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The second main component of the Viking Phenomenon project, termed Viking Economics, focuses on the literal economics of Vikings rather than general economic systems of Viking-Age Scandinavia. Unlike the well-explored silver trade, the project delves into the understudied area of raiding economics, positing it as a significant driver of the social processes defining the era. The project aims for inclusivity, considering all members of Viking-Age society regardless of gender identities, with emerging research suggesting more active roles for women in Viking campaigns.

The study also highlights the overlooked importance of slavery and slaving in Viking economics and societal structure, emphasizing the interconnected nature of raiding, slaving, and trading. The project incorporates piracy as a key element, viewing it as part of the complex feedback loop fueled by maritime violence and movement. Additionally, international, cross-cultural comparative studies, drawing on historical archaeology from early modern colonial contexts, are incorporated to provide new perspectives on the Viking Age.

Directed by Dr. Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, the Viking Economics component involves scholars like Dr. Gareth Williams of the British Museum and Dr. Ben Raffield, formerly of Simon Fraser University and now at Uppsala, specializing in Viking warfare, army structures, and slavery. Economic historian Docent Anders Ögren from Lund contributes expertise on the interconnected components of these systems, with the team expected to expand as the project progresses.

Part of a Slave Chain
image: Uppsala University