Makt, rikedomar och kontakter - en rumslig analys av svärd i norra Sverige
Sammanfattning: The inland of northern Scandinavia has received more attention in archaeological research in recent years than before. This has among other things resulted in a better understanding of the trading systems within Iron Age Scandinavia and highlighted the importance of raw materials produced in the boreal regions. A significant part of the iron, antler and furs used in central agricultural areas like the Mälaren Valley during the Iron Age originated in northern Sweden. This indicates that central places to the south were dependent on products from the forested areas of the north, and that the two probably would have developed differently without this relation. The aim of this study is to perform a spatial analysis of swords found in northern Sweden to better understand the contacts and trading systems within the region during the middle and late Iron Age. This is based on the hypothesis that the swords indicate places with important functions, and that they are especially prominent in areas which controlled the trade of products like iron, antler, and furs. The results of the study show that swords are most frequent in agricultural areas by the coast connected to the largest rivers, where these raw materials were mainly transported. This pattern is apparent in all represented periods of the Iron Age except for the Vendel Period from which most swords have been found in outland locations far from the coast. This indicates that the Vendel Period differs clearly from other periods of the Iron Age in northern Sweden, concerning how the inter-regional trade was performed.
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