A blog detailing the culture, history, geography and nature of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and neighbouring areas on the lower reaches of the Amu Darya River.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Samarkand Coins found in Viking Burial Mound in Sweden
in Sweden have confirmed that a Viking age hoard of Central Asian coins has
been found in a burial mound located in the district of Molnby (near Uppland) north of Stockholm. It is not the first
time scientists have discovered evidence of close contacts between Viking Age
Scandinavians and Central Asia. Many coins and other artifacts (found
in Viking hoards) came up the Russian river systems which were used by the
Vikings as trade routes.
In total archaeologists uncovered a hoard of 163 coins. Fashioned out of silver, the coins contain Arabic script and the majority were minted in Samarkand which served as a crossroad and melting pot of the world’s cultures during the middle ages. They date from the mid-10th century AD (935/36 AD) and were discovered in a much older, prehistoric mound that was erected during the Swedish Bronze Age. This is not overly surprising as such monuments were often reused during the Viking age for votive offerings.
Of the 163 coins uncovered, fifty were complete, while the remainder had been snipped and chopped for use as silver bullion. A number had also been modified with holes or loops for strings so that they could be worn as pendants. The coins in their place of origin had a set monetary value, however as Scandinavia at the time lacked a monetary system and the coins were valued on the weight of their metal and as decorations. The presence of Islamic coins in Sweden is not unusual to-date nearly 70,000 have been uncovered. This reflects the extensive long distance trade routes which once existed between the Viking world and the orient. These were mainly focused on the Volga River and saw items such as furs, slaves and leather being exported southwards, while silver coins and exotic goods returned northwards. Why the hoard was buried in the first place remains uncertain, although according to archaeologists ‘it was believed that the riches a man buried in his lifetime would benefit them in the afterlife’