chapter  4
Svealand
A mainland kingdom
WithJacek Gruszczyński
Pages 52

The chapter defines the geographic extent of the case study and provides the rationale for choosing it. It affords a detailed review of the relevant written sources and sets out the historic and social context of the analysed hoarding patterns in the Viking Age. The author undertakes spatial analyses through which the statistically significant concentrations of hoards are identified and reviewed in the context of nearby contemporary archaeological sites, topography, historical background and written sources. Factors which may be responsible for the observed hoard concentrations are identified and interrogated using regression modelling, which allows one to determine what combination of these factors can best explain the observed spatial patterns of hoard deposition. The combined analyses highlight the association of hoards with sites and regions which could have facilitated the influx of silver and provided conditions suitable for mercantile exchange. But they fail to explain why silver was put in the ground and, more importantly, why it was never reclaimed. A method (introduced in Chapter 2) which uses the information about the presence or absence of a container, cross-referenced with the weight of silver and the archaeological context, is employed to provide an indication as to which hoards were deposited with the aim of retrieval (as savings or emergency hoards) and which were meant to be permanent ritual or symbolic offerings.