Sunday, 11 August 2013

"Saga Oseberg" sails to Kaupang

Kaupang was an important Viking trading town in northern part of Denmark (today's south-eastern part of Norway). This summer "Saga Oseberg", an exact replica of the Oseberg ship, sailed in Viksfjord to Kaupang. See more pictures in the local newspaper Østlands-Posten and read my review of a beautiful Kaupang book below.

Saga Oseberg (Viking ship)
Saga Oseberg's rowers

Saga Oseberg (Viking ship)
Saga Oseberg with captain and crew


KAUPANG: The Viking Town. The Kaupang Exhibition at UKM, Oslo, 2004-2005 by Dagfinn Skre
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This s a gem of a book. It tells the story of Kaupang, the trading place at Skiringssal in the south-eastern part or Norway. Kaupang was an urban centre or town in the 9th and 10th centuries, and the book places Kaupang among the most important trading centres in the Scandinavian Viking age, along with Ribe, Birka, and Hedesby.

The book was written to accompany an exhibition held at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo back in 2004 – 2005, but can be read independently as a very good introduction to urban life in the Viking age. It contains a wealth of information on the founding and lay-out of early Scandinavian towns, on trading routes, on goods, and on crafts and daily life in a Viking town. It also has a chapter about the hall at Skiringssal, and it discusses which king or chieftain that might have founded the town. The best guess, according to the authors, is the Danish king Godfred as this part of Norway was at the northern edge of the Danish realm at the time when Kaupang was built.

Unfortunately the book is not available at Amazon. I bought it when I last visited the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee,
    The image can be seen at who can supply you with a canvas print of it.