1. Introduction

The Viking Age (c. AD 800-1050) is commonly associated with the extensive, if not always peaceful, Scandinavian interaction with the British Isles. The Norse influence and involvement around the Irish Sea is well attested through contemporary literary sources, as well as from a varied archaeological record. In Norway, the main body of evidence for this contact comes from the many Norse burials that contain a wide range of Insular artefacts. So far, over two hundred such burials have been identified, but the number of individual pieces is far greater (Wamers 1985). This article seeks to present an overview of Insular grave goods found in the Trøndelag region of central Norway, most of which have not previously been published in English, and to discuss the nature of contacts reflected through this material. Despite the quantity of material previously recognised, very little research has been done on the subject for this region. Traditionally, researchers have focused their attention on the Insular artefacts from the trading settlement of Kaupang near Oslo and from graves in Western Norway, while the Trøndelag area, with notable exceptions, has been largely overlooked. Hence, this is the first study that has examined the whole group of Insular finds from this region, and provides essential primary data on the range of artefact types and their distribution. One of the purposes of this article is therefore to draw attention to the significant and under-reported corpus of Insular metalwork. The increased data also gives a new and stronger basis to review contacts with Britain and Ireland, and to suggest how these developed over the period.


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