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Burial mound in Borre National Park
Image: Wikimedia Commons

The medieval period in Scandinavia began c. 1000 AD, five centuries after the rest of western and central Europe. It was only at this time that kingdoms appeared in Scandinavia and Christianity started to become a religion that could challenge paganism.

Following the end of the Roman Period, the Merovingians and later the Carolingians became a dominant force over Western Europe through military conquest and networks involving long-distance alliances and gift-giving.

This type of political and economic structure involving production sites and emporia had an effect on the Scandinavian petty kingdoms as rulers developed a need for the luxury goods necessary to ensure political stability.

These luxury goods – primarily weapons, jewellery and drinking vessels are well-known from the archaeological record with graves such as the Chieftain’s Grave from Hoby and the woman from Juellinge.

Siver Drinking Cups from Hoby
Image: Wikimedia Commons