chapter  5
Composition and patterns of hoard deposition from a chronological perspective
WithJacek Gruszczyński
Pages 49

The methodological principles and limitations of the chronological analysis of the hoarding patterns and the internal structure of hoards are outlined in this chapter. Analysis of chronological changes in Viking-Age hoard composition, particularly degree of fragmentation, presents patterns which cannot be explained by the traditional models where the phenomenon of silver fragmentation is understood as an expression of the intensity of circulation and bullion economy. Instead, an alternative explanation is provided in which fragmentation is seen as a function of distance from sources of silver, echoing the dynamics of the development of silver networks. The author investigates how the combination of economic and political factors influenced hoard concentrations in the three case studies, and their impact on how and why these deposits were made. The chapter provides a brief examination of silver hoards preceding and following the chronological focus of the book, which offers intriguing insight into the ways silver was used and deposited in the Baltic zone.