval Europe: Sources and Movement' will take place at the Fryske Akademy building. This private conference is a collaboration between the Fryske Akademy and the European project Silver and the Origins of the Viking Age.


Silver in Frisia

After a project discussion and a lecture by James Graham-Campbell (emeritus professor of medieval archaeology at University College London and a member of the British Academy) on the first day, various topics will be covered in four sessions on the other two days. The themes are 'Sources of silver', 'Movement of silver', 'Silver across the North Sea' and 'Silver in Frisia'.

During the last session, 'Silver in Frisia', Nelleke IJssennagger-van der Pluijm, director-director of the Fryske Akademy and researcher in the field of intercultural dynamics and connections in the North Sea region in the (early) Middle Ages, will also give a lecture. The title of her presentation is 'Central because liminal: geography, networks and silver economy in ninth-century Frisia.' Other speakers within this theme are Simon Coupland, guest researcher at the Fryske Akademy ('Central and liminal: Dorestad and Carolingian Frisia '), Elina Screen ('Frisian silver and wealth in the ninth-century Frankish world') and Mike McCormick ('Turning Lead into Silver: connecting Science, Archaeology and the future of early medieval economic history at Leeuwarden').

The full programme of this private conference can be downloaded here (pdf).

About this project

The project Silver and the Origins of the Viking Age is a project of the Universities of Oxford (UK) and Oulu (FI), with financial support from the European Research Council.  Using state-of-the-art methods for the provenancing of ancient silver, the overall aim of this project is to transform understanding of the early development of the Viking Age. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary study of ninth-century silver from the heart of the Viking world: Viking-Age Denmark, comprising modern-day Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Southern Sweden and Southern Norway. This region is ideal for analysis: it has an exceptional silver record, comprising finds from different archaeological contexts, and a geographically central location making it well-placed to receive silver from both East and West.



Cooperation between the Fryske Akademy and the project came about through contacts made by IJssennagger and Coupland with Dr Jane Kershaw in relation to their own research projects and questions. This event is now taking place in Leeuwarden, because the Frisian area is very central to this research period and question, but it has also not yet been sufficiently researched. So a great opportunity for the Fryske Akademy to use the new insights of the project for the Frisian area and to share our knowledge about Fryslân with the researchers travelling to Leeuwarden for this congress. For the Akademy, it is always important to draw attention to the Frisian case in international projects of this kind.