Trade and Contact with the World at Large
The archaeological finds made at Borg bear witness to a wealthy chieftain who was part of a Scandinavian aristocratic culture. Many of the more impressive finds prove that Borg had contact with the world at large.
The Vikings were opportunistic, and a Viking expedition might be a commercial voyage, a visit to kinsmen where impressive gifts would be exchanged, or a looting raid. With them, the North Norwegian chieftains took the magnificent skins of seals, reindeer, bears and foxes, together with bones, horns and antlers.
Eider down was gathered and was a coveted commodity. They also took stockfish with them, both as provisions and as a commodity for trade. The chieftain had his own hunters, fishermen and trappers, but he also had contact with the Sami, who provided vital commodities by way of their hunting activities. When the chieftain’s ship returned home, it would bring corn, honey, weapons, beautiful jewellery and prestigious objects made from glass and precious metals.
The types of glassware and ceramics found at Borg provide evidence of contact with England and southern Europe, possibly the German Rhineland and France in particular. Glassware and ceramics were produced in these parts throughout the entire Iron Age. A magnificent bridle buckle found at Borg is of the same type as those found in the exclusive horsemen’s graves in Valsgärde, Sweden. Various different types of pearls have been found here, too, some have come all the way from southern Europe and Turkey, others from England and southern Scandinavia. These impressive imported wares show that Viking Age Borg was a part of the world at large.