York talk: Hoards and Wealth in Viking Yorkshire
By Gareth Williams - British Museum
3:00pm Friday 15th July 2016
Venue: The York Coin Fair, The Grandstand, York Racecourse, Tadcaster Rd, York, North Yorkshire YO23 1EX
Coins of various types were used in Yorkshire from the initial capture
of York by the Vikings in 866 to the death of the last Viking king of
Northumbria in 954. These included pre-Viking Northumbrian stycas,
Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Viking silver pennies from south of the Humber,
imported Carolingian deniers and Islamic dirhams, and from the 890s (if
not earlier) silver pennies of Viking Northumbria, minted in York. In
addition to coin-based exchange, there is also evidence for a bullion
economy, and a ‘status’ economy in which high-value items in silver and
gold were used to display the wealth and status of their owners.
study of these coins has traditionally been based on hoards, found both
in Yorkshire and elsewhere, and recent finds such as the Vale of York
hoard and ‘Near York’ hoard continue to add to our understanding.
However, hoards only form part of the picture. Drawing on a combination
of site-finds, single finds and hoards, this lecture will explore
variation in the character of coin use within Viking Yorkshire,
including chronological developments and also an apparent difference
between York itself and its immediate hinterland and the wider area of
Viking rural settlement.