An analysis of the series X or Wodan monster sceattas : some implications for trade and exchange in the 8th century AD
The work of the historian Henri Pirenne in the early years of this century sparked a debate concerning the nature and extent of trade and exchange in Early Medieval Europe which still reverberates today. The paucity of the historical evidence for the period soon led to the use of numismatic evidence although this too was used to argue opposing views. The archaeological evidence for trade and the development of towns in Early Medieval Europe has increased enormously in the last forty years. Archaeologists were also increasingly aware of the work of economic anthropologists who believed in the different character of 'the econcomy' capitalist societies and its importance in the social system as a whole. These concerns were first brought to the study of the Early Medieval economy by Grierson but more recently Hodges has developed a model of which sees trade as a major factor in the development and changing nature of society in this period. Numismatic evidence has been widely used by all concerned with these problems. Yet the major source of numismatic information for the 8th century has never been studied in detail. A number of large hoards of 8th century coins, the sceatta series of coinages, were found in the Low Countries in the 19th century, to date none of these hoards have been analysed in detail or published. It is the aim of this thesis to analyse in detail one of the series of sceattas, series X, and to attempt to relate the results of this analysis to the specific and more general coinage.